Yoga is an ancient sport, people used to do it on bear ground, but it evolved and moved to the west where they found it difficult to practice on hard surfaces. They therefore started using mats. Due to the difference in people and their needs, various types of mats were made, they include PVC mats, lightweight mats, eco-friendly mats among many other types.
Before purchasing a yoga mat, here are the things to consider:
Yoga mats range in thickness from 4mm thick, 5mm thick to 8mm thick. An 8mm thick mat offers more cushioning and support, but it’s less portable. The 5 mm thick mat gives the perfect combination of portability and performance. Lastly, the lightweight mat gives you a better feel on the floor but may be unsuitable for some yogis because it’s less padded. NB: Mats that are too thick make it difficult to hold some poses and maintain balance, while mats that are too thin may result in joint or knee problems.
A standard yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long (24″×68″). The width always remains 24 while the length can vary and goes up to 84 inches. So before you choose a mat, ensure it will fit your whole body when lying down.
Here are the options you should consider before choosing a particular material.
It’s an entry-level yoga mat that offers comfort, stickiness and durability.
People find fault with PVC because it’s not environment friendly, despite its proven performance as a yoga material. Note: Decathlon does not sell PVC mats. FOAM
Foam is an eco-friendly version of PVC. It offers the same performance as PVC but doesn’t have harmful environmental side effects. Mats made with foam contain latex. Consider this if you have existing allergies.
The performance is as good as the PVC. It’s eco-friendly hence a solid alternative to a PVC mat. Like foam mats , this also contains latex, avoid this material if you have allergies. COTTON
Also called “traditional yoga mats” are quite thin but eco-friendly. Cotton does not offer support hence they are used in addition to other yoga mats. It’s advantageous because it absorbs sweat well and increases grip when wet. JUTE
Jute offers the same kind of durability and flexibility. Similarly to cotton mats, jute mats are used over other mats for support and grip.
Jute absorbs less moisture compared to cotton due to its fibrous material that’s rougher than cotton.
4.TYPE OF YOGA.
For lower intensity yoga such as restorative yoga, prioritize your comfortability on the mat, because you tend to lay on the mat for longer periods. For this, PVC or foam yoga mats would work due to the adequate support and comfort they provide. For high intensity or active yoga such as power yoga, you need a well textured mat with good grip because of the stretching, bending and sliding.
5. STICKINESS This is the grip that helps you hold and maintain proper alignment as you move from one pose to another. The stickiness helps you from sliding all over the area of practice. PVC and foam have high levels of stickiness, while rubber has a moderate level of stickiness and cotton gives a low level of stickiness.