Gaiam Non-Toxic Cushioned Yoga Mat
Last updated date: September 22, 2022
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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.
Update as September 22, 2022:
Checkout The Best Yoga Mat for a detailed review of all the top yoga mats.
Although this yoga mat is extra thick, it's still lightweight and easy to carry. It comes in 19 different patterns, including lily, ocean and mountain designs. Another positive feature associated with this mat is a textured sticky non-slip surface that provides just the right amount of traction.
In our analysis of 173 expert reviews, the Gaiam Non-Toxic Cushioned Yoga Mat placed 8th when we looked at the top 24 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Extra-thick Premium Print Yoga Mats provide a stable, sticky, non-slip 5/6mm cushioned surface for your yoga practice. Perfect for home or studio use, this mat ensures the safety and comfort you need to enhance proper alignment and maintain poses and the additional cushioning helps to protect joints. Manufactured free of the top six most harmful phthalates, this mat is a healthier choice for both you and the planet! Please note a packaging change from 5mm or 6mm, but rest assured it is the same size and style mat, just in new and improved packaging. Also, printed yoga mats may release a harmless odor when first unwrapped. For best results unroll and air out your mat for 2-3 days before use.
User Summarized Score
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Our Expert Consultant
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert
Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.
Overall Product Rankings
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 health.
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 quarter-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 half-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, [one] 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 options have 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.
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.
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