Yoga mats are specially produced mats used to keep hands and feet from slipping while practising asanas in modern yoga as an activity. A sticky mat was an early type composed of rubber carpet underlay invented by yoga teacher Angela Farmer in 1982.
Hatha yoga and contemplative yoga were once practised on bare ground, with the occasional addition of a deer or tiger leather rug. Modern yoga mats are constructed of plastic, rubber, and occasionally other materials such as hessian and cork, and they trade off cost, comfort, grip, and weight.
In most yoga lessons, you’ll find yoga mats (also known as sticky mats). They’re utilised to give traction and cushioning while you’re posing. While you can usually rent a yoga mat at a studio, it’s a good idea to invest in one of your own. You don’t have to wait to see if your yoga practice “sticks” before committing to mat ownership because the mat will quickly pay for itself.
Even if you want to perform yoga at home rather than at a studio, purchasing your equipment has significant advantages.
What is a yoga mat?
A yoga mat is a sort of mat specifically made for yoga practice. It includes a cushioned, non-slip surface that makes yoga asanas safer and more comfortable to practise.
Yoga mats, on the other hand, were not frequently utilised 50 years ago. Yoga was first done on grass, then on the skins of animals like deer or tigers. Animal skins provided protection for sensitive skin and more cushioning and stick than bare ground, especially in more challenging positions.
Towels and cotton or rubber mats were utilised when yoga became increasingly popular around the world. They are available in many colours, designs, and styles. Some are environmentally friendly, while others are made portable and easy to use. Yoga mats are usually 68 inches (172 centimetres) long and 24 inches (60 centimetres) wide, though others are larger. They range in thickness from one millimetre to eight millimetres.
Why choose a yoga mat?
Yoga asanas can be performed without a extra wide yoga mat. So, what’s the big deal about yoga mats these days? It’s not simply because of the yoga mat’s technical advantages but also because of the symbols that many yogis associate with it. Let’s have a look.
- Yoga mats make it easier to do yoga asanas.
Yoga mats are made for doing asanas and other fitness routines comfortably and safely. Yoga mats work well on any surface, minimising sliding and maximising the effectiveness of your workout. Furthermore, the joint strain is significantly reduced when utilising a yoga mat compared to when not using one. This is owing to the easy cushioning and optimum weight distribution.
- Yoga mats serve as a symbol as well.
For modern yoga practice, the yoga mat is the most important symbol. It’s more than just a tool for yogis to use. The yoga mat can be compared to life. It is a location where our brains may relax and decompress from the stresses, chaos, and unpredictability of regular life.
- A yoga mat can be used as a private space.
The yoga mat provides more than just a sticky surface. The mat defines your space. The bare floor is open to the public. Everyone is free to walk wherever they want. The yoga mat is your zone.
On other days, practice consists of little more than stretching out your mat and lying in a butterfly pose for twenty minutes. Alternatively, stand in tadasana and watch what happens. The act of gently unrolling the mat, walking onto the space, and inhaling is all we need to get started with our practice. Having something dedicated solely to our yoga practice builds a personal bond with ourselves and our practice. The mat indicates genuinely committing to our welfare and stepping into that beautiful energy.
The Benefits of Yoga Mats
There are numerous reasons why a yoga mat is an essential component of many of your workout sessions. Having more than one mat to use is beneficial because it might provide varied benefits when used together. For example, you may use one to rest your hands while doing a full-body posture and the other to keep your mat flat when exercising.
One of the main reasons individuals choose a yoga mat over a single yoga mat is that it can help them stay more comfortable during their practice. It’s far more convenient than trying to support your weight with a cushion or even a mat.
Another benefit of using a yoga mat is protecting your body from injuries during your workout sessions. Many athletes have suffered muscular injuries as a result of utilising a mat. When practising without a mat, different muscle strains are very prevalent — due to the severity of specific asanas and stretching past a certain point, a sudden change of your leg can cause extra tension and lead to various injuries.
