Clever Yoga Yoga Mat
Last updated date: June 18, 2019
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We looked at the top Yoga Mats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Yoga Mat you should buy.
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From The Manufacturer
It can be hard to concentrate on your yoga practice if all you can think about is how much your knees hurt during your practice. That’s why we created the BetterGrip Yoga Mat. This high density mat provides the perfect amount of cushioning to support your joints without getting that ‘sinking’ feeling. It’s especially ideal for slow-paced Kundalini or Restorative Yoga and for anyone with back pain or knee problems. Clever Yoga products are created by yogis, for yogis. We test every product before we share it with the world to ensure it can handle the wear and tear that comes from vigorous daily practice.
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An Overview On Yoga Mats
Although yoga became a fad several years ago, many who participate in yoga do not know the entire history of it. The practice began thousands of years ago to give individuals a well-rounded approach to health, including mental, spiritual, emotional and physical.
Founded in India and encompassing many different types, hatha yoga is what is most commonly practiced today. This is a fraction of the entire yoga philosophy, but has taught so much to many individuals nonetheless. From stress-relief and fitness to healing and mental clarity, yoga has become an integral part of many people’s lives. Part of the attraction to yoga for many people is the ability to do it anywhere, anytime. It does not require excessive gym equipment or bodybuilding weights or a home gym room. All you need is a good yoga mat that stores neatly in your closet or in a duffel bag for traveling, and you are all set.
So much more than just a tool, the yoga mat is a representation of the space that one sets aside for their stress-free yoga time. The yoga mat can be traced back to Angela Farmer in the late 1960s. She really wanted to practice yoga, but a medical condition didn’t allow for the average traction that most people have with their hands and feet. She discovered that a piece of cushion from underneath a carpet was working really well for her, and when her students saw hers, they wanted one of their own. Her father turned to a German carpet company to create and sell yoga mats. He started this home business in Vancouver Island in his home. Although it was started as an adaptation for Angela’s medical condition, it became a symbol of yoga around the globe.
Yoga mats can be used for more than just yoga, too.
Stephanie Mansour, a certified personal trainer and the founder of fitness brand Step It Up With Steph, says this is the No. 1 investment she recommends to clients who want to get in a good workout at home.
“Not only is a yoga mat great for stretching, lying down on the ground, and padding your knees and feet, but it’s also a great signal that you’re setting up your workout and getting in the zone,” she says. “Rolling out a yoga mat tells your brain that it’s go-time, and it can be easily tucked away next to the couch or in a bedroom where it’s not distracting but still within eyesight so that you don’t forget to do your workout.”
When looking into buying a yoga mat, there are several things to keep in mind. When you strike that combination of perfect features, you’ll enjoy yoga much more.
First, you’ll want a perfectly thick mat. The right thickness for you will give you the right amount of comfort and stability. If your mat is too thick, you won’t be able to balance well, and if it is too thin, you’ll hurt your body on the floor. Standard mats are 1/8 inch thick but for a cushier mat, go for the ¼ inch thickness. If you are a frequent traveler, the 1/16 inch mats will be the lightest and most compact for you. For the maximum thickness, a 1/2-inch thick mat will give you excellent support during yoga routines.
Make sure you consider how you’ll be using your mat.
“If you want to do HIIT [high-intensity interval training] workouts barefoot on your yoga mat with more grip and traction that’s more resistant to sweat would be a wise spend,” Mansour says.
Second, always check the material list on the tag. The average yoga mat is PVC or vinyl. Since yoga is entirely about connecting with nature, newer model yoga mats are made of organic cotton, jute or even recycled rubber. Make sure to avoid the natural rubber mats if you have any issues with latex.
Third, texture is also very important. You will need traction for many of the poses and positions in yoga. Usually, you’ll find grooves of some sort in the mat to help with the grip during positioning. The more modern, natural mats made of jute or cotton have a natural grip to them whereas the PVC has added texture such as bumps.
Next, the sticky factor. The yoga mats you grab at the gym aren’t sticky from overuse in a public place. The stickiness is intentional in yoga mats. It is what keeps the mat in place throughout the routine. In addition, it helps to keep your body in alignment with the yoga mat when you change positions. The stickiest mats are the ones made from PVC.
Eco-friendly is always a matter of conscience when buying a new product, and yoga mats are no exception. This is where you can find the organic yoga mats made from jute, organic cotton, or natural cotton. These materials will not harm the environment before, during or after production or once disposed of.
Lastly, your budget is always something to keep in mind. Most of the time, the thinner the mat, the less expensive. If you choose an eco-friendly option, those might be on the pricier end of the budget. Be mindful of the reviews when consumers speak of durability because that will be a factor that is worth the money.
Once you’ve discovered the comfort level, stickiness and environmentally safe option for you, then have some fun with color and patterns. There are endless options for yoga mat styles, so don’t be shy and get one that matches your personality.
DWYM Fun Fact
Yoga instructors are called yogis. Yogis used to believe (well, some still do!) that our lives were marked by a certain number of breaths.
Shamanism, a Stone Age healing practice, has many of the same aspects as yoga, although it’s not related at all.
Some famous historical figures have practiced yoga. Emerson shared with Thoreau what he had learned about the Hindu law and yoga. Carl Jung was also knowledgeable about Kundalini yoga. George Harrison, one of the Beatles band members, loved yoga.
In 2016, a study was released that over 36 million in the United States alone practice yoga. A whopping $16 billion has been spent on yoga gear. As of 2016, there were over 52,500 yoga teachers registered and double that enrolled in training programs.
The Yoga Mat Buying Guide
- Beware of toxins in your mat. Some yoga mats will give off a toxic smell, and while most are harmless, be sure to check with the company to see what they used in production. PVC yoga mats can give off potentially harmful toxins, so be careful when you purchase your yoga mat.
- Grip is so important. It can be extremely dangerous to use a yoga mat that doesn’t have the right texture for maximum grip.
- Padding is something to really think about in combination with the floor you are using for your routine. If you are on wood floors (suggested), then you’ll want a well-padded yoga mat.
- Think twice before pinching pennies. That cheaper yoga mat will wear out more quickly than you think and may cause twice as much damage to the environment versus the mat that has marked durability from its consumers.