If you're looking to buy your first yoga mat, you may be slightly overwhelmed by the wide choice of mats available to purchase. This article will teach you how to choose a yoga mat and how to clean a yoga mat.
If you are a new yoga student, you might be wondering how to choose a yoga mat. There are so many mats on the market; it can be difficult to know what kind of yoga mat is best for beginners. Finding the right mat for you rests on a few variables:
1: Materials - Your mat can be constructed from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), TPE (thermoplastic elastomer - a mix of plastic and rubber), or more eco-friendly biodegradable materials, such as natural rubber, jute, or organic cotton. The materials you choose will greatly dictate what type of texture your mat has. PVC/TPE mats are sticky, which reduces slip for beginners. Eco-friendly mats tend to have a textured surface to create more friction.
2: Thickness - Yoga mats are available in a variety of thicknesses. Some people prefer thinner mats for better balance, while others need a thicker mat to cushion their joints. Mats typically range between 1/8 inch - 1/4 inch thick.
3: Cost - Standard 1/8 inch PVC yoga mats are on the lowest end of the price range. Eco mats tend to be more expensive. If you want to customize your mat, you're looking at spending even more.
PVC mats are best if you:
Avoid PVC/TPE mats if you:
Eco mats are best if you:
Avoid eco mats if you:
Your yoga mat will need to be cleaned regularly to maintain it and prevent a build-up of bacteria. How to clean a yoga mat varies depending on the material. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to extend the life of your mat.
You can clean a yoga mat with a ready-made spray, a homemade spray, or dish soap and water. If you want to make your own spray, mix equal parts distilled water and white vinegar, and add some essential oils. Tea tree is a good idea because it is antibacterial and antifungal. Lemon, lavender, orange, or grapefruit essential oil will make your homemade mat spray smell beautiful.
When you have cleaned your mat, allow it to air-dry before rolling it up. Do not leave rubber or TPE mats in the sun as they will degrade. Using a yoga towel over your mat will keep it clean, and the towel can easily be machine-washed between uses.
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