What is a yoga mat's purpose, and what are the benefits of using one?
We're going to talk about the advantages of using a yoga mat today. The peaceful technique, which originated in India, has been practiced for hundreds of years. It's frequently used as a daily exercise, a way to relax, and even in physical therapy. But none of this is effective unless you have a good yoga mat. Some individuals prefer to sleep on a blanket or on the hard floor, but there are numerous advantages to utilizing a decent mat that cannot be overlooked.
What is the purpose of a yoga mat? It's sometimes ideal to exercise straight on the floor when you're working out. Yoga isn't one of those things, and while it is possible to practice yoga without a mat, the mat's purpose will make the process much easier. A yoga mat that is properly chosen and meets your present needs will alter the way you practice yoga in several ways:
So, what's the point of using a yoga mat? You risk injury on a variety of levels if you don't have one. First and foremost, when practicing poses, your hands can become extremely sweaty, causing them to slide on the floor and lead you to fall. The floor underneath you may be exceedingly smooth and slippery, causing you to tumble once more. You could fall if your feet slide off the floor. Basically, there are a slew of circumstances that could lead to injury, and a decent yoga mat can help you avoid them.
Another type of yoga injury occurs when you don't get enough comfort when stretching and holding postures. You may get aching knees, back, or shoulder ache as a result of your efforts. If you have a condition like arthritis, this is particularly dangerous. This is why you need a yoga mat, preferably one with enough cushioning to prevent aching muscles and joints (unless the soreness is a natural outcome of a good workout, in which case you're OK).
It's safe to use. Consider attending a yoga class without a mat. Consider your hands touching the floor, which has seen who knows how many hands and feet since it was last mopped. It's simply unclean to do yoga without a yoga mat. Even if you practice it at home, consider mopping the floor, waiting for it to dry, and then practicing your yoga. Regardless of where you are, a mat can provide you with a clean workout surface.
You are more likely to be able to maintain your balance for longer when you utilize a yoga mat. Consider doing positions that require you to rely on your shoulders for support. It would be quite impossible to keep a position on a smooth and waxed wooden floor without your body moving back and forth.
Finally, a yoga mat can help you stay warm. The floor is the coolest section of the room, as simple physics has taught us for years, because heat always rises. Consider what it would be like to be forced to sleep on the floor all winter. When you use a yoga mat, it helps to transfer some of your body heat to the surface, giving you a warm surface to touch instead of the cold floor.
HOW DO I SELECT A GOOD YOGA MAT?
Choosing a decent yoga mat, unlike other forms of sporting equipment and accessories, is based on a small number of parameters, but each one has a direct impact on how your yoga sessions will go. When choosing a yoga mat, you should think about the weight, thickness, and construction. Also, if you do yoga frequently, you should be concerned about durability. Fortunately, we have some sound advice for you.
There are four major varieties of yoga mats when it comes to construction and materials:
PVC mats are comprised of a man-made material that is extremely long-lasting. PVC yoga mats have the advantage of being inexpensive and lightweight, making them ideal for beginners who have yet to determine which form of yoga mat is best for them. PVC, on the other hand, has a number of drawbacks: it is very environmentally hazardous to manufacture, has a strong off-gassing odor, and contains a number of compounds that some people consider toxic (like phthalates).
Yoga mats are made of rubber, which is a great material. It has a lot of advantages that you can't overlook: it's a biodegradable material (because it comes from natural rubber trees), it has a very sticky feel to it (which means you'll have a good grip even when your body starts to sweat), and it's used to make mats for people of all levels of yoga experience. Rubber mats, on the other hand, are more expensive than PVC, can't be kept in full sunlight (since it would distort the mat), and are rather heavy.
Another substance used to produce yoga mats is PER (short for "polymer environmental resin"). The main disadvantages of PER mats are that they don't provide as much grip as PVC mats at initially (most of them require a break-in period) and that they aren't as sticky. They are, however, non-toxic, inexpensive, biodegradable, and generate little odor when unboxed.
TPE (short for "thermoplastic elastomer") is the least durable of the options listed here, but it comes with a lot of advantages. TPE mats come in a variety of textures, are non-toxic and biodegradable, moisture-resistant, and lightweight.
When it comes to selecting a material for your new yoga mat, it's important to think about what you want it to accomplish. Rubber mats are a wonderful alternative if you want something with a non-slip surface (to avoid losing your balance and getting hurt). If you care about the environment, stay away from PVC. PVC, on the other hand, is a good alternative for durability.
The weight of a yoga mat is determined by its thickness and the materials used to construct it. Here's the thing: if you're looking for a yoga mat to use at home, weight shouldn't be an issue. You'll need a portable and lightweight yoga mat if you travel a lot and practice yoga on the go. If you often attend yoga classes, you'll want a lightweight mat that can be rolled up and carried away, preferably one with a shoulder strap.
If you're new to yoga, aim for a mat with a thickness of roughly 18 inches. This is the gold standard to seek for because it aids in maintaining balance when in touch with the floor, which is something that mats with a lot of cushioning can't really give for a beginner. However, many experienced yogis prefer a thinner mat because it helps them to have more flow during practice, making it easier to transition from one pose to the next.
Yoga is a complex subject, and if this were a post about yoga in general, I could write for days about the wonderful history of the practice and the medicinal and spiritual advantages it provides.
One of the things you'll appreciate about yoga is that, unlike other sports, it requires relatively little financial investment to get everything you need to begin practicing. You're ready to take on a practice that's all about wellness and self-appreciation if you have the correct clothes and a yoga mat that provides adequate cushioning without causing you to lose balance or slide and fall when your body starts to sweat.