March 24, 2021
In the very beginning of yoga learning, the quivering and clumsy body always let us down. Some of us quit easily and ascribe the failure to a lack of talent. In fact, sometimes, you can blame your yoga mat. Out of the fear of falling down, an extra thick yoga mat tends to be picked. Plus, thousands of evaluations and recommendations of different yoga mats online already confuse people. So, a wrong choice is easily made by one who is doing to buy a yoga mat for the first time. After all, what you need to do is committed to choosing the right one which will help you improve your yoga skills and techniques in the long run. In this article, we will help you clear your doubts and choose the ideal mat according to your practice and personal need.
Mats can range from 6mm to 12mm in thickness, and some of them can even be as thick as a carpet. Is a yoga mat the thicker the better? The answer is obviously no. The answer to this question has to get back to the intent of a yoga mat design. A yoga mat should not only enable us to be well supported to protect our wrists, knees, and back, but also give us solid contact with the ground. A yoga mat with extra thickness will make you sink into your yoga mat, causing difficulty in holding the balance poses.
In fact, there is no size fits all. We need to choose the thickness of a yoga mat according to one’s weight and need. For some elderly people, pregnant women, and the injured, they need to listen to teachers’ advice and make the best choice. Let us look at the thickness of yoga mats for altered levels of yogis.
One-year yoga learner：6mm
Yoga masters：no yoga mat
We can see that the thicknesses vary for different levels of yoga enthusiasts. For beginners, the poses they need are relatively easy, and the role of a yoga mat is to protect people while working out before their core strength and muscles are well developed. As the level increases, the thickness of the mat decreases, and finally, there is no need to use a yoga mat at all.
The thickness of a yoga mat depends on the forms of yoga as well. If you are doing flexing yoga, which needs you to spend most of your time sitting on a mat, then the mat should be thicker and softer to make it more comfortable to sit on. However, if it is Power Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, then the mat should not be too thick and the non-slip requirements should be higher. Mats that are too soft will bring us a lot of trouble in doing yoga poses on its top (especially for balanced movements). Advanced yogis undoubtedly always buy thick yoga mats just preventing them from touching the ground and challenging themselves with more difficult yoga techniques.
In addition, the material also largely determines the thickness of a yoga mat. For materials with good resilience, such as rubber, 8mm is the thickest for beginners, but 10mm for NBR Yoga Mat and TPE yoga mats is better. Some beginners may consider the material of the yoga mat, that is another topic we will discuss.