Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Choosing the Best Yoga Mat for You: Types of Yoga Mats

As the yoga movement has grown over the years, so has the selection in yoga mats. It wasn’t that long ago when your choices were limited to a handful of colors in the standard PVC-mat. Things have changed. But while mats are now available in a wide variety of sizes, materials, and styles, there are still two basic types of mats.

A traditional, or sticky, yoga mat prevents slipping and helps you stay aligned as you move from pose to pose. Sticky mats are used in the more common forms of yoga, including Hatha and Iyengar, that focus on physical postures. Many yoga studios will let you use or rent a basic yoga mat during classes, but you’ll probably want to invest in your own.

Cotton yoga mats have become increasingly popular with the trend towards physically demanding yoga styles---such as Bikram, or hot yoga, and Ashtanga---in which you’ll end up sweating quite a bit. Cotton mats will better absorb perspiration and keep you cool, but may slip a bit on hard floors. Incredibly comfortable and cushy, they can also be stacked for shoulderstands and are ideal for meditation, restorative yoga and pregnant moms.

Whichever variation of the sticky or cotton yoga mat you choose, take your time and find the mat best suited to your taste, comfort, and practice.