FINDING THE RIGHT YOGA MAT
By Dagmar Spremberg
My personal favourite yoga mat is the Manduka Pro. I have this mat for almost 10 years and it is still almost like new! Your investment will be high at first (approx. US$90), but the quality in my opinion is unbeatable. But here are some other great mats in comparison, so you can decide for yourself.
When looking for a new yoga mat there are a few things to consider. Material, grip, length, the list could go on for a long time. The one important thing to keep in mind is this is a tool to support your practice. The best mat for one yogi might not be the right fit for the next. We have compiled a few of the top points to keep in mind as you explore your options!
The material dictates a mat’s stickiness, durability, comfort, and texture. This can also be where environmental concerns can arise. Some options to consider:
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): This is the stuff that keeps slippage to a minimum, is durable, and provides the most “give.”
- Cotton: A cotton mat helps to absorb sweat and can increase grip when wet, but doesn’t provide a lot of give.
- Recycled, natural rubber: It may not be as sticky as a PVC mat, but will still provide great grip. Those with a latex allergy, however, will want to avoid this type of mat.
- Jute: Made from fiber of a jute plant, this stuff keeps you in place due to Polymer Environmental Resin (PER), a nontoxic material. Jute has the added bonus of having antimicrobial properties for those extra-sweaty practices.
- Bamboo, cork, and hemp: These are some other natural fiber mats to consider.
Aside from materials, there are other factors to be mindful of!
- Density, thickness, & weight
These are all options that give to personal preference. Do your knees need more support in child’s pose? Perhaps look at a denser mat! Is a light weight mat meant for travel better suited for your lifestyle? Look for something that packs easily! It is all about what best supports your practice!
- Open- versus closed-cell structure
Open-cell mats absorb sweat and oils. This means more grip but also makes the mat harder to clean. Closed- cell mats don’t absorb so cleaning is easier, put the grip may be a bit more slippery.
- Length & size
Again, another topic of preference but this one is very important for taller yogis! Long length mats are a thing and they do exist! If you’re buying a mat online, make sure to look at the measurements. If you’re in a store, see if you can roll it out and check out how it aligns for you!
Some top ranked recommendations:
- The Manduka PROLite
- This is an extremely durable mat that comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The Jade Harmony
- Made from all natural rubber this is an excellent environmentally friendly choice
- The Gaiam Print Premium
- An excellent budget friendly option