5 Things to Look for When Buying a Yoga Mat

Hurray!  You’ve decided to make yoga a regular part of your life and now you’re in the market for a yoga mat of your own.  There are a couple things to keep in mind when buying a yoga mat, and I’ve listed them below for you.

  1. Thickness: this will determine how soft it it and how much cushion you’ll get.  If you have sensitive knees, you might want to opt for a thicker mat.  I went from a foam mat to a cork mat not thinking enough about how hard it would be on my knees.  I recently made the switch back to a thinner foam mat.
  2. Material & Weight: what your mat is made of will determine the weight.  Remember that you’ll be lugging this around on our shoulders, so you want to make sure it’s not too heavy.  Most foam mats will be light, but my cork mat was significantly heavier and that was something else I did not consider.  Eco-friendly mats are becoming more popular so you can steer clear of any toxic chemicals.
  3. Grip: this is a big one.  Some mats will be slippery no matter what you do to them.  The material also plays a part in the mat’s grip.  My decision to switch to a cork was was solely because of it’s non-slip guarantee, which it totally had.  My new mat is also very grippy.  Test them out in the store by trying to run your hand up the side, if it slides up easily then that’s likely an indication that you’ll be slipping out of down gods and other inversions.
  4. Colour & Design: this may seem odd but you’ll be staring at this mat a lot so choose a design or colour that speaks to you.  You can get mats with a bunch of different designs; I’ve seen pizza slices, dreamcatchers, even inspirational quotes.  Look for one that’ll make you want to practice yoga.
  5. Length: this one is simple, but can make a huge difference.  Most yoga mats come in a standard size but you can find them a bit longer.  If you’re tall, opt for the extra long mat.  You’ll love it.

Be sure to also check out my previous post: 10 Things to Know Before Your First Yoga Class.  

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