Taking the time to consider the right mat for you is really worthwhile, as having a mat that suits your needs can be similar to finding the right pair of running shoes.
At Uprising we’re keen to encourage you towards home yoga practice, so having your own mat is a helpful start on that path.
To help you navigate the various factors, here’s a bit of guidance on what to consider:
Firstly, be careful to not confuse yoga mats with pilates or gym mats, which are much thicker and softer. Pilates or gym mats are designed for lying on rather than standing, therefore they don’t provide enough stability for yoga practise.
Around 4mm-5mm is the average yoga mat thickness. This is a good thickness to provide enough cushioning on a hard floor, but if you’d like some extra cushioning for your joints you could consider going up to 6mm (our studio mats are 6mm).
Alternatively, there are also thinner ones more suited to travel, and transporting to and from the studio, keep an eye out for the ‘travel mat’ label when buying. We don’t recommend a thinner mat if you’re practising on a hard floor, but they’ll generally be okay for using on carpet or something else slightly padded.
If you tend towards warm or sweaty hands when you practise you’ll definitely want to choose a mat with a grippy surface. It’s not a nice experience to be slipping and sliding around or repeatedly having to adjust your hand positions in downward dog. These days there are plenty of non-slip mats to choose from, and the main downside with some of the grippier mats is that they tend to be heavier, which is fine if you’re just practising at home, but not so great if you’re walking or cycling to the studio. Some of the grippier mats are also on the expensive side. If your budget doesn’t stretch to one of these but good grip is still an important factor for you, liquid chalk is a helpful product that you can use on your hands and feet to get extra grip.
As mentioned above, this could be a consideration depending on where you are practising.
The average mat length is about 180cm long. If you’re tall, having a longer mat is definitely nice.
It’s good practice to consider the sustainability of everything we buy, so look out for brands who specify the materials the mat is made from, and how they are sourced. Natural rubber and cork are some of the more sustainable options being used these days. Minimal use of glue or other synthetic additives is good too.