The favoured yoga mats of the ancient yogi were the skin of the tiger. Thankfully for us, and for tigers, times have changed.
Why do I need one?
Try the ‘downward dog pose' on a shiny polished floor!. Yoga mats give a non-slip surface and protect against cold and hard floors, ensuring your comfort and safety. For hygiene reasons, it is better to have your own even though many studios and gyms rent / loan them out. In a class, your mat is your personal space. Owning your own mat offers many advantages, and the knowledge that you can unroll your mat at any time can encourage you to do yoga more often - at home, on holiday or whenever the mood takes you. It may encourage and help you to develop and deepen your practice.
When buying a yoga mat, pick one that allows your hand and feet to sink lightly into the surface, where it stays firm without slipping. Also pick a size suited for your body. You may also need to try a few mats before you can locate the best yoga mat for you.
Selecting a yoga mat.
There are many types of mats on the market today to suit you depending where you are on the yoga ladder, your eco- conscious and your budget.
Sticky Yoga Mats
If you're new to yoga try the 4mm sticky mat. They give excellent grip where you feel secure. They are a popular and affordable choice among yogis at every level.
Advanced yogis or those with sensitive elbows and knees will appreciate the added comfort try the thicker 6mm mat. Thicker Yoga Mats challenge the advanced Yogi in balancing postures, as they give extra space between your feet and the ground.
Also there is a new eco yoga mat available and made from recently developed and patented TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) foam. The mats contain no latex, PVC or rubber.
For the eco-warrior, there's the biodegradable yoga mat made of Natural Flax or with Jute, made entirely from biodegradable materials of natural flax, cotton and rubber.
For people practicing Bikram yoga or hot yoga, there are special mats that absorb sweat and moisture. Another factor to consider is the ease of cleaning and maintenance. You can clean most of these mats with water and soap. Wash them to keep them clean.
If you travel a lot, there are light weight yoga mats weighing as little as 1.0kg.
Mats are also available depending on the style practiced - there are enhanced cushioned mats for Pilates and heavy dense mats for Ashtanga Yoga.
For the traditionalist, there's the cotton mat comprising of cotton cover stuffed with cotton batting.
Generally, yoga mats vary according to cushioning / impact absorption and traction / grip,
Things to consider
When ordering a mat, these are the things you should look out for;
Name: Yoga mat " Jute Pro"
Description: The Bodhi Jute mat Pro adds a new professional Yoga mat to the growing demand of environmentally friendly yoga products. The Jute mat Pro is a professional Yoga mat with a natural feel and traction. The mat allows asanas (exercises) in a natural flow and at the same time gives you stability and safety with its superior grip. It's recommended for all Yoga styles and it's an excellent choice for your Power (Vinyasa) and Bikram Yoga but also other demanding Yoga styles. Jute is a natural fiber plant grown primarily in India, Bangladesh and China. A highly versatile fibre, jute combines breathability with high tensile strength, making our Bodhi Jute mat Pro the perfect balance of durability and comfort. Our mat features a non-slip backing of PER, an eco-friendly material that contains no formaldehyde or heavy metals and is static free. Please enjoy your yoga exercises.
Tests / Standards: Mats are tested according to ÖKO TEX standard 100 P1 (baby articles)
Colours: beige, olive, blue and pink
Size: 183x60cm, 4mm
Where can I get a mat?
In Dublin, Joy-Fountain stock a large selection of yoga apparel and equipment, including mats, blocks, bolsters, etc. They are located in The Royal Hibernian Way just off Grafton Street in the city centre. Web http://www.joy-fountain.ie/yoga-equipment email