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Buying a Yoga Mat Considerations

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A yoga mat is one of the few tools necessary to practice the mind-body exercise of yoga. If you are new to the world of yoga, then you may not have the first clue as to how to choose one yoga mat over another. As such, keep these tips in mind when buying a yoga mat to ensure a quality purchase that meets your needs.

Do You Need to Own a Yoga Mat?

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you need to buy a yoga mat at all. Some yoga classes offer mats to students free of charge. If such is the case, then you may be able to get by without purchasing one. However, even if yoga mats are provided, many people still prefer to bring their own. This is mainly for hygienic reasons. Additionally, since yoga mats are relatively inexpensive (starting price is around $25), there really isn't much of an investment necessary to purchase your own mat.

What is the Thickness of the Yoga Mat?

The purpose of a yoga mat is to cushion the body for improved comfort during yoga poses. However, that does not necessarily mean that thicker mats are better. In fact, it is important to note the difference between a yoga mat and a pilates mat. Pilates mats tend to be thicker, and provide better cushioning for the range of motions encountered for that type of exercise. When buying a mat, be sure that you are purchasing one that is specifically designed for yoga.

What Type of Yoga Mat Material Should You Buy?

Beyond thickness, the material that the yoga mat is crafted from can be important. For the budget-conscious, a synthetic mat is the most affordable option. While these cheap yoga mats get the job done, mats made from organic materials tend to be preferred. Organic materials used to make yoga mats include jute and rubber. Of the two, many prefer jute for the way it feels and its non-latex characteristics. Both jute and rubber yoga mats start at around $40.

Do You Need Yoga Mat Accessories?

Transportation of your yoga mat should be taken into consideration. Some mats come prepackaged with a yoga bag and/or yoga strap, while cheaper models may not. To ensure easy rolled-up transportation of your mat, consider investing in a yoga bag if necessary. Additionally, you may want to purchase a yoga mat cleaning spray, as mats tend to get smelly and dirty over time.

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