Yoga Mats are Necessary For Beginners
For these reasons, a yoga mat is an absolute must-have if you want to get the most out of your yoga practice. Suppose you are new to yoga or are a novice. In that case, it is best to begin slowly and gradually increase your difficulty level instead of rushing directly into an exercise routine without first building a solid yoga base.
The most important thing to know is that a yoga mat can help you get more out of your training. It can make you feel more at ease, especially if you’re a newbie.
One of the best aspects of a yoga mat is that it may assist in keeping you grounded. Most individuals are unaware of how much of a difference the amount of oxygen and moisture in their bodies can make during workouts. It’s critical to breathing properly via your nose. You may end up with a lot of mucus if you breathe wrong.
Yoga Mats: Positioning and Stability
Yoga mats also serve to keep the ground stable during workouts, so you don’t slip or move around too much. It would help if you aimed to discover the optimum position to work in the most to optimise the benefits of your yoga sessions.
It’s critical to consider how you’ll place your mat. Some persons prefer to sit on their mat, some prefer to lie down, and others prefer to lie down while exercising.
This is something you can determine, but it’s a good idea to try out a few different positions until you discover one that works best for you. If sitting on the mat is too unpleasant for you, you may add a cushion or a blanket. You should avoid lying down if you’re doing poses like power yoga or vinyasa yoga because it can throw you off balance.
The objective is that you should stay as still as possible while performing your yoga programme. You will notice that if you work on keeping your body in alignment during your workouts, you will feel a lot calmer and at ease.
Correct thickness of your yoga mat
The most popular sizes are 6mm and 8mm. It provides adequate comfort and provides the most stability. If you perform a lot of standing or balance poses, this could be crucial. You may prefer a thicker mat, such as a 6 or 8mm if you desire more comfort or practice yoga on uneven or rough surfaces.
Best Yoga Mat to buy: Cambivo’s yoga mat
About this item
Fitness without boundaries: You will never feel constrained or hindered by the size of this gym mat due to its extra length and width (6Ftx4Ft(72″x 48″); Suitable for any Yoga Pose, Stretch, Pilates, or Foam Rolling; Ideal for PiYo, mild cardio workouts, or barefoot bodyweight exercises (Sit-ups, Push-ups, Handstands, Calisthenics) alone or with friends and family.
Double-Sided Slip-Free Design: The sticky, non-slip top provides unrivalled grip and comfort, allowing your hands to sink just enough to create more friction and less slip, allowing you to hold poses no matter how intense your practice becomes. The mat’s unique honeycomb bottom has and keeps it from sliding around, providing stability on both hard and soft surfaces.
Extra Cushioning and Comfort: Their 8mm thick cushioned mat is designed to strike a balance between being squishy enough to relieve pressure on your joints while remaining sturdy enough to provide a stable base. No more aching knees and elbows, and an excellent shock absorber for leaping; Works well in any space with hardwood flooring, including living rooms, garages, and basements.
Tear Resistance: A decent mat can be costly, but it is well worth the investment. Its fitness mat has an additional mesh fibre layer in the centre that increases durability and lifespan so that you can say goodbye to unpleasant tearing; with proper care, your yoga mats may last a long time.
Where to use Yoga Mat?
Yoga mats can be used in a variety of settings. It can be utilised at any time and in any place.
A gym is a place where people exercise and become in shape. It might be a club, a building, or a massive room with special equipment.
If you undertake floor-based strength training regularly, an exercise mat will come in handy. They’re handy if you attend Pilates or yoga lessons regularly.
When working out at home, Yoga Mats are essential. A good yoga mat is necessary wherever you practice. Injury and dissatisfaction might result from working on a slick mat, a slick towel, or an overly soft gym cushion. Although most studios and gyms provide mats for public use, having your own can be a more sanitary option.
Yoga mats can be utilised outdoors in parks or society grounds. It can be used anywhere depending on the individual’s choice.
How to maintain a yoga mat?
