yoga

How to choose the right yoga mat ?

How to choose the right yoga mat ?

A few years ago, choosing a yoga mat was easy; there were only a handful of models available and they were often made of the same PVC material.

Today, with the popularity of yoga skyrocketing and the number of people practising it increasing, choosing a yoga mat can quickly become a headache. Indeed, to meet the needs and preferences of everyone, the offer in terms of yoga mats and accessories continues to grow, proposing from year to year various models of mats more and more efficient, original, eco-friendly …

So how do you choose your yoga mat when faced with this multitude of ranges that are offered to us? Depending on the type of practice but also on your personal needs, you will choose one model of mat rather than another. However, in general, certain criteria must be taken into account in order to be sure not to make a mistake in your choice. We explain everything in the rest of this article, which classifies the criteria for choosing a good yoga mat in order of priority.

1 / The grip of the yoga mat

The grip of a yoga mat means that it does not slip and therefore guarantees a stable practice. In all styles of yoga, but even more so in dynamic yoga, the grip of the mat is an important criterion because it allows you to feel comfortable and confident in the postures without fear of slipping. A yoga mat with good grip allows you to practice all kinds of postures while being well anchored on your mat, and therefore limiting unnecessary tension in the body to cope with slipping. The grip of a yoga mat is measured on 2 levels:

The adherence to the floor: depending on the material used for the base of the mat (the underside), it will be more or less adherent to the floor. While a PVC mat will slip on some floors, other mats such as those made of natural rubber will stay in place on any type of floor. A yoga mat with a good grip on the floor will allow you to practice with confidence without fear of the mat moving on the floor and you falling.

The most grippy mat bases : natural rubber, TPE.

Body grip: This is probably one of the most important criteria for choosing a yoga mat. This grip is created by the surface of the mat. Some mats, such as PVC, are quite slippery and even more so when you sweat. This makes it difficult in some postures, especially standing and balancing postures, to stay still. The body must therefore compensate for this lack of stability by contracting certain areas that do not normally have to be contracted in the posture. This can lead to discomfort and risk of injury, especially if you miss falling. A mat with a good grip allows you to confidently practice all types of postures without slipping, being stable and grounded. A yoga mat that does not slip will give you maximum comfort and allow you to stay focused on your practice.

The most adherent mat coverings to the body : PU, cork, microfiber.

2 / The thickness of the yoga mat

The thickness of the yoga mat is an important criterion to take into account because it must be adapted according to the type of yoga that you practice, but also the comfort that you seek in particular for your articulations. The thicker and softer the mat, the more comfortable it will be, especially if you often sit or lie down. The thinner and denser the mat, the better your balance and stability will be on it, especially if you do a lot of standing and balancing poses.

If you practice gentle yoga: many of the postures are seated or lying down, and these are usually held for longer than in more dynamic yoga. If you have joint pain, such as in the knees, you need a mat that is thick enough to make your practice comfortable. So choose a mat that is at least 4 to 5 mm thick.

If you practice dynamic yoga: the postures practiced are often upright and the sequences faster. You need a mat that gives you stability, especially in balancing postures. You need a mat that is dense enough and not too thick that you can practice without losing your balance. Choose a mat that is no more than 5 mm thick and/or with a good density.

Tapis cycle lunaire 1

3 / The materials and the ecological character of the yoga mat

The materials used in the manufacture of the yoga mat will determine its adherence, its comfort, its respect for the environment but also for your body. Some materials will be very soft to the touch bringing a “cocooning” effect to your practice. Others will be very grippy and will allow you to perform all the postures, including the most perilous ones, with confidence and without the risk of slipping. Some materials are naturally anti-bacterial for a healthy and hygienic practice. And for the greatest respect of the planet, today we offer you numerous eco-responsible materials that allow you to practice with commitment.

The materials that are most pleasant to the touch: microfibre, cork, organic cotton

The most non-slip materials: PU, cork, microfibre

The most environmentally friendly materials: cork, natural rubber, organic cotton, jute (although a little rough and not very pleasant to touch)

The most hygienic materials: cork (naturally anti-bacterial), organic cotton (for its ease of maintenance)

4 / The design of the yoga mat

Here it is all a matter of taste and colour. Choosing your mat according to its design is important to express your personality through your practice.

