For all you new yogis out there, here’s a quick list of details to consider when purchasing a yoga mat. Buying your own mat is not necessary, as most gyms and yoga studios have mats students can use, but I always suggest buying your own. This way the mat will form to your body and you don’t have the worry of, where has this mat been?
I mention price first because it is usually a consumer’s first priority. When buying a yoga mat, there is a wide range of prices. My suggestion, buy a mat that is well within, if not under, your desired budget. Yoga is supposed to de-stress, decompress and relax you—not force you to get a second job to pay off its costs.
When it comes to yoga mats, size does matter! Find a mat that’s large enough for your entire body to fit on, length and width-wise, but not so large that it’s too bulky and cumbersome to carry.
Your mat needs to be soft enough that it provides sufficient cushion against a hard floor, but still firm enough to be supportive in a wide array of poses. It’s almost like buying a mattress—not too soft, but not too hard. With any mat, however, the edges should be nice and pliable.
Grip is an extremely important factor when purchasing a mat. Again, like with softness, it’s all about striking the right balance. You want it sticky enough that it won’t slide around as you move from posture to posture, but you also don’t want it to be like fly paper. So read up on various grips and decide what’s best for you based on the style of yoga you’ll be doing.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Make sure the material is going to absorb sweat—this is especially important when considering Hot Yoga.
A few other aspects to consider:
-Find a mat that is machine-washable. Yoga is low-maintenance and your mat should be, too!
-Your particular body. Keep in mind, if you have arthritis, joint pain, etc, that certain details will take priority, such as thickness.
-The material from which it is made. Try to avoid PVC mats. — Lindy Kirk