When you are choosing a yoga mat, you are choosing a tool that will provide you a foundation for your practice and for some potentially significant personal development. If you get one that’s cheap and slippery you’ll be focusing more about keeping your balance in crow, rather than diving deep into bigger questions in your life! Yoga mats can also be a big financial investment, so it’s important to shop around (like dating!) before you commit to one! Here are my thoughts on how to choose a yoga mat, based off the three I use.
Just like everything else, yoga mat prices range from ~$15-$30 at places like Ross or Marshalls to the ridiculous price of $360 for the Manduka Pro Squared Mat. And you will get what you pay for, so it’s important to look at how often you are practicing. IF you are just starting out & practicing 1-3 times a week, just buy an inexpensive one and see if you can borrow ones from your local yoga studio to try them out (and pad up your inexpensive mat). IF you are moving into a more intermediate or advanced practice you are probably using your mat 3-5 times a week and that’s about the time I would recommend investing in a better quality mat.
In my personal practice I have moved away from muscling into poses, or just doing whatever the instructor says regardless of how it feels in my body. My main focus concerning my mat is comfort. If I can do a lunge without my knees hurting, I’m happy! My advise is for everyone is to focus on comfort over cost. If you spend $15 on a mat you are basically buying a glorified towel & you will feel the hard floor below you! Spend a little extra and get something you can do a lunge on without your knee hurting.
Of course we all want to pick a mat that has some cool color, or image on it! Most yoga mat makers realized this and offer mats in a bunch of different colors & styles. Another thing you can do is get a sexy yoga mat towel which not only helps you keep your grip when wet, but can also catch the eye of that cutie in downward dog in front of you ;)
MY THREE MATS:
1. Jade Fusion Mat : $125 ***This is my favorite mat! I use it every time I practice.***
It’s Thick, Made of natural rubber, Provides good non-slip Surface, Comfortable on my knees
Heavy for Travel, The natural rubber can irritate my skin in excessively sweaty classes
2. Manduka PRO Mat : $110
I got the extra long one for my 6’4″ height & it’s loooong!, It’s thick and provides some padding
It’s very heavy for travel, Very slippery when wet, Although it’s thick it’s not cushy…it’s more firm
3. Rave Nectar Yoga Mat : $89
Beautiful print on the top, It has a slight grip on that top surface, Very light for travel
Way too thin, I can’t use it alone unless I’m practicing on the beach
If you have any questions about choosing a mat, please let me know!