Well Being

The Anatomy Of A Yoga Mat (And How To Choose The Right One)

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yoga mat

My first yoga mat

Via yoga clothing company prAna, here's a great guide to choosing a yoga mat. To the uninitiated, this might seem silly — a roll-up rubber mat is a roll-up rubber mat, right? This was my thinking when I first started yoga: I wanted something cheap and I wanted something purple, and those were my only two considerations. However …

After years of dilettantish yoga practice and secret shame that my hands were always too slippery with sweat to do downward-facing dog properly, I asked a yoga teacher for advice. She suggested I try one of the Gaim Sol yoga mats; I did, and — whoa. Changed my whole yoga practice. Up 'til then, I hadn't realized how much my slippery mat not only hindered my ability to hold poses but also to clear my mind.

The point being: Mats matter. Some people need extra cushioning. Some people need more or less stickiness. Some people just want something lightweight they can tote around on their bike. Use this guide to figure out what you're looking for and what will work best for your yoga practice.

anatomy of a yoga mat