Selecting And Caring For Yoga Mats
Your yoga mat is arguably the most important piece of your yoga ensemble. While using a mat isn't absolutely necessary for practicing yoga, it can help you get the most out of your poses while maximizing your comfort. Your mat serves as the cushion between your body and the surface on which you're posing. It also provides traction for those poses that involve a lot of movement so you can minimize slippage. Below, we'll discuss the different types of yoga mats, how to buy one to match your needs and how to properly care for your mat.
Different Types Of Yoga Mats
There are many kinds of yoga mats. Each of them offers a unique benefit depending on the type of yoga you're practicing. Ashtanga mats are made from cotton and are designed to provide traction for followers of Ashtanga or Bikram yoga. Those types of yoga tend to be very active and the traction of the mat is triggered by sweat.
Utopian mats are considered the best type of mat. They are designed to offer the highest level of cushion and durability. These mats can return to their original shape more effectively than other mats. Of course, these benefits come with a higher price. Utopian mats are generally more expensive than other mats.
Universal yoga mats are all-purpose mats and are well-regarded by most yoga enthusiasts. While they don't provide the cushion and durability of Utopian mats, they are less expensive and offer a smooth, soft surface on which to practice your poses.
If you'd like to practice yoga while traveling, you can buy a travel mat that's designed for easy transport. Travel yoga mats fold up so you can store them in your luggage. These mats are typically very light and make practicing yoga during a hectic travel schedule easy.
How To Buy A Yoga Mat
Buying a yoga mat is mostly a matter of knowing your particular needs. If you're going to be practicing Bikram yoga, buy a mat made from cotton that will absorb your perspiration. If you intend to practice Power yoga (a style that uses a lot of body movement), purchase a mat that provides plenty of traction. If you prefer a lot of cushion, consider buying a yoga mat with double thickness. Know what type of yoga you'll be practicing. Know the poses and movements involved. That's the best way of knowing which mat will suit your needs.
Cleaning And Caring For Your Yoga Mat
You'll want to clean your yoga mat every couple of weeks to help it retain it traction and form. Most mats can be cleaned with soap and water. Avoid soaps with scents, though. The chemicals can cause your mat to lose its form and begin to deteriorate. Once you've finished washing your mat, don't wring it out. Simply hang it up and let it dry. By keeping your mat in good condition, you'll ensure its usefulness.
Your Yoga Mat Is The Most Important Piece
Most yoga equipment is unnecessary. You don't need much to practice yoga. However, you should consider your mat essential. Most yoga devotees have mats because they provide comfort and traction while they practice their poses. Yoga mats aren't expensive and with proper cleaning, can last for years. When you're ready to begin practicing yoga, buy a good mat. It's one of the best investments you can make.