A few years back, it was a time when people did not have much of a choice when picking their yoga gear. The only yoga mat sold then was made of PVC and the only relevant feature is its stickiness. Fashion sticklers also lament the few color choices that they had with the dominant purple or blue mats as their only options. Fast forward a decade or two, yoga has become mainstream and everyone now has a range of available yoga gears to choose from. As with every equipment meant for heightened physical activity, the gears you pick are crucial to ensure your comfort, safety, and, of course, coherence to your style.
The yoga mat is probably the most important arrow in your yoga gear quiver. While you will not be blamed for taking time to choose the color, shape or style of your yoga mat, there are other aspects of yoga gears that you also have to consider. Yoga poses are not at all simple and it can only get worse with bad equipment. You have to make sure that the yoga mat is easily stored or moved around, and, most importantly, you are comfortable in. Basically, you have to pick out the qualities of the mat that you like such as its texture, thickness, weight, and other features, to suit your taste and your yoga practice.
In this article, we will help you find the yoga gear that suits you best. There are a few factors that you have to consider in choosing yoga gears. Some of these factors are fairly obvious but some, especially if you’re a beginner, will surprise you.
Yoga Gear’s Thickness
As mentioned, your comfort is important to ensure that you get the most out of your yoga session without injuring yourself. This should be the main consideration when choosing the thickness of the yoga mat. If it is too thin, your joints in your elbow and knees will not be cushioned against the floor. This is particularly more important with people with bone problems or are heavier. Having a yoga mat that is too thick however would make it more difficult for you to balance and find your footing. It is, afterall, easier not to trip when you feel full contact with the floor.
There are several options that you can choose from in terms of thickness. The thickest one is a fourth of an inch thick. Succeeding thickness are then a half thinner than the next thicker version. For instance, the next thickest mat is an eight of an inch which also happens to be the standard thickness. And the thinnest one is the one sixteenth of an inch which are often used for travelling because they are extremely light. This also makes them easy to fit in a bag or a vehicle thus allowing in to be carried anywhere.
Again, the thickness of the yoga mat is all about the comfort. If the yoga mat is too thin, you might have problems doing the actual exercise. And if it is too thick, carrying the luggage will be the one to bring you discomfort. If you can afford to bring a one fourth of an inch thick yoga mat, and you can balance well on it. Of course, you can always play it safe and choose the standard thickness.
What is Your Yoga Gear Made Of
As with any tangible purchase, it should matter what it is made of. Most of the time, the quality of the product would solely depend on the kind of material used. There are of course other factors involved when it comes to yoga gear, but it would not be a stretch to say that the overall value you can take from it hinges on its material.
The three main qualities that you are going to want to look for in a yoga mat is the stickiness, the sponginess, the sturdiness, and, if you are part of the green team, the eco-friendliness.
A sticky yoga mat is important for you to perform most yoga poses. A yoga mat that does not stick well enough can be uncomfortable to use at best, and dangerous at the worst. The kind of material that is used dictates how the yoga mat will stick to your skin without causing abrasion.
The next quality you should look out for is the sponginess. We know that stretching is a big part of yoga and in some cases, the mat should stretch along with you. A stretchy yoga mat means that you can lunge away willfully so you can get the most from your yoga sessions.
And the last quality you want to look at is the sturdiness. Most yoga mats should last a few years or so. However, sub-standard mats will be unusable after a few months. Since one of the important qualities of a yoga mat is that it should be stretchable, it makes sense that it should be able to retain its shape after the pressure is relieved.
Yoga Gear Budget
This is probably the deciding factor for first time yoga practitioners. Most of the time, as they are just trying it out, it makes sense to buy a cheaper yoga mat before investing on high quality ones. This may not be the smartest way to do it however given that yoga mats that are low quality can be unusable very quickly. It could also diminish your experience thus giving you a lopsided assessment of the exercise which you would have otherwise enjoyed.
Make sure you, at the very least, buy a standard yoga mat even if it is just for trying it out. Ultimately, you might not get into yoga as you may feel that it is not right for you. However, the best way to make sure of that is to go all out and enjoy the experience at its best.
There are other qualities that you have to consider as well like your weight and how often you intend to do yoga.