7 different criteria on how to choose the best yoga mat

Today we’re going to talk about how to choose the best yoga mat for you.

Yoga mats for me must really meet your needs. It should allow you to keep the very essence of yoga, meaning stay connected to yourself to keep control of your breath. So if you have a yoga mat that doesn’t match you, or doesn’t match your practice, you’re going to be like a runner whose shoes hurt him, and he has no pleasure. It’s the same thing so the important thing here is to find the pleasure and above all not to get injured.

So, how to choose a yoga mat that suits you the most? There are 7 different criteria.

Criterion 1 – THE MATERIAL

It is rather a personal choice. There are materials that are going to be more grippy or more slippery, or more comfortable. If you have allergies, this should be really the first criteria to consider. What material i want to highlight? Do I want a plastic carpet, a natural cork mat, a natural rubber mat, a cotton mat, a burlap mat, or a mix of different materials? This is rather a personal choice.

Criterion 2 – THE SIZE

Some mats are 1,70 meter long, some goes up to 2.15 meter. Some are narrower, some are wider. So this is again taken into consideration according to your body size and your practice.  For pilate, as an example, we don’t need to have a big mat as there is little movement in pilate. If we practice ashtanga with chakrasana on Series 2 where we move on chaturanga, it is more comfortable if we have a little longer mat.

Criterion 3 – THE WEIGHT

It is important because we have to carry the mat to the studio, or take it on a trip. So the heavier it is, the more complicated it becomes for transportation. But, the heavier, the more stable on the ground. And a stable mat is a mat that won’t have their edges curling up. This curl-up can be very unpleasant. Again, it is a matter of personal practice. The more stable a mat is, the less we need to pay attention to it.

Criterion 4 – THE GRIP

Some might rank it the first. We don’t need a grippy sticky mat for pilates but we need it for bikram yoga, for vinyasa, for ashtanga. We don’t necessarily need a good grip for Hatha. There are almost no transitions that will jeopardize our stability. If the hand slipped, the elbow can be hit or it can be the nose if we are doing a bakasana. So the grip should be taken into account. But on all standing movements like trikonasana, utthita parsvakonasana, we like the ability to readjust our heels and toes. So a mat that doesn’t grip so much will make it easier to adjust the position of our feet.

Criterion 5 – THE THICKNESS

The thicker the mat is, the more comfortable it becomes, but it is also unstable for all standing and balancing postures. This mat is 1.5cm thick. So imagine 1.5cm of thickness. It’s really thick. It’s going to increase the effort you need for balancing. A thin mat close to the ground will help to get a better stability. So it will allow you to be focused on your breathing and your alignment and therefore the circulation of energies.

Criterion 6 – THE DENSITY

The density does not go with the thickness. We can find a thin mat that have a good density and remain comfortable and therefore we can get balance, comfort and stability.

Criterion 7 – THE PRICE

This is the criterion that I removed voluntarily. We can find many prices but that shouldn’t be the criteria to take into consideration once you have found the material you want and the size you want, the grip that you want, and the right density. If you find the mat that suits you and matches your needs, you can then compare the prices. But remember to compare what is comparable.

That’s it. I have shared with you the 7 basic criteria to choose a yoga mat.

The original video is in French, which can be found in here.

👍 Yoga Peda is a great yoga channel in the French language. If you are interested in practising yoga and brushing up your French at the same time, check out Yoga Peda!

🔗 Yoga Peda website: https://www.yogapeda.com/

📺 Yoga Peda Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbEhJykWZ258uJI3NqxmvFA

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