How to Choose a Yoga Mat?

When you plan to begin your yoga practice, there are two things you need to focus on getting right before starting to practice. The first is your yoga mat and the second is your outfit. A loose outfit can allow movements freely, and choosing this isn’t really a tough job. But planning a purchase for the right yoga mat for your level of practice, can be an experience that is a bit overwhelming. With all the kinds of materials used in making your mats, to the thickness of your yoga mat, or whether you want a sweatproof one. The decision making process can get tiring. 

Here’s how you can navigate the confusion and choose the right mat.

  • Level of Practice: 
  • It’s good to know your level of practice as it helps you in choosing the right mat for your level. The complexities of poses require more support and guide, hence this is a crucial step in choosing the right mat.

    • For a total novice, it is important to have a mat that will provide good support and that has thickness. Comfort is crucial here as you’re working on slower poses. The thickness of your mat should range around 5mm to 8mm. Buying one that is easy to travel with is also essential while purchasing a mat.
    • An intermediate practitioner would obviously be doing poses that are more complex, which can even make you sweat a lot more. Opting for options which are sweat-proof is essential here, as more hours are in practice here. The thickness of your mat should range around 5mm - 8mm. 
    • For an advanced practitioner, your asanas have progressed into standing poses, more of those that require a good level of balance. Hence, stability and grip are crucial for you. You’d require a mat that has a thickness range of 1mm - 5mm. You could also opt for rubber material yoga mats, as they provide the best grip.

  • Material &  Durability 
  • So, let’s get this out of the way before we get into this category - thicker mats are long lasting. Hence, that is not a huge concern. The material that you’d prefer your mat to be of, is a choice that you’d have to be concerned with. 

    • PVC - A plastic based material, which is durable. It is easy to clean and grippy. However, this is not a biodegradable material and isn’t something for those who are into intermediate or advanced levels of practice.
    • TPE - This material is a blend of plastic and rubber. This is an eco-friendly and recyclable option, as compared to PVC but as durable.
    • Eco-friendly / Natural - For those who are interested in possessing sustainable products, this is a great option. Although it isn’t a good option for the floor, as it is less grippy compared to the earlier mentioned materials. However, it provides good grip from hands and feet.

  • Thickness
  • Apart from the above mentioned details, if you are still unsure about the kind of mat you require you can look for two options :

    • Yoga Mats come in thin and light forms which are easy to carry around. We suggest you try starting with an ⅛th inch thick mat which is a standard and would give you solid contact with the ground. They’re much less likely to snag and hence, a good beginners’ option.
    • For yoga practices which require you to do more of forearm and kneeling poses, pick a thicker mat, since they’d provide more comfort. Avoid these kinds of mats if you are into practising standing poses a lot.

  • Price 
  • Price ranges vary depending on the material and thickness of your yoga mats. Of course, the guidelines on the mat and cool patterns also add in the price range, but if you are starting out, focus on the material and thickness and you could upgrade your mats as your practice progresses. 

    By going in the order mentioned above, finding your yoga mat is an easy process now. You can shop for your yoga mats and other fitness or health related items now only on Get shopping!

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