When we started the practice of Yoga, we thought that “a mat is a mat”, if more, but as we go ahead in it, or want to buy one, we realize that there are many yoga mats on the market among which can choose. We invite you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before buying from a yoga shop.
The main objective of any yoga mat is to reduce the risk of suffering an injury by providing an elastic and non-slip surface on which you can practice yoga comfortably and safely.
Using a good yoga mat is so important that in the United States there are insurers that do not cover injuries during a yoga session unless a mat specially designed for yoga has been used.
These are the criteria to take into account when selecting a mat for our practice.
The size and thickness of a yoga mat
The ideal size and thickness of yoga mats depends on your height and your weight. For example, if you are very tall, you may need an extra long mat of 200cm or 220cm. Only a few years ago, the standard size of a yoga mat was about half a meter by one and a half meters. This mat may be enough for a short person, but it was too small for most yoga practitioners.
Currently, the approximate standard size of the mats is 173 cm long by 61 cm wide, although there are mats of all sizes; you can even see round or square yoga mats of ample dimensions. I do not think they are suitable for a yoga center, because of the space they occupy, but they may be suitable for a yoga session at home.
The thinnest yoga mats are approximately 3 millimeters thick. For most yoga practitioners, these mats are too thin because they can be annoying on the supports of certain joints: they offer great firmness.
The normals have a thickness of approximately 4 millimeters. For most yoga practitioners, this thickness is sufficient.
The thick ones are approximately 6 millimeters thick. It is not advisable to use mats of a thickness greater than this one because they are not safe for the practice of yoga, since, being too thick, it is easy to lose balance and injure yourself when falling.
The safety of the yoga mat
A yoga mat is not only defined by the thickness and size, but also by the firmness of the material it is made of. In most yoga positions, balance is an important factor and too soft a mat does not help to maintain balance.
Adherence is essential to practice yoga safely. Therefore, make sure that the mat you choose is non-slip. Although most of them are non-slip, sometimes, sweat makes some slip. Therefore, if you practice a very physical yoga, it is better to buy a slightly thicker yoga mat, or if you practice a very intense type of yoga or if you practice hot yoga, you should consider buying a mat that absorbs sweat or a towel of yoga to place on top of the mat. Yoga towels absorb sweat better than bath towels and have a non-slip surface so that the towel will grip the mat. Although here also another factor comes into play: our taste!