When you are new to yoga and looking to buy your first mat, the hundreds of choices available can be overwhelming to say the least! Picking a mat can be daunting and you may not even know what you’re looking for. I mean, what makes a great yoga mat anyway?
There are a few key things to consider when selecting your perfect mat. You want to have something that is soft enough with a comfortable cushion but not too soft that you lose balance or feeling of the floor beneath you. You’ll also want to have something with a good grip so you don’t slip and slide in your poses. Weight and length can also be factors in your decision. I've created this guide to help you determine your needs and listed some AWESOME recommendations for each need, Read on!
Which Person are You?
The Tender-Knee - “Should kneeling hurt this bad?”
If you feel like this is you then I definitely recommend a more cushy mat like the Liforme Yoga Mat. This mat is extra long and wide to give you more space. It's also outfitted with alignment lines to help you find the correct stance in standing poses. It's got great grip and is of course Eco-Friendly. They also throw in a free mat bag with purchase (Free things? - Sign Me Up!)
The Broke Yogi - “Foam cut into the shape of a rectangle costs how much?”
If you've said this to yourself then I totally get you! My first mat was from Target for a glorious price of $15. Why spend so much on a mat when the class itself can be quite expensive? Well, to be honest, there’s two reasons you want spend a little extra on your mat:
1. It will last you years if you clean it and care for it well (D.I.Y. essential oil mat cleaner coming soon!)
2. The mat really makes a difference in your practice. If you're feeling pain from an unsupportive mat you are more likely to drop out of a pose or give up and that's not good. We want to set you up for success in your First Yoga Class (or 100th)
But if after all that you still want to save a buck...I definitely would recommend the Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit because for the low price of $30 you get a good mat, block and strap!
The Slippery Fish - “If I could stay in down dog, I would!”
If you get sweaty in class or can’t find a good grip while in a pose there’s a mat for you. I recommend the Jade Yoga Harmony mat because of its non-slip MEGA grip. It's Eco-Friendly and comes in some great relaxing colors. BE CAREFUL if left in direct sun it can lose its stickiness (learned this from personal experience!)
The Space Eater - “ Does this mat make my butt look big?”
You need more than a sliver of foam to contain your wild and expressive poses. And if you’re tall, long legged, or are a descendant from a long line of giants, chances are, the average yoga mat just may not fit the bill.
Fortunately, there are different sized yoga mats! You don’t have to subscribe to the “one size fits all” myth on mats. If this sounds like you I would recommend checking out Jade Yoga XW (extra wide) Mats
I hope this advice helps to guide you in your choice on a yoga mat. It is so important to invest in ourselves. If we don't, nobody else will. So, set yourself up for success when choosing the right yoga mat for you. The better the yoga mat suits your needs, the better your experience will be and the more improvements you will see in yourself!
Now, Go out there and Rock your first YOGA CLASS!
If you want some extra practice at-home...
Try my Beginner's Gentle Flow video on YouTube