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Simple tips to select the right yoga mat for yourself

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 29/05/2021 Lifestyle Desk

Amid the pandemic, people have taken fitness extremely seriously. This has led to more people practicing yoga at home, and hence a substantial surge in the demand for yoga mats. "Many people buy a yoga mat online without really realising the kind of mat that would best suit their body or the specific requirement they have. The most important factor that decides your choice of the mat is the type of yoga you plan to do and how often you practice. So whether you are doing light stretches or elementary yoga or power yoga, there is a perfect mat for you out there," said Vaibhav Somani, director, Gravolite.

So, buy a yoga mat best suited for your workout by keeping these tips in mind.

a woman sitting on a table © Provided by The Indian Express

Thickness

It has been stated that yoga mats that are thicker last longer than those that are thin. Thickness is usually measured in millimetres or mm. If a mat is too thin, certain poses can be hard on your knees and joints. "Thick mats are mostly preferred when looking for durability and comfort. You can choose a mat having 8-12 mm thicknesses, depending upon how intensive your workout is. A good durable mat has a thickness of 10mm and more. Usually, mats that are 10mm and more in thickness are suitable for all kinds of yoga and exercise," he told indianexpress.com.

Size

Selecting the right size of yoga mat depends on two factors -- first, how tall you are and also, how much padding you want. The standard size of the yoga mat is 6 X 2 feet. But if you have broad shoulders, then you need a wide mat of 7 feet X 2.5 feet. So choose a mat according to your body type.

Level of workout

"Grip and thickness are essential when you are a beginner, as there is a high possibility of falling while practicing asanas. Choosing a high-quality mat can accommodate longer hours of use when you exercise at medium intensity. If you are doing rigorous or intense yoga or power yoga, you require stability and plenty of grips. Consider a thickly cushioned mat for extra comfort," he shared.

Material used in the mat

The material of the mat determines its quality. A good mat doesn’t lose its grip even if is is wet. This is due to the high quality of Ethylene- Vinyl Acetate (EVA) used while making the mat. Unlike other mats available in the market, the mats made out of a good grade of EVA (grade is something that defines the pureness of the material) are recyclable, thus creating a positive impact on our environment.

"When you are sure of the thickness and size that works best for you, you could consider the added uses some yoga mats come with, like handles for easy carrying or a non-skid texture to help with slipping. You will also definitely want a mat that is moisture-resistant for easy cleaning, or you might like a waterproof mat for a more gratifying workout," he suggested. 

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