Size & Thickness
Yoga mats are required at your practice. Towels or other kinds of exercise mats are not acceptable substitutes.
It's easier to balance on a thin mat (1/8"). If your knees are sensitive, or if your tail bone or hip bones are very prominent, then a thicker mat (up to "1/4") may be preferable. A 68" long mat is usually adequate. If you are over 6 feet tall, then a 72" mat is better.
PVC is the most common mat material. It¡¯s the best for grip, durability, there are few allergy issues, color stability is good and nothing can get near to PVC on price. The main criticism of PVC is that it contains Vinyl Chloride and does not degrade
Eco-friendly yoga mats are made from entirely natural plant based material. They are PVC free. At the end of the Yoga mat's life they can be composted - making them completely eco-friendly. Check our eco friendly yoga mat and yoga props here.
Cotton Mats are the best for different types of yoga, which make excess heat for body and develop a lot of sweat. These mats can easily absorb sweat and keep an individual from sliding and slipping. These can be more effective if sprinkled with a little quantity of water. There are many lines of cotton mats available in different patterns. These can be alternative for blankets and offer cushioning.
* Ashtanga Mats - These cotton made, tightly woven Yoga Mats are ideal for Ashtanga Yoga, Bikram Yoga, or any forms of sweaty yoga practice because traction on Ashtanga mats are activated by the moisture build up from sweat or water. It also provides extra cushioning for Seated Postures and better stability for Standing Postures.
* Travel Yoga Mats - This is ideal for people who are on the go. These lightweight, highly portable Travel Yoga Mats easily folds and fits in most luggages without hassle.
* Universal Yoga Mat - This is the most commonly used of all Yoga Mats. This easy-to-use Yoga Mats are favored both among Yoga students and instructors. Although it has a high-tack and sticky surface, Universal Yoga Mats are still lightly textured, allowing a smoother, softer feel for you.
* Deluxe Yoga Mats - This is a more enhanced form of the Universal Yoga Mat.
* Utopian Yoga Mats - These are the best available type of Yoga mats today. The Utopian Yoga Mat offers only perfection in every aspect: cushioning, durability, stability. Compared to its counterparts, the Utopian Yoga Mat restores its form faster hence making any body impressions on the surface disappear quickly. The only downside is that it is heavier and a lot pricier than the conventional, easy to use Yoga Mat.
* Beginner Yoga Mats - This is the best choice for beginners. It is balanced in every aspect and can be their initial and temporary mats until they reach the advanced level of Yoga.
* Is it lightweight for carrying?
* Will it hold up to repeated washings?
* Would it keep my feet from slipping?
* When I sweat, will the grip remain the same?
* Will the mat remain on the floor and not stick to my feet?
* Does the lifespan of the mat compare well with others?
* Will particles like dust and lint shake off easily?
These are some of the questions that you can ask, and below are some of the comparison tests for determining quality:
The pinch test: Pinch the mat between thumb and forefinger to compare compression resistance.
The wet friction test: Simulate sweating by moistening your hand. Compare wet traction by bearing down laterally on the surface of the mat.
The quarter test: Compare samples by rubbing them with the edge of a quarter until the surface breaks down. The more strokes it takes before the surface breaks, the longer life the mat will have.
Often new yoga mats seem to have an unusual odor as well as a slightly slippery feel. These issues can usually be easily treated.
Before its first use, lay your yoga mat out flat for a day or two to dissipate the manufacturing odor. Then wash the new mat with a damp, slightly soapy sponge or washcloth. After washing, rinse off any soap and allow the mat to dry. This should remove any oils left over from the manufacturing process and assure that the mat does not feel slippery on initial use.
Over time the mat is likely to accumulate body oil and may become slippery. Periodically washing the mat will avoid (or cure) this problem.
Source: Buy yoga mat and other yoga props at buyyogamat.com