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Want to do Yoga or Pilates? Start with a yoga mat

Floor exercises like Pilates and yoga are great for building your core strength and toning your muscles. If you’re interested in improving your overall physique or learning what the difference between a downward facing dog and a warrior pose is, your first step is to pick up a yoga mat.

What is a yoga mat?

A yoga mat is a specifically constructed mat to perform yoga or Pilates with. Its main purpose is to prevent slippage while you’re exercising and to provide cushioning while working out on the floor.

What are yoga mats made from?

Yoga mats are made from all types of materials. Many yoga mats are created from PVC and rubber, but you can find eco-friendly options including recycled rubber, organic cotton, and jute. If you suffer from allergies to latex allergies, the best yoga mat is a latex-free yoga mat made from cotton, cork, or jute.

What is the best yoga mat for me?

With so many different types of floor exercise and so many different yoga mats, it can be hard to choose just one. Your best option when choosing a yoga mat is to narrow down what type of yoga you’ll be doing and what level of expertise you have.

How to choose a yoga mat

There are a few factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a new yoga mat.

Thickness of yoga mat

Some yoga mats are thicker than others. While a standard yoga mat is 1/8-inch thick, you can find thicker yoga mats that are ¼-inch thick. The reason you might choose a thicker yoga mat is because it would be softer on the knees when performing floor exercises like Pilates or yoga. Just keep in mind that a thicker yoga mat may make it slightly harder to connect with the floor when performing certain poses.

Stickiness or texture of yoga mat

If you’ve ever done yoga in the gym, you’ll notice some mats are stickier than others. The stickiness or texture of a yoga mat is what prevents it from slipping while you perform floor exercises. If you know you’ll be moving a lot and performing many different floor poses, you’ll want to choose a yoga mat with rough texture or one with a raised pattern.

Different Pilates and Yoga Mats are catered for exercises

The type of yoga or exercise you’ll be doing will factor into what type of yoga mat or Pilates mat you choose. Hot Yoga, Hatha Yoga, or Power Yoga all require you to perform different poses and postures, so you’ll want to choose the best yoga mat material, thickness, and texture for your specific type of exercise.

Pilates requires a slightly thicker mat with more cushioning for working out on the floor. For this type of workout, you may want to choose a thick yoga mat that’s ¼-inch or ½-inch thick.

Different yoga mat designs

While you can find many yoga mats in solid colours, you’ll also find them available in different designs and prints. Choose one in your favourite colour or pattern and you’ll stand out in the crowd.

Size of yoga mat

The standard size for a yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. You can find different sizes of yoga mat that are either smaller or larger. Keep in mind when choosing a size that you’ll also need to store your yoga mat after working out.

Yoga Accessories

Your yoga mat is a fitness accessory you’ll carry with you to workouts or pull out for a quick at-home session. Beyond yoga mats there are also other essential yoga accessories. You can choose from a wide range of yoga accessories to help you work out more efficiently. Yoga blocks and yoga bags are just two of the many different yoga accessories you can buy.

Ready to learn more about yoga mats or Pilates mats? Take a look at our resources.