Are you new to yoga and finally ready to make your first yoga mat purchase? Or have you been practicing with the same sticky PVC yoga mat that’s now disintegrating to pieces, and you NEED an upgrade? Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect match that suits your practice and lifestyle:
The material is probably the first thing you should consider when purchasing a mat, since it’s the material that will dictate its durability, texture, grippiness, comfort, and how sustainable it is.
Most yoga mats are made of PVC, a plastic-based material that is best to avoid! PVC became popular due to its stickiness, which helps prevent slipping, but PVC mats have shown to not only chip and tear easily, but they also contain harmful toxins and can trap bacteria - which is not very yoga friendly! These mats also tend to end up in landfills.
Newer and more eco-friendly yoga mats contain durable yet sustainable materials such as cork, organic cotton, and natural rubber. Cork has the added benefit of being naturally antimicrobial, meaning it repels bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses - for a cleaner and safer practice.
A grippy yoga mat keeps you from sliding all over the place and helps you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another. Cork Yoga Mats are great with grip, especially for sweatier and faster-paced practices since cork gets gripper the more you sweat. With cork mats, it’s recommended that you wash the mat before you start practicing or sprinkle some water at the start of the practice as this will elevate the cork’s grip.
The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is — too thin, and your knees will start hurting in the middle of cat/cow, but too thick, and you won’t feel that important connection to the ground. It also makes balancing poses more challenging. An ideal yoga mat is around 3mm-4mm thick which is not too thick or bulky but offers some level of cushion.
The texture of your yoga mat is another important detail to take into consideration. Like the mats grippiness, texture also affects how much slipping and sliding you do, but remember that bumpy or rough textures will likely bother you in certain poses. When choosing a yoga mat, make sure to choose something that feels soft yet slightly textured like our Estrela Cork Mats, which have a suede-like feel to them. The added grip that the texture provides can help you stay put no matter how sweaty or vigorous your practice gets.
5. Carrying Your Mat
It's handy to have a yoga mat strap that lets you throw it over your shoulder when you’re going to an in-person yoga class. That’s why every Arvore mat includes a handmade macramé travel strap so you can always take it on the go!
You can take a look at our Sustainable and Durable Cork Yoga Mats here!