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

Health
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.

Comfort
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!).

Style
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?

How thick should a yoga mat be?

A short article helping you to find the perfect, comfortable, extra thick eco mat for yoga.

“No pain no gain” doesn’t apply to yoga. As long as it works for you you’re allowed to buy the thickest yoga mat you can find! It has to be firm enough to balance on but other wise, just like yoga, it’s very personal.

Standard sticky yoga mats are about 1/8 th of an inch thick (3mm).  If, you’re light and supple this is probably fine but if, like me, you’re a little heavier then your knees and ankles will push painfully through to the hard floor underneath the yoga mat.  A towel under your joints for padding is one solution but, the better answer is to buy a thicker, more comfortable eco yoga mat.

Yoga mats are designed to provide a cushion between your body and the hard floor but a good yoga mat will also be firm enough to let you balance during your standing yoga poses.  Many yoga poses need a solid footing so the perfect yoga mat will give a combination of firmness and comfort without being so heavy that you need a trolley to take it to yoga class!

If you suffer with arthritis, joint pain or simply sensitive ankles, elbows and knees, or if your weight pushes you through a standard sticky yoga mat then you will really appreciate the much more comfortable 1/4 inch yoga mats.

If you’re practicing yoga during pregnancy you may well find that your thinner mat is not as comfortable as it used to be. Yoga bolsters are often very helpful for prenatal yoga but you may also benefit from a thicker eco yoga mat.  But, please make sure it is an ECO yoga mat to avoid exposure to phthalates during pregnancy.

More active styles of yoga are also more suited to thicker yoga mats but many people prefer rubber yoga mats because they are much firmer than thick foam yoga mats.

Avoid PVC yoga mats (especially during pregnancy) as the hazardous chemicals used in manufacture may damage your health.

You may have seen the stuffed cotton, futon style, extra thick yoga mats.  These yoga mats are designed for restorative yoga and meditation.  They are more like beds than yoga mats and are only really suitable for the sitting or laying down poses as balancing on your feet on an extra thick cotton yoga mat is very difficult.  Buy one of these for relaxing at home but otherwise buy a foam Eco Yoga Mat or a rubber yoga mat.

Most of the premium Eco Yoga Mats are at least 1/4 inch thick but firm enough for proper balance.  A top of the range yoga mat will provide the perfect combination of grip, balance, comfort and weight but, if you don’t want to spend so much there’s  plenty of Eco Friendly Yoga Mat choice at much lower prices.

Search the Internet for the best eco yoga mat and when you find the yoga mat that suits you go to Amazon.com.Their prices are usually the best and the hundreds of customer reviews are great for helping to decide which eco yoga mat to buy.

If you prefer just go straight to Amazon.com and check out their best selling extra thick yoga mats

Eco Mat Yoga

How thick should a yoga mat be?

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