A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Yoga Mat
A quality yoga mat is essential for getting the best out of your yoga experience. While many studios will rent out yoga mats, and oftentimes gyms will have some available for use, you will typically want to invest in your own mat. They are very affordable, even if you are starting out in yoga and are unsure if you want to continue to practice it. A huge benefit of having your own mat is for sanitary and hygienic reasons, as you never know who last used and sweated on the mat you rented or pulled from the gym class studio. Many love the peace of mind knowing that their yoga mat is their own.
When buying a yoga mat, you will not have to worry too much about the size. The standard yoga mat runs 24″ by 68″. They do have longer mats, which you may want to consider if you are extremely tall. Otherwise, the standard size will work for most everyone.
Yoga mats are typically made of a synthetic material such as PVC. The PVC mats are typically most popular because they have few, if any, allergy issues, and they are extremely durable and provide exceptional grip. You can also find more eco-friendly mats that are made with biodegradable and natural materials, but expect to pay a little more. If you are considering attending a hot yoga class, such as Bikram Yoga, where you will likely be sweating considerably, you may want to lean towards a cotton mat. These cotton mats are thicker, and can provide better absorption of sweat, keeping you from slipping and skidding through your yoga poses.
Yoga mats can be purchased most anywhere these days. Many beginners can pick up a mat at their local department store, or at their local drug store. If you are looking for specific colors, thicknesses, quality, or brand of yoga mat, you may be able to ask your local yoga studio where to find what you’re looking for. Some studios sell mats, while others may be able to suggest local sporting supply stores to find the mat you want. Additionally, many online retailers offer yoga mats with inexpensive or free shipping options.
Once you purchase your mat, it’s always a great idea to wash it first to get rid of any factory scents. Additionally, new mats can sometimes be a little slippery until you “break them in,” and washing your mat can help lessen this issue before you even experience it. It’s always a great idea to wash products such as yoga mats before you use them in order to ensure they are clean and hygienic.
After you’ve purchased your yoga mat, you want to take great care of it in order to help it last. Cleaning the mat regularly is a good idea in order to remove oils and sweat, and spraying with a yoga mat cleaning spray after yoga class is also a great way to stay on top of keeping your yoga mat in great shape. Rolling it up and storing it somewhere cool after use is a way to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged when not in use.