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At first, yoga seems like a fairly easy activity. Just a mat, maybe a few blocks, a water bottle, and some space to put your asanas. However, this only scratches the surface, as yoga is actually a pretty precise discipline, with a few technical requirements that are crucial to a successful (and safe) practice. The first rule of order is a suitable mat. Whether you are a die-hard yogi with regular practice, or an occasional participant in a yoga class once a month, a good yoga mat is a workout piece that is definitely worth having in your stash. But there are plenty of options, how do you choose one?
The choice may be more difficult than you think, especially given the appealing marketing of some of today’s hot yoga brands. And while most yogis would tell you that the focus should be on your practice, the experts we spoke to didn’t mince words when it comes to the importance of choosing the right mat.
What to look for in a yoga mat
Before choosing a mat, think about where you are going to put your dog down, specifically, “Keep in mind the type of floor the mat is used on,” suggests a yoga and fitness instructor. based in Chicago, Karla Beltchenko. If it is any type of hard floor (wood, cement, tiles), she recommends opting for a thicker carpet. A cushioned mat is also a must if you have sensitive knees or wrists, as well as if you will be using it for other workouts where you will be kneeling or on your back, like the barre or Pilates, adds. she.
Also consider the surface of the mat: “If you train in a heated room or tend to sweat during home training, look for a mat that has a non-slip surface or extra grip,” advises Beltchenko.
Finally, if you plan to move with your mat, choose one that is durable, lightweight, and easy to roll up, she suggests. While most mats roll up neatly, some materials are heavier than others, and depending on the type of schlep it needs to get to yoga class, you don’t want to be allowed to wear one. unnecessary weight in both directions.
Check out our pick of the best yoga mats below to find your perfect MATch (sorry, we couldn’t help).