Picking your yoga mat can be quite the task. Take it from someone that at one point had 13 yoga mats…from travel mats, to extra thick mats, you name it. I couldn’t decide which one to use for my own practice. I was new to the practice, so of course I was letting all the marketing and hype affect my decision.
Here are my four takeaways on how to pick your yoga mat. First, don’t spend a lot of money up front. I bought a “high end” yoga mat and ended up hating it. The mat was too bulky and not the right fit for my body. Find one that’s within your budget. As your practice grows, you can always upgrade.
Second, yoga mats might be slippery when wet (read sweaty!). I needed a mat that was more grippy because I sweat quite a bit in the practice. After trying all 13 mats, I decided that a cheaper mat with a yoga towel on top solved the problem AND saved me some moolah.
Third, height might affect the length of your mat. If you are taller, you might prefer a longer mat to stretch out on. You will want to feel comfortable on your mat, and if it’s too short (or long), your alignment might not be right in the poses, which can be frustrating or cause injury down the road. Plus, you want enough mat so that your face isn’t lying on the studio floor.
Fourth, aesthetics matter. Unless you practice with your eyes closed, you are going to be staring at your yoga mat for a LONG time. Find a color or design that makes you feel Zen. Your yoga mat is your space to practice and relax, and finding a mat that makes you happy will enhance your practice.