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If you’re new to yoga and about to start classes you’re probably thinking of buying a yoga mat. I’ve covered some points in this post that will help you decide which mat is best for you.
What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?
This all depends on the type of floor you are practising on. If you’re on a hard floor, thicker mats will be more beneficial. When using a thin mat on a hard floor the kneeling postures can be quite painful so it’s a good idea to have some padding. You can always fold your mat over to do these poses though.
If you’re practising on the carpet you can get away with a thinner mat. It’s advisable to have a mat when practising on the carpet because you need some grip, carpets can be slippy.
A standard sized yoga mat is usually about 3 mm thick and a good quality thicker one is usually around 6 mm thick. Something in between is adequate for most people.
Is it worth buying an expensive yoga mat?
This depends on your budget and how often you’re going to practice. A more expensive yoga mat will last a lot longer whereas a cheaper thin one probably won’t last that long before it starts to wear.
How long should a yoga mat last?
It is advised that yoga mat should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, however, it all depends on the frequency of your practices. I personally don’t think they need changing this frequently, maybe after 1-2 years. If the mat is showing signs of wear then it’s time to replace it. They can also smell if they have a lot of use, that’s a definite sign it needs replacing!
How do you clean a yoga mat naturally?
Try cleaning your yoga mat on a regular basis. You could make your own natural cleaner. Take a small spray bottle with some distilled or spring water had a couple of drops of tea tree oil to it. Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antifungal. You could also use lavender which is anti-bacterial too.
Lavender’s a relaxing essential oil with a pleasant scent so perfect for cleaning a yoga mat. You could, of course, combine the two oils although tea tree can be a bit overpowering for some. You could substitute tea tree with another anti-bacterial oil such as peppermint or lemongrass.
To clean, simply spray the mixture all over your yoga mat and wipe down with a damp cloth and leave to dry. If you do this every time you use your yoga mat it will prevent nasty smells.
Which is the best yoga mat?
There are lots of different brands of yoga mats available on the market today. A personal favourite of mine is Gaiam*. Other popular brands are sweaty Betty*, Manduka*, Reebok, etc.
You can even purchase a personalised yoga mat. There are some fantastic designs on Zazzle and Etsy*! You’re bound to stand out in any class with one of these. Add your name, add images to the yoga mat or just have one with a beautiful design it’s up to you. It’s all down to personal taste.
If you’re just starting out learning yoga, maybe it’s worth buying a basic one to start with, you can purchase reasonably priced yoga mats in supermarkets such as Tesco*. Once you know you like yoga and you’re going to continue then it’ll be worth spending more on a yoga mat.