How to pick the perfect yoga mat

What are the most important things to consider when you buy your new yoga mat?

I’d say there are four main points to consider when you pick your perfect yoga mat

  • Health
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Value for money

You probably wouldn’t be practising yoga if you didn’t care about your health.  But, did you realise that your choice of yoga mat could be seriously unhealthy?

The standard, cheap, sticky yoga mats that most of us start off with are made of PVC.  The manufacture of PVC is one of the most polluting industrial processes on Earth, creating tons of toxic dioxins each year.  Not only that but, phthalates are added to PVC to make it flexible. Phthalates have been banned for certain uses in Europe but, they are still used in cheap yoga mats worldwide.  There are arguments over whether there is any proven effect on humans but they have been proven to cause genetic abnormalities to the sex organs of male lab animals and even those born to mothers exposed to phthalates (they can cross the placenta to developing embryos).  These chemicals don’t bond with the PVC so they constantly ‘leak’ out of yoga mats into the air and onto your skin.  Up to 60% (yes, sixty percent) of your PVC yoga mat could be phthalates.

PVC manufacturers assure us that phthalates are safe for use in yoga mats but why take the risk (especially if you’re pregnant).  Many eco friendly yoga mats are pretty much identical to standard sticky mats but they don’t contain PVC, or phthalates, and their manufacture is much kinder to the environment.  Eco yoga mats can also be very cheap.  I don’t understand why anyone would choose anything but an Eco Mat for yoga these days.

Standard sticky yoga mats are usually 1/8th of an inch thick.  Many people find that this is too thin and very uncomfortable on knees and ankles.  Almost all the main yoga mat manufacturers offer thicker yoga mats.  The best yoga mats are usually 1/4 inch thick and still firm enough to allow for good balance during poses.

You may have seen futon style, extra thick cotton yoga mats.  These are designed for laying on for restorative yoga poses and meditation.  They are not designed for standing yoga poses.  If you try to use one for a standard yoga class you will embarrass yourself by falling over (I wouldn’t recommend it!).

There are really only three styles of yoga mat.  I think of them as foam mats, rugs and futons.  But, the choice within these three styles is almost unlimited.

Your essential choice with foam mats is Eco friendly or PVC but prices are similar so why not buy an Eco Yoga Mat?

Rubber yoga mats come in a more limited range of colors but the color choice for environmentally friendly foam mats is enormous.  Not only is there a huge range of colors but you can also choose from hundreds of different patterns and logos.  If you can’t choose between the pink yoga mat and the black yoga mat you could even have a yoga mat custom made with your own pattern, logo or favorite quote.  Or maybe you’d prefer an alignment yoga mat with lines to help your posture?  Search the Internet to find the Eco yoga mat that suits you best.

Value for money
Standard sticky yoga mats are very cheap but the best value Eco friendly sticky mats are only a few dollars more.

As always, you get what you pay for but some yoga mats seem very highly priced compared to the competition.  Do your homework before you buy.  I would recommend searching around online to see which is the best Eco yoga mat for you but, when you find your top Eco yoga mats go to Amazon and search for them there.  Not only are there hundreds of customer reviews to read but also, Amazon’s prices are usually difficult to beat…….

Check out Amazon’s best selling Eco Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

The original Eco Yoga Mat?

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