Which of these yoga mats is best for your practice?

Your yoga mat can drastically influence your practice, and depending on your style preferences you may prefer a different kind of mat. There’s no one-size-fits-all yoga mat, just like there’s no one way to practice yoga. Sometimes you need time to experiment and see what feels best for you body.

Feel free to customize your mat as much your you do your practice. You have the ability to choose.

But searching can be overwhelming. I get it, there are lots of numbers, diameters and in such fun colors! If you’d like a little guidance in your search for your new yoga mat home, maybe try one of these variations.

If any one of these options is calling to you, click the picture to link to the brand’s page.

 

For the Budding Yogis: Jade Yoga Harmony Mat

Jade is a great contender for “overall best in show.” Its made of sustainable, all-natural rubber and no synthetics. The Harmony Mat is their most popular choice. It’s pretty moderately priced and comes in lots of awesome colors. If you’re just beginning to deepen your practice this is a great option. However, I’ve heard they don’t last as long if you have a more rigorous, daily practice. You can expect 2 – 3 good years out of this mat if you practice more than 3x a week.

 

For the Die-Hard Yogis: Manduka PROlite

Mandukas are like the Fords of yoga mats: strong, durable, and will probably last you a lifetime. These high-density mats have a lifetime guarantee that they’ll never wear out. They maintain their color really well, and they prevent bacteria growth with a closed-cell surface. They’re more of an investment, and the price reflects that. One complaint about the Mandukas is that they take awhile to break in, and their strong surface can make some of them really heavy. I recommend feeling the weight for yourself before committing to lugging one around everywhere. That being said this is the brand that I use, and I love it!

 

For Extra Cushion: B Yoga Strong yoga mat

If you need some extra padding beneath your joints while you practice, look at getting a thicker mat. The B Yoga Strong version is 6 mm thick, a comfier option than others. The trick with mat thickness is to find a medium that’s comfortable for your joints, but not so plush that it makes it difficult for you to stand up and balance. B Yoga also offers different lengths if you need some extra wiggle room.

 

 

For the Budget: Gaiam Yoga Mat

Maybe you’re not ready to drop that much on a mat. Maybe you only practice once every few weeks and are looking for a low-investment option. That’s totally cool! Gaiam is the budget-yogi’s best friend. They have tons of cool designs listed on Amazon for under 30 bucks. There are no real options for you to customize your size or your thickness here, and I wouldn’t expect a mat to last you more than a year or so. But it’s a great option if you’re just getting in to yoga and want something fun and worry-free.

 

 

For No-Slip Grip: Gurus Natural Cork Mat

Cork mats are the new craze in the yoga biz right now, but they’ve been gaining a lot of traction for their handy, non-slip surface. The cork in Guru’s mat is sustainably sourced and acts as a natural antimicrobial. This means your mat will stay fresh longer, without the need for cleaning products. I have heard that the feel of the cork can take some getting used to, and if you’re a old-school mat lover you may not be crazy about it. Good thing is, Gurus’ mat is reversible! Just flip it over if you’re craving a more traditional mat feel.

 

 

For Lightweight Travel: Jade Voyager yoga mat

It took me so long to figure out that I needed a travel mat. If your practice begins to follow you in your journeys, you may want to consider getting a second,lightweight mat. Firstly, if your daily mat is hefty, you don’t want to carry it all throughout the airport or on to buses with you. Secondly, if you’re stowing your mat while you fly, chances are it’s going to get pretty dirty in the overhead compartment or under the seat. That’s why a thinner, easily stow-able mat is a great option. However, their thinness can be uncomfortable. If you’re at a studio where they have free mat rentals, you can throw this one down on top for some extra cushion.

 

 

For Ultimate Alignment: Liforme Yoga Mat

If you practice Ashtanga, Anusara or any alignment-driven style of yoga, the Liforme mat is an innovative option for you. Their unique alignment marker system adds helpful guides to the surface of your mat in a clean and minimalistic way. I’ve heard rave reviews about their grip and durability. It also has extra space, both in length and width to give yogis more space to play. It’s a higher price tag, but this listing also comes with mat bag for you as well.

 

For the Creative: Yoga Zeal

If the nitty-gritty details don’t really interest you and you’re looking for a more expressive option, Yoga Zeal has so many creative options. Their designs all  have a mystic flair to them, but I’m partial on the moon phase option here, personally. Beyond their looks, they’re also made of natural tree rubber, and have a layer of faux-suede towel sewn in to the top. No need for an additional towel on top of your mat during heated practices.

 

What’s your favorite kind of mat to use? How does it influences your practice?

 

I’d love to see you on your mat! Come practice with me if you’re in New Orleans.

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