Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Choosing the Best Yoga Mat for You: The Right Size

Browse the yoga mat selection online or at your local yoga studio and you’ll notice that most are the standard 68” long and 1/8” inch thick. But dig a little deeper and you’ll likely be able to find the right combination of length, thickness, and weight to match your needs.

Size Does Matter. While a standard 68” mat will do for most of us, you may be a little taller or just want some extra length. Shop around. You’ll find yoga mats in lengths up to 80” and be surprised at the difference an extra long mat can make.

A Little More Cushion? With any yoga mat, it’s important that you feel a connection to the ground and keep your balance, especially during standing poses. But if you ever find yourself stacking 1/8” mats because of an injury or you just want a bit more cushion, consider upgrading to a 1/4” thick yoga mat. Thicker mats are becoming more common and are relatively easy to find online.

Weighing In. You’ll likely never give much thought to how much your yoga mat weighs. Unless, of course, you travel a lot and don’t want to lug a heavy mat around the airport. Or even around town. Travel yoga mats are becoming more than just a niche in the market as more people take their yoga on the road with them. Most are only 1/16” thick and can be pretty easily folded and tossed into your carry-on bag. Despite the obvious trade-offs of less cushion and durability, travel yoga mats make sense for both road warriors and local travelers.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to settle for a standard-sized yoga mat. Experiment a little, understand your options, and take the time to find just the right mat for you.