Whereas in the past almost all yoga mats were plain and rather monotonous, today you will have a very wide choice of colours, inspiring patterns, sometimes even inscriptions or crazy designs.

You can even decide to adapt the colour of your mat to the chakra you wish to work on or the one associated with your astrological sign. Some mats even have sacred geometry prints, such as the flower of life, which helps to amplify the energy flow when you practice and deepen your meditations.

In this choice, let your inspiration speak for itself, but above all your intuition, you will inevitably find a mat to suit you !

yoga-mat-tapis-de-yoga-en-liege

5 / Dimensions and weight of the yoga mat

Most yoga mats are on average 180 cm long and 60 cm wide, which is suitable for most practitioners, whether they are tall or short. However, if you are very tall, choose a mat with larger dimensions to make your practice more comfortable.

The weight of the yoga mat will depend on the materials it is made of. The weight of a yoga mat can range from 1 to 3 kg. The denser the material, the heavier the mat. This is for example the case with natural rubber. PVC mats have the advantage of being very light, but their impact on the environment is very heavy.

The weight of your yoga mat should not be a hindrance and is usually a sign of its quality. It shows that it is made of strong and durable materials, which will keep your yoga mat in good condition for as long as possible.

The heavier and denser a mat is, the better it will sit on the floor. It will unfold easily and lie flat on all types of floors without bouncing or curling, as lighter mats such as PVC or TPE mats can do. But also its weight will make it stick to the floor and not slip, guaranteeing you a stable practice.

However, if you regularly walk around with your yoga mat on your back to practice or if you take your mat on holiday with you, opt for a lighter mat in travel size. These newer mats generally combine the quality of a high performance yoga mat with the almost light weight and ergonomics of a towel. They fold up easily to fit into a large bag or suitcase, and will no longer be a hindrance to a nice yogic walk. Beware, however, that lightness means very thin mats, on average 1.5 mm thick. Avoid this type of mat for regular practice and if your joints are very sensitive. You can also use them as an over-mat for a more comfortable practice, but also for hygienic reasons if you practice on a loaned mat.

The largest yoga mats: PU mats

The heaviest yoga mats: those with a natural rubber base

The lightest yoga mats: cotton, PVC, TPE, travel sizes

Of course, all these criteria will vary according to your needs, expectations and also the little characteristics that make you a unique person. Please refer to the table below to quickly find the right yoga mat for you.

TABLE – YOGA MAT :

—————————————– Recommended carpet characteristics Recommended materials
By type of practice
I practice gentle yoga Thick, comfortable, soft to the touch yoga mat TPE, microfibre, cork, organic cotton
I practice dynamic yoga Dense, thin yoga mat with good overall grip PU, cork, microfiber
I practice heated yoga (hot yoga, Bikram…) Dense yoga mat, very adhesive, hygienic PU, cork, microfiber
By frequency of practice
I practice very regularly (more than 4 times a week) Dense, durable and comfortable yoga mat PU (if dynamic practice), cork and microfibre (if soft practice)
I practice regularly (1 to 4 times a week) Dense, durable and comfortable yoga mat PU (if dynamic practice), cork and microfibre (if soft practice)
I practice occasionally (less than once a week) Versatile and comfortable yoga mat TPE, microfibre, cork
By need
I have sensitive joints Thick and comfortable yoga mat TPE, microfibre, cork
I sweat a lot Hygienic and adherent matting Cork, microfiber, PU
I don’t sweat much and my skin is very dry Very sticky yoga mat Liege, PU
I am very tall Large yoga mat PU
I take my rug with me everywhere Light and thin yoga mat Travel format

 

You now have all the keys to choose the yoga mat that best suits your needs. However, if you have any doubts or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you. In the meantime, have a great practice !

 

Enjoy your reading,

TeamMYSTIQ YOGA

Related Posts