Any yogi worth their salt carries her/his own mat to class – for hygiene purposes as well as the familiar sweaty personal relationship you have with your own mat!!
If you intend to practice regularly, invest in a good mat.
You will end up spending a LOT of time on it.
Regular followers of this page will know that I do not endorse products or brands here – however this post comes close to advertising – except I am not paid for it!
In the last week alone quite a number of students asked for my opinion on yoga mats – so here is my experience with the MAT.
I started out using a hand made thick cotton mat as a child tumbling around in India – it used to skid a lot but was fun.
Some of my teachers in India including the wonderful Jehangir Palkhiwala never used one and had a superb wooden flooring in the shala instead.
My introduction to the sticky “MAT” came at Mr BKS Iyengar’s yoga school in Pune and Mumbai where I studied the most elaborate props at work – and was impressed by how safely they could help people to achieve poses that were not accessible otherwise.I have been hooked to mats ever since.
Over the years I have used and abused many mats. and here are my favourite qualities in a mat:
It should be stable – non skid
Not too bulky to carry around
Thicker if you have back problems etc
Not very soft or the kind where your foot sinks in
It should be able to weather tough practice
Washing or cleaning should be easy
It should be durable and not tear out
I am fairly tall and often find some mats are just not built to accommodate the full body extension so do check on dimensions suitable to your body type.
I happen to have a few different mats -and like them for different reasons. My personal favourite practice mat is a long, thick “Manduka”mat. It is rather heavy so best suited for home practice or for schools. They are not inexpensive but won’t wear out.
I find it takes strong practice, sweat and tears well, it can be washed and disinfected. We get along great!
I also carry my lightweight Jade mat around – when going to teach or travel. It is superb for regular practice.
Do your homework and get one that is most appropriate for your practice.
Stay safe always!