Hi yogi bears!!
Today I treated myself to a new yogi toy (a new mat), and it made me think…
What made me finally choose this mat as my new companion for my yoga practise, and how do you find the perfect mat(ch) made in heaven?
Let’s be honest, your yoga mat is one of the most important items that you bring to your daily practise and is your safe space, your comfort and the connection between the earth and your body. A yoga mat to a yogi is like a security blanket for a child. You never want to go to practise without it, and it makes you feel safe and secure in your poses.
My old yoga mat was approximately 3 years old, and was starting to show its age. It also was just a low-cost mat that to be honest, provided me a lot more mileage than I thought I would get out of it. But it was time to trade-in my old faithful and upgrade to something a little more inspiring and high-performance.
So what are your options for selecting a mat?
If you’re a beginner yogi, or only practise occasionally, then a basic mat will be fine to start with. You can pick one up from your local sports store, or find great bargains online from shops such as Gaiam. There’s even a few cool prints there that can add a little fun and personality to your practise :)
If you’re a serious yogi, then you’ll be familiar with the debate of Jade vs. Manduka mats. Which one is better? I’ve read a lot of reviews and asked my fellow yogi teachers and friends what their preference is, and the results are split. It all comes down to personal preference and jumping into the deep end with the mat that feels right for you.
I’ve personally decided to go with the Jade mat because I like the fact they plant a tree for every mat sold, that the weight of the mat is a little lighter (the Manduka pro mat is 4kg!), and I could get an awesome saffron coloured mat. A girl’s gotta have a little style when she’s in her tree pose!
So in the end, it comes down to personal preference when finding the right mat for you, but here are a few hints on how to find that perfect yogi mat(ch):
1. Stickiness - some people like to stick to their yoga mat like a gecko to a wall. I personally find it makes practise a lot easier if I can hold a pose and not slip and slide around my mat, especially if things really start to heat up in class and you start to sweat. I want toes to be able to grip like velcro to the mat.
2. Material - there are a lot of materials out there, so be conscious of what material you choose your mat to be made out of. I personally recommend going for an eco-friendly option, such as Jade yoga mat that is made out of natural rubber and they even plant a tree for every mat sold! BONUS
3. Thickness - if you’re going to be doing headstands and poses that require all your body weight to press into the earth, I recommend having a bit of cushioning. You don’t want to go too thick like a gym mat, because then you will be unstable and disconnected from the earth, but something that is just going to give you a little extra support and comfort for your head.
4. Design - your yoga mat can be as colourful and unique as you are! I personally like bright and colourful mats that reflect my mood when I’m in yoga. Yellow was the perfect choice for me, as I feel filled with warmth and happiness like the sun when I practise yoga. It’s difficult to find a lot of patterned mats out there that provide both performance and aesthetic qualities, so if it comes down to a pretty mat, or a quality product – go for quality every time!
So there you have it! A little yogi guidance to help you find the perfect mat for you that will have your yogi toes wriggling with joy every time you practise.
Peace & Love,
Mrs T xxx
What’s your favourite brand of yoga mat?