Yoga mats are specifically manufactured mats used during asana exercise as relief to stop feet and hands slipping on hard floor surface as practice. A first series made of rubber flat underlay, invented by the popular yoga instructor Angela Farmer in 1982, was described as a sticky, smelly mat. This led to the design of mats with smoother inner surface which could be more comfortable for practicing yoga. Currently, these mats are made with softer materials that are easier to clean but still firm enough to provide sufficient support and cushioning. This allows a smooth transition from bare feet on the floor to performing asana on the mat.
What is a yoga mat made of?
The basic buying guide includes information on the thickness, firmness and texture. Typically, they are made from either of the following materials: ethylene propylene sorbent (EPS), vinyl, or thermoset polyolefin. Some manufacturers use polypropylene (PP) in their name while using another material entirely. The main difference between them is the manufacturing process and cost.
The mats made from PVC are flexible yet durable. They are ideal for practicing yoga poses like Bikram, Savasana, and Chair pose. They are available in both rectangular and oval shapes. There are several brands and manufacturers such as: Kavlea, Sunitha, Reiki Yoga, and Easy Kavlea.
The thickest yoga mat made of vinyl has more stickiness. They are more expensive than other types. However, they offer good absorbency and cushioning. Some of the more popular brands of stickiness include Sunitha, Kavlea, and Easy Kavlea.
How to choose the best yoga mat?
As mentioned earlier, the yoga mat is available in several different varieties such as; Tantra yoga mat, meditation mat, prayer mat, and sports mat. The most suitable yoga mat for your practice depends on the purpose for which it will be used. You should consider the following factors when purchasing a yoga mat:
A good tip when shopping for a yoga mat that meets all your needs is to check out the manufacturer’s website. You can often find extensive information about the products, including price, availability, special offers, and shipping details. This is a great way to get a better feel for the product you are going to buy, and you can also see many different photos of the actual products. Another good source for more information is local yoga studios. There are likely to be many different yoga practice studios in your area, and many different yoga mat manufacturers.
Another factor you need to consider when shopping for eco-friendly yoga mats is the type of material they are made of. The most commonly used is rubber. But you can also find absorption fibers, resins, and charcoals among other options.
In general, the thicker the mat – the more absorption and comfort you will receive from your yoga mat. The thickness will also affect how much you are able to do while sitting on your mat. And if you have hot yoga classes, a thick mat is also a good choice for helping your body to retain heat. The best choice for your yoga practice will ultimately be a personal preference, though comfort and the ability to perform will play an important role in your decision.
One important thing to note about the thickness of a Yoga mat is that some manufacturers may try to fool you by saying it is a ‘traffic-calming mat.’ In fact, this is only a marketing ploy, and there are not any traffic-calming qualities at all. But most people will tell you that the mats absorb impact better than regular mats, so if you plan on doing a lot of jumping or moving around, a tpe mat is the best choice. For practicing yoga on the floor, regular tiled or vinyl mats may work just fine, as long as they are dry-cleaned every time and kept out of the sun. If you do a lot of yoga practice on the ground, consider buying a few extra mats in different sizes and colors.
One of the most desirable qualities of a yoga mat is its texture. Some people like the snug, gliding feel of a thick, plush mat, and others want a firmer, cushioned feel. The most popular textures are jute, sisal and cotton/spandex blend mats, since they offer varying levels of stickiness and texture, and therefore offer varying levels of comfort and durability. If you don’t have a lot of flexibility, try to stick with one of the softer textures to reduce the risk of slipping.
It is important that your mat has some ‘give’ when it is folded up or rolled over, since this allows for extra support, and absorbs the pressure from the movements. A good quality floor mat can last for years, so consider buying several in different sizes and textures, so that you can alternate between them depending on where you are performing yoga classes. Carpet underlay is an excellent option for yoga classes held in studios because it can provide the necessary comfort for your feet while also helping to cushion the practice space from accidental slips. Carpeting is also great if you are practicing in an area where slip-resistant surfaces are not available. Your mat can last for many years if you take care of it and keep it clean and dry at all times.