Yoga mats reduce the risk of injuries and accidents while you are doing yoga. They come in many different sizes, colors and materials.
Yoga is one form of exercise that does not require any specific equipment as such, you can simply do it on your carpet at home. However, on hard surfaces, you need something comfortable to lie on. There is a risk of slipping, when using a towel, blanket or bed sheet on the bare floor, which may result in injuries. That is why it is advisable to use a yoga mat; it helps get the right posture and support and also keeps you warm.
Sticky mat, one of the most commonly used mats, is so-called, because it has a sticky texture, that helps prevent slipping. The mat is about 1/8 inch thick, it offers very little padding and a lot of people prefer using a cotton mat over it for added comfort. These mats are a good choice for people practicing power yoga and Ashtanga yoga, as it includes a lot of stretching and bending. It is also convenient to carry it around as it is very thin but it is not suitable for meditation type yoga. A sticky mat costs approximately $10 to $30.
Cotton mats are particularly beneficial while practicing yoga exercises as they soak sweat. This is the most basic requirement, as wet surfaces will make you slip. A cotton mat helps you remain in place and gives you a cooling effect. It is suitable for those doing Ashtanga yoga or Bikram yoga as they are the most strenuous forms of yoga. A cotton mat will not cause any discomfort even if you exercise for a long time. Cotton mats come in both regular and organic cotton, a regular cotton mat costs about $95 and the price of an organic cotton mat can go up to $300.
Travel mat is a yoga mat that is easy to carry around, it is usually 1/16 inch thick and can be easily rolled and carried in a bag. It is also very light, weighing no more than 1.5 lbs, its flexibility makes it suitable for people who have to travel a long distance or attend different classes. It can be easily tucked in a corner of your bag. The price of a travel mat is anywhere between $20 to $50.
Double Thickness Mat
Double thickness mats are thicker sticky mats, they are also called ultra mats. They have double padding and are very comfortable. They are usually ¼ inch in thickness and give the feeling of a cushion when practicing yoga. These mats are suitable for people who need extra support while doing challenging poses, like in Ashtanga yoga. However, due to extra cushioning, it is very bulky and difficult to carry. A double thickness mat costs around $30.
Meditation mat is another type of yoga mat, unlike other types of yoga mats, this one comes with a cushion that helps achieve a more comfortable sitting posture. It is suitable for people who are mainly practicing meditative forms of yoga, it helps reduce the discomfort that is caused due to sitting in one posture for a long time. A meditation will cost you approximately $50.
Deluxe mats have a well textured surface and offer great friction between the feet of the person practicing yoga and the surface of the mat. These mats provide good grip as the mat is made of foam. It also gives more balance and stability to the person practicing yoga. Deluxe mats cost around $40.
If you are an environment enthusiast, then you can do your bit even while choosing a yoga mat. Eco-friendly mats are made of natural rubber or natural fibers such as hemp, cotton or jute. These mats are free from PVC and any other chemicals that are used to treat other mats and hence are completely biodegradable. Eco-friendly mats are made keeping in mind comfort and durability. The only issue is that it has a weird rubbery smell, however it fades off after a while. Make sure you are not allergic to latex, if you intend to use a rubber mat. A rubber mat costs around $20 to $30. Whereas, one made from natural fibers would cost anywhere between $40 to $100.
You can have your yoga mat custom-made according to your need and preference, there are companies that personalize the mat with your name and a photograph of your choice. You can also select a material and color of your preference and have them custom make the mat; you will have the option to have different graphics and prints on your mat. The price of a customized mat depends on the brand, it will cost you approximately $85.
Those were the different types of yoga mats; they are available in various sizes and colors. Select a yoga mat that suits your necessities; selecting the right mat will ensure that you have a safe yoga session.