Yoga Basics: Does the Length of your Mat Matter?

A yoga mat is generally purchased by keeping two things in mind, the material and the level of practice. An equally important factor here is the thickness of your mat. The thicker mats provide greater support for your joint and prevent injuries of any kind. Whereas, ultra thin mats are quite convenient to travel with. The ideal mat should match your needs in such a way that you are able to get better and better at your yoga or Pilates practice in the 1+ years of using it – so committing to choose the right one now will most definitely help upgrade your practice in the long term. Pick a mat that's too thin and you may experience a lot of discomfort in your knees, wrists and ankles when you hold poses for a long time. At the other end of the spectrum, one that is just too thick for you can slow down your movement and keep you from feeling 100% supported – you’ll just hopelessly sink into it.

1. Super Thick Mats
Getting mats that are super thick is an easy thing, as most mats available in the market are of PVC which are the thickest yoga mats one can find. They range from 6mm to 10-12 mm in thickness. These mats can often be too cushiony than provide great support especially while doing poses which require good stability, you may feel as if you’re sinking in.

2. The Right Spot
Yoga mats that are made from natural materials aren’t too thick and hence are usually around the thickness of 3.5mm - 4.5mm. These are easy to travel with, provide good support and even help in preventing injuries.

3. Thin Mats
Travel yoga mats are the ones which are usually thinner, with around 2 mm in thickness. It is easy to use and travel with but the downside is that they don’t provide enough cushioning and that could lead to injuries.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to purchasing a yoga mat. Most mats are ideally of 4.5mm thickness since they are easy to travel with and provide a good amount of cushioning too. However, the key factors to consider are the level of practice and the health of your joints. It is crucial to keep them in mind as it can help you choose a mat that you can practice on & that helps you in the long term. Providing all the benefits it promises to do, and helps you achieve your yogi goals.

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