For two years, I suffered. I twisted, squeezed, and contorted myself trying to fit on a mat that was too narrow for my body. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Follow my 5 Tips to Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Practice and Your Body!
I know you’re busy but take some time and watch the video below. Not only do I give you my tips, but I also review the mats in my collection.
1. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Where Your Practice
If you’re practicing at home, you may not need a mat right away. This is especially, true if you have carpet floors. In fact, putting a yoga mat on top of carpet can be challenging – so you might want to skip the mat altogether. If you have wood, laminate, or tile floors, you might want a mat to cushion your knees and give you traction.
If you’re practicing in a yoga studio you will need a yoga mat. The good news is, most studios have mats you can use for free or for a small fee. This could be a great way for you to try out different mats before you purchase your own.
I’m not sure whether or not most gyms supply yoga mats. So, if you’re planning to take a yoga class in a gym and you don’t have your own mat, call ahead of time to see if you can borrow one.
2. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Style of Yoga
If you’re doing relaxation or restorative yoga at home, you probably won’t need a mat. These styles are all about finding ease and most poses will be done seated or lying down.
Get ready to sweat if the words vinyasa, flow, power, hot or warm, are in the class title or description. If you’re sweating, you’re going to want a non-slip mat, and probably a towel, too.
3. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Body
A standard yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 64 inches long. They work for many but not all yogis. If you have a bigger body, you will likely need a bigger mat. Do your head and feet hang off your mat? Go for extra tall/long. If you’re like me, and your shoulders/arms don’t fit within a standard mat: go extra wide. Some folks might even want an extra tall and extra wide mat! Finally, if you have tender knees or other joints, consider getting an extra thick yoga mat for extra comfort.
4. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Budget
You can spend $10 on a yoga mat, or you can spend hundreds. Like many things, you pay a premium price for elite brands. But I’ve found that you get what you pay for. My $10 Target mat was the worst mat for my sweaty practice. It was basically an orange slip n’ slide!
You can find deals on premium brands like Jade, Manduka, Hugger Mugger, and Lulu Lemon – you just have to look for them. Check your local TJ Maxx, I’ve noticed they carry Manduka yoga mats for nearly half the price! Check second-hand stores and e-bay. You never know where you might find a deal! Some folks buy a high-end yoga mat without doing their homework, and soon find out it was the wrong mat for them! So, they might sell it to you for a steep discount!
That brings me to my final tip:
5. Ask Around!
You should do your homework before buying a yoga mat. Ask other yogis how they like their mats. They’ll be surprisingly honest. Although we all LOVE our yoga mat, there are things about them we might change. Who knows, maybe someone will even let you try their mat to see if you like it. Finally, read reviews online. I’ve found that 3 and 4-star reviews are the most helpful commentary on the benefits/challenges of a particular yoga mat.
Do you have any additional questions? Contact me using the form below and I’ll be happy to answer!