Much like finding the right gym running shoes or even a sports bra, which yoga mat is best for you can really make all the difference when it comes to making sure your workout is effective and enjoyable.
It can be easy to just buy a yoga mat and assume that it will meet all your needs, after all, it’s just a mat, but that’s where so many go wrong. It’s important to take into account certain qualities when it comes to the yoga mat you should buy like grip, portability, thickness, washability, and even the type of yoga you want to be practising.
So without further ado, keep reading for Bamae’s comprehensive guide to making sure you find the right yoga mat for you or as a gift for a special yogi in your life.
Best yoga mat for yoga type
Experienced yogis probably know that there are various types of yoga with different core principles aimed at producing different outcomes.
The answer to the question of which yoga mat is best for you is probably dependent on the type of yoga you want to practise. For example, with Yin yoga, the idea is to focus on stressing the connective tissues in the body and each pose is expected to be held for much longer than other yoga styles.
With Vinyasa and Pre-natal yoga, yoga mats that have secure, non-slip qualities would probably be ideal to cater to the movements between poses and cater to the safety of mum and baby. Those who want to delve into the tranquil world of Restorative yoga might opt for yoga mats with more thickness. With Restorative yoga, the goal is to relax into each pose for about five minutes so, with that extra padding, it’s easier to focus on the relaxation element without having to worry about the hardness of the floor against your joints.
What yoga mat thickness is best?
A lot of people wanting to get into yoga often question what thickness is ideal for a yoga mat.
When it comes to the thickness of your yoga mat, much like the type of yoga you intend on practising, you should take into account the type of poses you’ll be doing and how long you’ll be holding them for.
Thinner mats (around 3mm or less) are better suited for yogis requiring more stability for the poses they’ll be doing whereas thicker mats are probably better for anyone practising yoga that consists of holding poses for longer like Yin yoga.
Portability of your yoga mat
One of the best qualities about practising yoga is the ability to do it anywhere; from your bedroom floor to your balcony to the gym. And because all the equipment you need is a suitable mat and sports bag, this makes taking your yoga anywhere so much easier.
This is why so many people consider the portability of their yoga mat a key feature in their purchase decision.
Ideally, you would want it lightweight for long-distance trips, easy to roll up and store, and, of course, durable for the many times you will be packing and unpacking it and practising in an outdoors setting.
What material is best for my yoga mat?
As consumers become more and more concerned about sustainability and the materials of the products they buy, it isn’t surprising that this also includes workout gear.
A common question for many new and experienced yogis is: Can yoga mats be recycled?
Well, the answer to that is, it depends.
Most standard yoga mats are made out of PVC or a mixture of plastics. Whilst there are some advantages to these materials like their lightweight and grip, yoga mats made from PVC and plastics are non-biodegradable so even once you’re through using them, it’s almost impossible to dispose of them in an eco-friendly way or recycle them.
Now that yoga and fitness brands have caught onto the sustainable way consumers are shopping and have started manufacturing their yoga mats from materials that have little to no negative impact on the environment like hemp or natural rubbers.
There are plenty more material options for yoga mats for anyone who wants to be more environmentally responsible whilst they practise their downward dog such as thermoplastic elastomer (TPC), hemp, or cotton.
Whatever your experience level at yoga and whatever qualities you’re specifically looking for, at Bamae, our 6mm studio yoga mat provides all the comfort, durability, and easy-to-clean qualities that every yogi needs.
Oh, and did we mention? It’s made out of hermoplastic elastomer, a sustainable non-toxic, and biodegradable material that will last you all your yogi days.