This post is the start of a series ~ the Wondering Wednesday series ~ for all those moments you think, “Hmm, I wonder (fill in your wonder)”. Our minds wander often (mine, VERY often) and a thought crosses that grabs our attention. Hopefully these posts will help in your curiosity as I carve out mine; and if we’re lucky, answer some questions. Let’s give it a whirl!
For many a yogi (beginner or experienced), the question often arises…
Which yoga mat is best?
I tell ya, what choices we have! Long. Wide. Soft. Sticky. Purple. Blue. And I haven’t even gotten to all the different brands out there!
When I first started yoga, I used a $20 mat from Target. I used that thing for years. And I mean YEARS. I couldn’t decide which mat I wanted. So many had great reviews and I received many recommendations from friends. Do I get the one everyone’s talking about? Or do I buy the one that’s biodegradable? Do I get the one I can afford at the moment? Or do I invest in a good mat and hope I like yoga enough to get my money’s worth? My goodness, SO many choices!
I loved my $20 mat from Target. It supported me for many classes. Sure, it wasn’t the best mat – I slipped all over the place when I was drenched in sweat. I constantly had to adjust my feet and hands so I didn’t land flat on my face, or my butt. But it was my sweat – they were my tears – it was my dedication and drive that was embedded into the mat. In fact, that was the mat I took to the beach for my graduation ceremony. I didn’t want to take my “good” mat, because I didn’t want it to get sandy. Which is understandable, yes. You invest in something – you want to take care of it. But I think it’s pretty cool that my $20 mat is what was with me as I concluded my 200-hr journey on the beach. Coming full-circle, you might say.
Yoga mats are such a personal choice. Which mat is good enough to soak up your sweat? Which mat is strong enough to support your stance? Which mat will give you room to flip, flop, float, and fly? Which mat deserves your heart and soul?
The mat I practice with today is a green Jade yoga mat. And I love it! It was a gift, and one of the most used gifts I own. It’s long and extra wide to support all the chaturangas, down-dogs, and warriors I like so much. But mostly, I’ve made it mine. Just like with anything new, you have to get to know it, and it you. Your hands and feet find their favorite spot, perhaps even your sitz bones for opening and closing your practice. You become acquainted and it grows along with you. You know how it rolls 🙂
So don’t be pressured into finding the right mat at first. The right one will come along. Or perhaps you make the one you have right for you.
You may, also, want to try a towel. Yoga mat towels can be a great tool to help reduce slippage when sweaty and moving through postures. I have one and I love it too!
There are some great websites to help in your search for a mat. YogaAccessories.com and YogaOutlet.com are 2 to try. However, you might want to search out your nearest yoga apparel store to give one a try first before purchasing. Roll it out, break into downward-facing dog to see how it feels, then go shop for the best price. And let me know what you find!
For those of you who have a mat you love, tell me about it. I’d love to hear your stories!
Namaste, my friends. Om shanti.