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Choosing the Right Yoga Mat: What to Look for and Different Types Available

Choosing the Right Yoga Mat: What to Look for and Different Types Available

Are you tired of slipping and sliding on your old, worn-out yoga mat? Are your down dogs turning into face plants? It might be time to upgrade your mat game, but where do you even start? The yoga mat marketplace can be as overwhelming as the post-Savasana silence. But fear not, we've got you covered! In this blog post, we'll guide you through the dizzying world of yoga mats and help you find the perfect mat to support your practice - and your balance. So, roll up your old mat (or donate it) and let's get started!

When choosing a yoga mat, consider the following factors:

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Thickness: Yoga mats come in a variety of thicknesses, from thin travel mats to thick, cushioned mats. Consider how much cushioning and support you need for your joints and the types of poses you'll be doing. Ajna Wellbeing mats are 5mm thick- the ideal thickness for most yogis and most practices. Paired with a dense core we find this to be perfect combination for supporting balance, stability, and comfort.

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Material: Yoga mats can be made of many materials such as rubber, PVC, TPE, jute, PER, PU, hemp, and cork. Rubber and PVC mats are the most common, but not all are created equal. While natural materials are more expensive than standard mats, they don't contain harmful substances. Ajna Wellbeing is committed to only using non toxic and sustainable materials in all of our mats and products.

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Size: Yoga mats come in a range of sizes, from extra small to extra large. Consider how much space you have for your yoga practice and how much room you need to move around.

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Stickiness: The level of 'stickiness', or 'grip' can affect your ability to hold certain poses, especially inversions. Mats with more grip will be more suitable for sweaty hands and feet. Our Pro Yoga Mats offer extreme grip, even when wet!

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Durability: Yoga mats can experience a lot of wear and tear, so choose a mat that is durable and easy to clean. Any stretching or sinking as you practice is an indication that your mat will tear easily, and is not suitably durable.

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Weight: Mats can range a fair deal in their weight depending on the material they're made from. If you need to carry your mat around all day, this might be something to consider when choosing the mat for you. Travel mats are available, and while they don't offer much cushioning at all, they can be conveniently folded and packed tightly into your bag. We recommend our jute/PER mat for a lighter yoga mat option that also offers plenty of cushioning.

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SHOP OUR RANGE OF ECO FRIENDLY, NON TOXIC YOGA MATS HERE! OUR MATS ARE YOGI DESIGNED AND APPROVED. 

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Which Material Of Yoga Mat Is Best? 

TPE? Rubber? Jute?? With so many options on the market, knowing which material yoga mat to use can be a little overwhelming. The material can affect all of the factors we already talked about. Here are some of the most common materials used to make yoga mats and their unique features. This can help you make an informed decision when selecting the right yoga mat for your practice.

 

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a commonly used material in many products, including yoga mats. However, PVC is known to contain certain chemicals that can be toxic to human health and the environment.

PVC often contains phthalates, which are used to make the material more flexible. Phthalates have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, reproductive and developmental harm.

Additionally, PVC is not biodegradable, meaning it can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment, and it can also release harmful chemicals into the environment when it breaks down.

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PER (polymer environmental resin) is another type of material used to make yoga mats. It is a form of thermoplastic elastomer and is considered to be an eco-friendly alternative to PVC. It is also known as TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) as well.

PER is a synthetic rubber that is non-toxic and biodegradable. It is also recyclable and provides good grip and cushioning. It is known to be more durable than PVC and is becoming increasingly popular in the production of yoga mats. Additionally, it is also waterproof and easy to clean.

PER yoga mats can be a good option for those who are looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional PVC mats. They are also suitable for most types of yoga practices and are easy to clean.

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JUTE: Jute is a natural plant fiber that is commonly used to make yoga mats. It is a sustainable and eco-friendly material that is often favored by people who are looking for an alternative to synthetic materials.

Jute yoga mats are lightweight, durable, and have good traction. They are also hypoallergenic and resistant to mildew and moisture. Jute fibers have a natural texture that provides good grip, making it suitable for yoga practices that involve a lot of movement.

Overall, jute is a good option for those who are looking for a natural and eco-friendly material for their yoga mat. It is a durable and long-lasting material that provides good grip and is resistant to moisture and mildew.

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RUBBER: Rubber mats can be a sustainable option for a yoga mat, depending on the type of rubber used and the production process. Natural rubber mats, made from the sap of the rubber tree, are a renewable resource and are biodegradable, meaning they will break down over time in the environment. They are also considered to be eco-friendly because they are free of synthetic chemicals and are often produced in a more sustainable way than mats made from synthetic materials.

Rubber mats provide a good level of grip, stability, and cushioning and are easy to clean.

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TPE (thermoplastic elastomer): TPE is a newer material used to make yoga mats. it is a synthetic rubber, is non-toxic, biodegradable and recyclable. TPE is known to be more eco-friendly than PVC and provides good grip and cushioning.

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CORK: Cork is a natural, sustainable, and eco-friendly material that is used to make yoga mats. Cork mats are lightweight, provide a good grip and can be more expensive than rubber or PVC mats. They may also be less durable than other types of yoga mats.

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MICROFIBER: Microfiber mats are also gaining popularity, they are synthetic and eco-friendly, they are also machine washable and very soft to touch, but can often be slippery.

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PU (polyurethane): PU is another material used to make yoga mats. PU is a type of synthetic material that is often used in combination with other materials, such as natural rubber, to create a high-performance yoga mat.

PU provides excellent grip and cushioning, making it a popular choice for practitioners who need extra support during their practice. PU is also a durable material that is resistant to wear and tear, and it is easy to clean.

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COMBINATION MATS: Some yoga mats also use a blend of materials, for example, a rubber bottom layer and a microfiber top layer to provide the best of both worlds.

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SHOP OUR RANGE OF ECO FRIENDLY, NON TOXIC YOGA MATS HERE! OUR MATS ARE YOGI DESIGNED AND APPROVED. 

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How is a yoga mat different to an exercise mat?

A yoga mat and an exercise mat are both designed to provide a cushioned surface for physical activity, but they are intended for different types of activities and have different features.

A yoga mat is typically thinner and more dense than an exercise mat. This is to provide support for the joints and help with balance during yoga poses. Yoga mats also tend to be longer and wider than exercise mats, providing more room for a wide range of movements. Additionally, yoga mats often have a sticky surface that helps to prevent slipping during practice.

An exercise mat, on the other hand, is typically lighter and less dense than a yoga mat. While comfortable to sit or stretch on, they can often stretch and tear easily if used for yoga poses. Additionally, exercise mats tend to be shorter and narrower than yoga mats, and generally become very slippery with any moisture- definitely not conducive to a downward dog! You'll also find balancing difficult on a standard exercise mat as the soft foam allows for more movement beneath your feet.

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SHOP OUR RANGE OF ECO FRIENDLY, NON TOXIC YOGA MATS HERE! OUR MATS ARE YOGI DESIGNED AND APPROVED. 

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