Want to improve your strength? Flex your flexibility? Boost your balance? Discover your spiritual side? Well, there’s an exercise that’s just perfect for you – the ancient practise of yoga. Whether its hot yoga, Bikram yoga or just practicing your downward dog at home, yoga can reduce stress and promote relaxation. But for you to get started, there’s one tiny step. Of course, that’s the purchasing of yoga mats.
So why do they need them? Well, yoga mats are designed to provide a non-slip surface and cushion to support your body – and increase your comfort – during yoga practice whether its at home or in a studio. They come in a range of materials, thicknesses, colours and sizes, so its easy to choose one that suits your needs and your preferences. And there’s no shortage of them either. In fact, there are plenty of great yoga mats UK-wide available, so finding the right one is a doddle. Choosing yoga mats, on the other hand, depends on a variety of factors.
Why Choose Yoga?
First up, the benefits are numerous. Practising yoga regularly increases flexibility, builds strength and tones muscles. It also improves posture, balance and coordination and can help manage chronic conditions like back pain and arthritis.
However, yoga can also have a positive impact on mental health. Studies have shown that yoga can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and increase self-esteem. Its mindfulness techniques can help you stay present at the moment and become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and impulses. In order to reap the benefits, buying the right yoga mat is important.
How to Choose the Right Yoga Mats?
Well, firstly, it depends on the type of yoga you’ll be doing. Bikram yoga and hot yoga both take place in heated rooms which helps to increase flexibility and promote detoxification. Now that’s a good way to sweat it out! Doing exercise in temperatures ranging between 37-40°C, you’re sure to perspire (a lot!), which is why a non-slip, absorbent yoga mat is crucial, nay imperative. A good yoga mat will help prevent slips and falls during practice and will also absorb sweat and prevent any nasty odours building up.
But even if you’re not into Bikram yoga or hot yoga, a good yoga mat is essential. It provides a comfortable and stable surface for you to practice your asanas (yoga poses) on, whether you’re doing a gentle Hatha yoga flow or a more intense Vinyasa yoga class. With a good yoga mat, you’ll be able to focus on your practice without worrying about slipping or sliding around.
Additionally, your yoga mat needs to be portable and easy to clean. People forget that yoga is hard exercise and because you’ll be sweating a lot. Therefore, your mat needs to roll up and can be carried around like a small bag or rucksack. Also, you don’t want your yoga mat to smell too much so ensuring you can clean it is very important.
So, now you’re ready to start, or maybe just upgrade your current yoga mat. You never know, this might be the step to you becoming a yoga guru. Here’s a few of our favourite options.
Lululemon is one of the leading exercise and gym wear brands across the world. But you may not be aware that they have downward dived into the world of yoga too. Whether its hot yoga or Bikram yoga, their reversible yoga mats absorb unwanted moisture that help you gain a grip during sweaty classes. Their cushioning also supports your knees and hips.
The effective natural rubber base on the yoga mat, sustainable no less, gives your body more depth while you stay focused, keep exercising or improve your mental and physical fitness.
Manduka aren’t your regular yoga brand. They were originally designed by yoga lovers and have developed a reputation amongst yoga teachers, with a design approach is rooted responsibly sourced products and minimal environmental waste. Not only are their products high quality, supportive and sweat-free, they have many reviews that show they have lasted for years. Whether it’s a 6mm extra-large yoga mat for hot yoga, or a 5mm yoga mat for Bikram yoga, they are proven to be incredibly effective.
Their yoga mats may be a little expensive, but they are sure to last for a while. At the same time, they support community projects and organisations to improve communities worldwide.
Liforme’s products don’t just bring the values of yoga thanks to their affordable yoga mats. Sure, they may be a little expensive. But, they are very helpful for first time learners. Many other mats don’t have measurements and directions for the positioning of hands, feet, or other body parts in a certain place on the mat. Therefore, Liforme are unique because they were the first to put markers on their yoga mats to help people position themselves more evenly. For hot yoga or practise at home, it’s super helpful.
They also go beyond business by uniting people who aspire to ‘Live for More’ by engaging in local and global communities. They also make sure their mats are completely environmentally conscious so developed their own unique and sustainable materials which are PVC-free, biodegradable and non-toxic.
OK, reader. It’s fair enough. You haven’t tried yoga yet and you’re not willing to jump too fast into buying an expensive mat. In steps the cheapest of all the yoga mats at Smug. Their mission is to provide cheap and affordable products that better your sleep. As yoga is both mentally calming and physically tiring, yoga couldn’t be a better example.
If you don’t want to fork out enormous amounts of money, try the Smug mat and it might just be the first step in becoming a yoga master in hot yoga, Bikram yoga or becoming a zen guru.