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How to Choose a Yoga Mat For Beginners


Yoga is an ancient Indian practice which has gained wide popularity all over the world. If you are just beginning to start your yoga classes, then the first thing that you require is a good yoga mat. Various kinds of yoga mats are available in the market to suit varied requirements of different people. It is necessary that you do not choose the wrong kind of yoga mat. Thus, in order to select the best one as per your specific requirements, some factors need to be kept in mind.


Thickness

Yoga mats of 1/8th inch in thickness are suitable for most people especially for healthy individuals. However, if you are very thin or have sore joints, then yoga mat of 1/8th inch thickness will be very uncomfortable. In such a case, padded yoga mat of 1/4th inch thickness is recommended for comfort. The downside of thick yoga mats is that it becomes difficult to balance on them during the standing postures such as tree pose.

Thus, if you are comfortable using a yoga mat of standard 1/8th thickness and have no joint problems, then there is no need to go for a bulky yoga mat. But if you feel that you need extra padding, can carry around a thick yoga mat and have enough storage space, then 1/4th inch thick yoga mat is fine.

Length

The length of the yoga mat must be enough to accommodate your body in the lying position as in Savasana. Your legs must not go past the limits of the yoga mat. The standard length of an yoga mat is 68 inches and can easily accommodate a person of normal height. However, if you are taller than normal, then an extra long yoga mat also called super stretched yoga mat is necessary.

Material

Rubber yoga mats are recommended by experienced yoga teachers. Good Yoga mats made of natural rubber are not very expensive and are easily available in the market.

Cotton yoga mats are also considered highly by yogis. This is because cotton yoga mats are soft, provide good grip and soak up the sweat easily. They are also very easy to wash.

Padded yoga mats have foam filling. Such mats provide good support during yoga but lack in grip. They are soft and comfortable. The outer cloth of the mat can be washed but the inner foam filling cannot be washed.

PVC yoga mats are cheap but polyvinyl chloride is carcinogenic which has a bad effect on your health. Thus, PVC yoga mats are not recommended.

Texture

Yoga mat with a smooth surface must be non-slip in nature so that you do not slip or slide while performing the yogic poses. Thus, it is always important to ensure that a smooth yoga mat does not make you slip and slide. Yoga mat with a rough texture will provide good traction. 

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