Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gearing Up for Restorative Yoga: Your Yoga Mat

If you’ve been practicing hatha or any of the more traditional styles of yoga at your local studio, you likely have a pretty reliable sticky yoga mat. And though restorative yoga poses don’t require much traction, you will want enough cushion to provide support and balance. Explore a few different options, and experiment a little, to find just the right level of comfort.

A basic 1/8” yoga mat will probably be just fine for most relaxation poses, especially when layered under a good quality yoga blanket or rug. For a little more cushion, consider upgrading to a 1/4” thick mat. Extra thick yoga mats have become very popular and much easier to find.

Depending on your level of commitment, need for comfort, and how often you practice, you might also think about investing in a futon-style cotton yoga mat. Cotton mats are often up to two inches thick and can be conveniently rolled or folded for different postures. And they’re great for expectant moms.

Whether you’re taking a restorative yoga class at a studio or practicing at home, the right mat can make a big difference. But don’t be afraid to start with what you have on hand. You’ll eventually find what works best for you.