Yoga mats are available in a variety of colors and patterns. You also have the option of thickness. A standard mat is about 1/8 inch thick and the thickest is about ¼ inch thick. Mats weigh as little as two pounds and up to as much as seven pounds.
The 1/8 inch mats are generally preferred for a flowing practice. They help with stability in your poses. The thicker mats are better for restorative practices. There are also thin 1/16 inch thick and more compact mats which travel easily.
They are made from different materials the most durable being PVC (vinyl). More eco-friendly mats are made of organic cotton, jute, recycled and natural rubber. Avoid mats made of natural rubber if you have an allergy to latex. The PVC mats are easy to clean, and grip the floor well. They can become slippery if you sweat as they do not absorb moisture. PVC is not biodegradable if this a factor in choosing a mat.
Jute and cotton mats with a raised texture will help to keep you from sliding even if you become sweaty during your practice. They are also eco-friendly if that is your preference. There are also eco-friendly rubber mats that are made from recycled or a natural rubber which may also contain a natural cotton or jute. These mats are generally thicker than the PVC mats.
The cost of mats varies due to thickness, solid color PVC, compared to different designs, textures, thickness, and material. The eco-friendly mats are usually priced higher.
Another factor often overlooked is the size of your mat. Extra long mats are available and are generally a good choice if you are tall. That way you can avoid the possibility of slipping because your stance goes beyond the length of your mat. It will cost a bit more but is well worth your comfort and stability.
Yoga towels are non-slip, absorbent and machine washable They are specially designed to dry quickly and are especially good with PVC mats.
While you are shopping around for a mat that suits your needs, you may want to also add a yoga strap and a couple of blocks which come in handy if you are not that flexible. It is certainly not necessary, but a consideration if needed for your optimal practice.
There are different styles of yoga bags that accommodate your mat and towel, blocks, strap, water, etc. or simply use a sling to make it easy to carry your mat to class.
Your yoga mat and accessories need to be suited to your comfort and style of yoga practice.
There is a variety of yoga mats from which to choose. The thickness, surface, material it is made from are important factors in choosing the right one for your practice. Mats come in thickness from 1/16 of an inch to about 1/4 inch thick. They are made from PVC, natural and recycled rubber, jute and cotton. Choosing the right one depends on your type of practice and your preference of color, design, thickness and whether or not it is eco-friendly.