The perfect yoga mat: how it should be
Yoga is a very useful and interesting practice, with the help of which one can really improve the state of one’s physical and mental health. In order to do it even more conveniently — you need a special yoga mat, on which you will perform all the asanas.
In this article I will tell you about how to choose the right yoga mat.
Do I have to have a special mat for classes?
Many beginners, starting yoga, believe that it is quite possible to do the usual mat, designed for fitness. However, it should be noted that they very quickly change their mind after they test a professional yoga mat.
After all, the mat, designed specifically for yoga, has many positive aspects. For example, it has a non-slip surface, which greatly increases the grip of the rug and your arms and legs.
Classes on such a rug will be a real pleasure for you — you will not have to worry that the body will begin to crawl while performing rather difficult exercises, so you can concentrate as much as possible on the practitioners themselves.
Is it obligatory to buy «your» personal rug?
Of course, if you rarely practice yoga, it’s not so important what carpet you will do. But if your goal is to practice regularly and purposefully, then the purchase of a professional mat is highly recommended.
After all, we all buy our personal toothbrush, comb and other items of personal use, which are filled with the energy of its owner. This also applies to yoga mats.
In general, you can practice asanas on public bedding, while, of course, nothing terrible will happen, because here the need for a personal object is viewed more from the standpoint of energy than hygiene.
Thanks to having your own mat, the practice of yoga will be filled with greater awareness and depth.
The tricks of selection: high quality material and costs
We do not advise you to save too much on the purchase of high-quality products — after all, it will absorb sweat and, therefore, human energy. Your choice should stop on the material of natural origin.
What can be said about the cost of the rug? Unfortunately, the same principle applies here as elsewhere: the more natural the product, the higher its value will be.
Certificates will help you to distinguish synthetic mats from natural ones, which must necessarily be attached to high-quality products. The presence of the certificate indicates that there are no toxic components harmful to health in the rug.
Overview of the differences of synthetic material from natural
- Synthetic products are fragile — you can use them no more than a couple of months. For beginners, this option will come down, but experienced yogis and yoginis should choose for themselves natural materials that they can safely use for years.
- Rugs from synthetics are not prone to form retention. It will take five to eight lessons and your mat will become more subtle, rub and stretch.
- Synthetic tends to slip. If you do not feel reliable support during classes — respectively, you can not fully relax, which means that all the necessary energy centers do not open. As a result, you get not exactly the result that we would like.
The use of more dense and rough materials will contribute to a good grip, which will greatly facilitate your workout.
Ideal versions of yoga mats — from rubber, in which jute or rubber is added. What is the beauty of these options?
- they are not inclined to electrify;
- not inclined to slide;
- do not let the chill from sweat;
- do not retain odors.
Cotton and polyester bedding suitable for practicing hatha yoga. This is the most acceptable option for people who want to balance their internal energies.
If you are considering a more economical version, then you should pay attention to the mats made of thermoplastic and elastomer. They are distinguished by lightness, softness, they retain their shape, are not inclined to fade in the sun, plus they are resistant to frost.
To serve such a product will be about four years.
When planning outdoor meditations — pay attention to PVC products — which can withstand the salty splashing of the waves, as well as exposure to sunlight and sand. Rubber mats are ideal for practicing yoga indoors.
Yogam with experience recommended the purchase of rugs, which include natural jute fibers. Although such accessories and quite massive, but have high strength.
The ideal thickness of yoga mats
Here the principle is relevant — the heavier the mat, the better. After all, on thick rugs, it will be easier for you to place your elbow or knee. Plus, these polovki not inclined to miss the chill from sweat secretions.
The latter is very important when performing Shavasana and other long meditations, when the main focus should be on the inner state, and not on external inconveniences.
In numbers, the ideal thickness of a rug can be called from four and a half to six millimeters.
Pay your attention to the fact that the traditional width of yoga mats is sixty centimeters. Such bedding suitable for most fans of Indian culture.
And for those who have more complex — available options for products, the width of which is equal to eighty centimeters.
Choosing the perfect carpet length
- one hundred and eighty-three centimeters is the most suitable length;
- parameters from two to two hundred and twenty centimeters — such litter is most acceptable for practicing ashtanga yoga;
- from one hundred seventy to one hundred and seventy five centimeters — only those whose height is less than one hundred and sixty centimeters will be able to use such rugs.
Useful recommendation: there is a very simple method that allows you to determine whether the length of a yoga mat is suitable for you or not. To do this, you just need to add ten centimeters to the length of your height.
The resulting number will be the best for you personally.
The length of the rug is very important, because if it does not fit you perfectly, it means that in the process of exercise, either the head or the legs will always be on the floor.
What is the difference between a yoga mat and a fitness mat?
Yoga mat can also be used in fitness classes. But fitness can not be used for meditative practices.
How do these two types of products differ from each other?
- The difference in stickiness, very necessary in yoga. Ideally, the skin here engages with the floor, which eliminates the likelihood of receiving some kind of injury.
About bedding for fitness can not be said. In this case, mats for fitness will be more durable, because yoga products are softer, due to which they tend to wear out much faster.
