Practicing yoga has some incredible benefits. Not only does it help improve flexibility and strength, but it also helps you rid harmful toxins and increase mental clarity.
While all this is true, you might find that, oftentimes, your yoga mat just won’t cooperate. Perhaps you slip and slide your way through a routine, or perhaps you even fall out of a pose. Not only can this be dangerous, but it also detracts from your yoga experience, pulling you out of a state of presentness and hindering your ‘you’ time.
For those of you that want to take your yoga practice to the next level and rest assured that, during practice, you can simply focus on your posture and poses, it’s important to invest in the right equipment. And that means looking for a custom yoga mat that’s built to work for you, not against you.
Whether you’re new to yoga or a seasoned pro, navigating your way through yoga mat shopping can be as challenging as a power vinyasa class. Here are a few things to consider.
1. First, what’s your main reason for practicing?
Before you do anything, consider your main reason for practicing yoga. Perhaps you’re looking to turn yoga into your primary fitness routine, or maybe you’re just trying to find a way to relax and unwind a few days a week when you’ve had a busy day.
Whatever it is, identifying clear objectives for your yoga practice will help you understand what type of yoga mat is right for you.
2. Do you need a personalised yoga mat?
A personalised yoga mat isn’t suited to everyone. If yoga is a casual affair for you, chances are you can get by on a run-of-the-mill mat. But if you’re really looking to invest in yourself and level-up your practice, it might be worth considering a custom yoga mat that has tailor-made alignment guides.
Mats like these are designed around your unique body type. Here at Yogaline, for example, we’ve developed something called the Truelign system. In short, each of our custom yoga mats comes with tailored alignment guides unique to your body measurements. All you have to do is answer three simple questions about your measurements and our algorithm calculates your personalised alignment markers.
With a custom yoga mat like this at your disposal, you can practice from the comfort of your own home and feel confident that you’re well aligned in each position throughout a practice.
3. Consider the type of yoga you practice
If you’re already committed to one style of yoga, that’s great. Knowing this can really help you narrow down the right mat for you. For those of you who are considering or practicing hot yoga, for example, you’ll limit your distractions if you equip yourself with a more grippy and slip-free mat. If you have vulnerable joints or find yoga is tough on your body, you might consider a mat with more density and sponginess to it.
4. Think about your lifestyle
Finally, when shopping for a yoga mat, you should also consider your own lifestyle. Are you planning to practice at home even after COVID-19, lockdowns and quarantine periods are over?Are you looking to get out into the world again and practice in a studio? Even better, are you looking to indulge in yoga on a cliff top overlooking the ocean? (we’re jealous of you if so!).
Whatever the case, portability is an important factor to think about. After all, you won’t want to lug around a 9-pound mat on the train to a studio, and storing a high-density mat at home can take up unnecessary space.
The right equipment will pay dividends in your practice
There are many factors to consider when purchasing the right yoga mat. From considering environmental friendliness and buying ethically-made mats from small businesses, to thinking about your main reason for practicing and whether or not you want a personalised yoga mat, it’s important to find a mat that speaks to you and your practice. After all, you’ll hopefully be returning to your mat time and time again, so if it’s not something that is working for you, it’s only holding you back.
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