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Your (Quick) Guide to Yoga Mats

Posted on May 19 2020

Yogi on a yoga mat, practicing a seated reverse prayer.

With a wide range of mats on the market it’s tough to know exactly what to look for. Prior to investing in a mat ask yourself:

  • How tall are you? The length of your mat ensures you have enough space without compromising your form. To determine length: Do plank pose to see how long your mat would need to be for your hands and feet to be on the mat.
  • How wide of a mat do you want? Standard mats are 24 inches wide, but if you’re someone who likes more “wiggle room” you may want to look at wider mats.  Keep in mind, if you find yourself traveling off your mat but don't necessarily want a wider mat, YogaPaws can help fill in that gap.
  • How thick do you want your mat? Generally speaking, thicker mats will provide extra support for your joints though will also make balancing poses more challenging.
  • Where do you plan on practicing yoga? If you plan on staying home for your practice then portability may not be a priority. However, if you take classes or travel often you may want to consider a thinner mat to make transport easier.
  • How much storage do you have? The thicker the mat the more space you’ll need.
  • What material are you looking for? The majority of mats are made out of PVC. However, mats made out of organic materials are becoming increasingly available if this is a priority for you.
  • Do you like the design/color? The look of a mat can energize, motivate, or calm you during your practice.

 

Still not sure?  Try these three poses on your mat to determine optimum comfort and use:

How to Savasana

Savasana "Corpse Pose"

You'll be spending a lot of time in Savasana so make sure you have a mat that's comfortable otherwise your mind might start to wander.

 

How to Tree Pose 

Vrksasana "Tree Pose"

Balancing on one foot can be tricky enough, but balancing on one foot on a mat that's too soft can totally throw off your sensation of grounding.  Make sure to practice any one legged pose on your new mat to ensure you can still "feel the earth."

 

How to Cow Pose

Bitilasana "Cow Pose"

Do not forgot about your knees!  Be sure to practice a pose that requires you to spend some time on your knees, like Cow Pose.

 


Written by Yoga Blogger Nicki Boehm

 

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