- Products of the professional line are not inclined to slide. But only if your arms and legs are in a fairly securely fixed position, you can relax as much as possible and do the practice harmoniously, not worrying to leave with the rug. Fitness mats do not differ in similar properties.
- Shelves for fitness have a smaller length. For yoga classes, short models of rugs do not fit at all: in the process of training, both the head and legs must lie on the mat.
Some interesting information: the difference between the yoga mat and the tourist mat is that the latter contains synthetic and has a thermal insulation film. The main purpose of the tourist rug is to protect from the cold, and for yoga it is important to protect the body from damage.
What kind of yoga do you practice?
Now you need to decide on your chosen direction of yoga, since it also has a crucial impact in this case. In the bulk of variations of yoga, which are based on traditional hatha yoga, special attention is paid to the quality coupling of the limbs and the surface.
For this reason, the most important quality for yoga mat is “stickiness”.
Most of the budget reinforced mats made of polyvinyl chloride, have sufficient stickiness, but at the same time their life is not very long — about two years. Plus the products have a peculiar smell.
The most short-term are considered variants of the so-called «Chinese waffles», which are easy to find out by the typical texture in the cell. The surface of the said bedding is prone to very fast erasure, as a result of which the mat loses its suitability for practice.
It is true that variants of higher quality PVC models, whose surface does not wear off with time, have begun to appear.
If you practice power or dynamic styles of yoga — for example, ashtanga or vinyasaflou, the presence of a high-quality non-slip mat ensures success by half.
However, when intensive practice is performed, during which the palms become sweaty, the stickiness of the surface of the yoga mat remains in the background, and the indicator such as absorbency comes first.
A sufficient number of manufacturers offer yoga mats, which are based on porous PVC, in general, having quite good absorption rates. But the litter of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) will perform this task better.
The ideal option would be a mat made of natural rubber, which does not lose its anti-slip characteristics, even if the sweat just pours hail from you.
Anyway, if you are going to practice “hot yoga” — that is, Bikram Yoga experts advise you to prepare a special double-sided rug with a rubberized bottom surface and a pile top layer, very similar to suede.
Using such a mat you will not be able to perform the well-known asana Dog face down on traditional yoga classes, but as soon as you slightly moisturize the top layer, you will be pleasantly surprised by his tenacity.
In addition, for the exercises of hot yoga is to use the so-called «yoga towels.» They, as a rule, are made of microfiber, to which silicone impregnations are added — and allow you to ensure complete stability against the floor or the lower mat.
A place to play also plays an important role.
Please note that the choice of yoga mats will greatly affect the place where you plan to train. Will it be a house, a studio, nature, a smooth or unequipped surface?
If you plan to study yoga in your home or studio, that is, you will not move the litter from place to place — choose options of sufficiently large weight. In the bulk, mats with a mass of two to three kilograms are the strongest and most durable.
You can easily take the lighter versions (up to one and a half kilograms) with you.
There are also options for rugs very small weight — less than five hundred grams. These mats are designed for travel, because they are easily folded and placed in a suitcase or backpack.
There is a negative point for such products — they differ in small thickness, and this means that you will feel all the irregularities on the surface on which you will practice yoga.
If you plan to practice yoga in the lap of nature, then definitely have to give up thin mats. For uneven and inhomogeneous soil, tourist karemats are much more suitable, to which it is recommended to add a special towel for yoga or to use an ordinary veil (towel for the beach).
There are also options for yoga mats made of cotton, very similar to the traditional paths used for kitchen facilities or the hallway.
The most important thing is to make you comfortable to carry your mat with you, as well as to clean it after practicing outdoors.
Features proper care for yoga mat
In most cases, manufacturers put a special substance on new mats that is designed to protect the surface from sticking together during operation.
Because of this, it is advised to wipe the mat with a wet cloth before first use, and then unroll and dry in that position.
If you want yoga mat to serve you as long as possible, you need to constantly wipe it with wet wipes. From time to time a “big wash” is acceptable, in which laundry soap is used. Of course, now we are talking exclusively about hand washing.
You can quickly dry your litter if you roll it up.
In Western countries, special components for the purification of yoga mats are very popular. Their basis is water and essential oils.
You have a great opportunity to create your own unique solution, for this you need to take from one hundred to two hundred milliliters of distilled water and drip into it a couple of droplets of lavender oil or tea tree oil.
The addition of alcohol or vodka to water in a proportional ratio of one to one will add to your solution also disinfectant properties.
According to the opinion of Indian yogis, yoga mats are filled with the energy of their owners, and over time they absorb the energy of the practitioner. Thanks to this, you will make your yoga classes even more effective and you will be able to achieve a more pronounced result.
Therefore, if you experience difficulties associated with performing asanas, think once again, probably the root of the problem lies precisely in the frequent change of the mat.
Now you know which yoga mat will be best in your particular case and how to choose it correctly. We wish you success in this endeavor, as well as in comprehending this great and ancient art.
At the end of the topic, be sure to view the informative thematic video:
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