Yoga, unlike exercise, is designed to train and extend our muscles beyond their normal range of motion. Do you think it’ll be simple? Reconsider your position. You’ll sweat even if you’re not racing about, especially if you’re new to yoga or trying out new positions that challenge your limitations. This means that keeping your yoga mat clean is critical.
If you’re like most of us and roll your yoga mat up after each session, stuffing it into your gym bag and forgetting about it until your next session, you’ll soon notice something unpleasant – the stench. We habit of putting our yoga mat aside without realising how filthy it is. We don’t realise how awful things are until the bacteria has thrived in the dark, humid environment of the gym bag.
In between cleanings, yoga mats may develop an unpleasant sweaty odour, especially if this isn’t something you do regularly. The good news is that you can get rid of germs and odours with mild cleansers. One cleaning approach is to use a dishwashing soap like Vim Liquid and a little warm water.
Clean Your Yoga Mat as You Go
How to clean yoga mats regularly is one of the most important things you can do to assist improve your yoga experience.
Always follow the yoga mat’s label guidelines before cleaning it, as certain materials have special cleaning requirements. Also, check the guidelines on the cleaning product’s package before using it, and try any product on a tiny area first. Your yoga mat will keep fresher for longer if you clean it after each use. It would help if you lengthened the time between each thorough, vigorous clean in this manner.
You might be able to clean some yoga mats with dishwashing soap — combine a little amount of dishwashing liquid like Vim with warm water and apply it to the yoga mat. You can use a sponge or a clean spray bottle to apply the mixture. The mat should then be wiped clean and dry thoroughly before being stored. Remember not to use too much soap; you don’t want any residue left on the mat, which could make it slippery when doing downward facing dog!
You might also make your treatment by mixing cold water with white vinegar, which has antibacterial characteristics. Attempt to use roughly equal amounts of each. Although the vinegar has an unpleasant odour, it will dissipate over time.
If you want to make a more fragrant homemade cleanser, consider adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, to help conceal the vinegar’s odour. Fill a clean spray bottle with the solution and have it on hand. When you get home from the yoga class, take your yoga mat out of your gym bag, lay it flat, and spritz it with the cleaning solution all over. Repeat on the other side of the mat to ensure that all areas have been sprayed with water and vinegar. Allow to air dry or hang to dry on the laundry line. Once the mat is dry, the odour will dissipate.
How to Thoroughly Clean Your Yoga Mat
While the procedure described above is beneficial, you can’t put off washing your yoga mat indefinitely. It’s a good idea to give your home a thorough cleaning now and then to eliminate any bacteria, oils, dirt, and germs that have accumulated over time. After all, it’s not only perspiration that’s the issue; your yoga mat spends most of its time on the floor, accumulating all kinds of dirt. Fortunately, cleaning your yoga mat is a breeze.
First, see whether there’s a care label on the yoga mat; it could be possible to throw it in the washing machine. If that’s the case, toss your yoga mat into the washer with some Surf Waves Easy Wash! Set the temperature to a chilly setting (30 degrees or lower) and wash on the delicate cycle, making sure to include a rinse and spin cycle. Only use the washing machine if you’re sure your yoga mat can be washed in it.
Alternatively, you can use lukewarm water and a tiny quantity of Surf excel detergent to wash your yoga mat in a tub. Allow it to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing any stains before thoroughly rinsing and allowing it to dry entirely.
Allow a yoga mat to air dry whenever possible. Some individuals like to fold their yoga mats inside towels to help absorb excess moisture, but be cautious because this may cause your yoga mat to dry in a curved shape. Always dry flat if at all feasible.
Yoga sessions are supposed to be a time of peace and tranquilly, but how quiet can you be if the scent of old sweat lingers? Remember that the smell of your yoga mat affects more than just you; other people in your yoga class may smell it as well. Now that you know how properly clean a yoga mat, you have no excuse! After each session, spray down your yoga mat to eliminate any dirt or oils while they’re still fresh, and don’t forget to give it a thorough cleaning now and then – it takes no time and may make a big difference.