Your yoga mat needs to keep you stable in your poses. It needs to be storable and portable, yet comfy and cushy. You may also want your mat to be environmentally friendly. These aspects of your mat’s personality are all affected by how the mat is made: how thick it is, what it’s made of, and its surface texture.
So how can a yogi be satisfied with the right yoga mat? How do you go about choosing one that is durable, cost effective and… smells decent? Well, let’s explore the various kinds of mats…
If you are looking to support environmental products, then the Jute mat would be the ideal choice. Jute mats have an organic roughness to them and offer a good grip. However, these have their downsides as well. Jute mats are made with porous plants and for this reason they have the ability to absorb sweat. Because of this, you will find that after a while… the mat might start smelling like sweat. Over time — especially if you do yoga very often — sweat will weaken the structure of the mat, making it fall apart.
Natural & Recycled Rubber Mats
A rubber mat is the choice among a lot of yogis, especially those who are avid supporters of the environment. It is also a cost effective purchase because rubber mats are usually less expensive and they are very durable. They provide great traction. The added grip the raised texture provides can help you stay put no matter how sweaty or vigorous your practice gets. However — avoid them, if you’re allergic to latex.
If you are practicing yoga for the first time, you may go for the less expensive mat, which is made of plastic. Most newbies gravitate towards this type, pretty much, because they don’t know better. This is a mistake, though, if you are thinking about making yoga a long-term practice. Plastic mats are thin and smell of strong chemicals. This is unhealthy for you because the plastic can be quite harmful to you, being made of hazardous material. Not too mention, these mats are far from being eco-friendly.
PVC (Vinyl) Mats
Most standard yoga mats are made of PVC, otherwise known as vinyl. If you want to stick with the tried and true sticky mat, choose a yoga mat made out of PVC, which can endure your use and abuse for more than a decade. Sponginess can vary widely with different blends of materials, but in general, PVC has the most “give” of any yoga mat material. If you need help staying put in your poses but you bristle at the thought of practicing on a yoga mat with a raised texture, a PVC yoga mat is probably your best bet. Just remember that these yoga mats are only sticky when they are clean. If you buy a PVC yoga mat, wash it before you use it and again whenever you notice your hands sliding forward in downward dog.
Colored Mats — Blue Mat
After considering the material, texture, thickness, price and so on… You can choose your yoga mats according to their colors. In yoga practice, color is important to set the stage for conformity. For new yogis (or if your goal is to try various yoga styles), go for the blue yoga mat. It helps you to blend right in. In fact, many yogis choose blue as their preferred color. You have the option of choosing from a variety of blue shades.
Pink is another shade that contributes to and fosters healing. If you are looking for healing energy and rejuvenation, a pink yoga mat is ideal. It is well known for having healing properties. If you are not feeling well, a pink mat will help to improve your health.
Green yoga mats bring out the ultimate relaxation. It sooths and relaxes you. You can choose from various shades of this color such as deep emerald and light green. Choose the green that speaks to your personality and make sure that it is environmentally friendly.
A red yoga mat exudes “fire”. It is an excellent choice to bring out empowerment, helping you to remain energized and passionate.
To enhance your spirituality, a purple yoga mat is the right choice. It matches the true essence of the practice of yoga, increasing your spiritual side, stimulating your creativity and calming you.
A white yoga mat exemplifies purity. It brings calmness and wholesomeness to the practice of yoga. It aids in purification and removes clutter from your daily life. If you want to get a good dose of emotional and mental cleansing, use a white yoga mat during practice.
A black yoga mat exemplifies strength. It is the right color choice, if you are looking to be empowered and want to bring out your Zen moments. It contributes to and brings with it a restful component to your yoga practice, creating calm and powerful relaxation.
The point is that you have a wide range of choices to match your taste, personality, objective and style. So, it depends on what you like and what you want to achieve in your yoga practice. Color should not be the only prerequisite. You can choose based on a mat that supports the environment, one that is cost effective or one that is not harmful to your health. Take your time and test drive a few before you buy.
P.S. Do you practice yoga? Want to build a home yoga practice but are not able to stick to it?