One of the first questions people ask when starting out their yoga practice is, “What type of mat should I buy?” With so many types of yoga mats out there, and so many different styles of yoga, it can be hard to know! I found this great guide that breaks it all down for you. The folks who wrote this guide did a lot of research to help you pick the best mat for your needs. I love that all the mats they tested are eco-friendly and non-toxic. Personally, I plan to invest in the Tranquility Essentials cork mat as my next mat purchase. They say it’s a bit heavier than the other choices, but I like its eco-friendly rating and natural cork material. For studio practice, I’ll stick with my personal favorite that I've used for the past 9 years, the Jade Harmony mat.
Now, this article is cool because it also dives into a bit of the history of yoga mats. The idea of using a yoga mat is a relatively new concept. Ancient yogi’s didn’t use mats at all! They practiced in nature. Over time, people started using cloth rugs to practice on. Yoga practice used to be more about the seated practice, like meditation. Your modern yoga practice involves a lot more movement, poses, and let’s face it, sweat! That’s where these sticky, rubber mats came into play. To help prevent you from slipping and sliding during your practice. The problem is that many of the mats today use toxic chemicals. And, who wants to get all sweaty while doing something good for yourself on a toxic mat? Eek!
That’s where this guide comes in handy. They sent all the mats to a special lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan to test the materials. I’m interested to hear your thoughts after you read this guide. What’s been your favorite yoga mat? How has the info in this guide made you think differently about yoga mats? Leave a comment below and let me know!