Whether you have been practicing yoga, or perhaps are just thinking about it, you will need the right yoga mat if you are to reap the full benefits of the art and receive the maximum benefit possible during your yoga class. Selecting a yoga mat isn’t quite as easy as you may think though. There are many different yoga mats available today, and each will possess different attributes that will either lead you to love it or hate it. Some yoga mats have noxious chemicals that will distract and annoy you. While others may be made of low grade material and as a result only last a couple of months.

A good option for beginning yogies is to go for the standard sticky yoga mat that you will find in most yoga studios. This however, is a common beginner’s mistake. These mats are very thin for one thing, and will not provide you with much cushioning that you will need. Some of these may also contain harmful chemicals. You also may not like these mats if you consider yourself to be environmentally conscious. It makes sense for a newcomer to yoga to purchase the cheapest mat available in case it turns out that you don’t want to pursue yoga after all. However, you might come to the conclusion that you do not like yoga simply because you have a yoga mat that is not very comfortable.

There are yoga mats that are 100% environmentally friendly. These mats are often made of jute or cork. Keep in mind that these mats simply will not last long enough to suit your purposes. However if you are very concerned about the environment, and have money to change yoga mats often, then you may still find them to be perfectly acceptable mats. The main problem with these mats is the fact that they are made from porous materials which soak up sweat readily causing the mats to stain and retain odors. So cleaning these type of yoga mats effectively is not an easy task.

Yoga mats constructed of a fine rubber material may be the optimum choice for most yoga practitioners. Rubber mats are a very sturdy and inexpensive as well as made of natural, environmentally friendly materials. Keep in mind that there are some rubber mats on the market that are made of synthetic rubber. Mats like these you may wish to steer clear of as they may cause unhealthy side effects like those previously mentioned. Rubber mats may not be right for you if you are allergic to latex however, so keep this in mind.

There is another option if you can’t seem to find a yoga mat that meets your needs, is to try out a Pilates mat instead. As you can imagine, they are not altogether different and both serve the same purpose: to give you the support you need during your practice. Pilates mats, however, are much thicker than standard yoga mats as Pilates requires you to spend more time on the floor. Just make sure that the Pilates mat you purchase was designed with a no-slip surface and you’ll be fine.

Though unfortunately stress is a natural and unavoidable, here are ways to deal with your stress. One great way is through meditation and yoga. All you need is good quality yoga mats and a willingness to “Just Do it”. You will return your body and mind to peace and tranquility. Plus, Yoga will cost you so much less than therapy or medication.

Filed under: Health and Fitness

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!