If you’ve been practicing yoga for awhile now you’ve probably thought about purchasing your very own yoga mat. Buying your first mat is a milestone in your yoga journey, marking a desire to deepen your practice.
The Benefits of Owning Your Own Mat
Owning a yoga mat is a fun way to personalize your practice and often becomes a well-loved companion, a reminder of the joys and challenges you’ve encountered throughout the years on your mat. I still treasure my first yoga mat, even though it’s worn out and too thin to support my knees anymore. Even now, sometimes I’ll layer it on top of my new mat, just because I like the feel of it. It reminds me of the long hours of my teacher training and all the places and times I’ve experienced growth in my practice through the years.
Another great reason to invest in your own mat is that it’s more hygenic. Even if you stash your mat in your car between classes, it’s nice to be able to take your mat home for a deep clean every once in awhile. Some mats you can even throw in the washing machine! We ask our students to wash the studio mats after every use but having your own mat can be an extra reassurance, especially during cold season!
Here are a few things to consider when investing in your first mat.
First, take a look at your budget and figure out what price works best for you. Yoga mats run anywhere from $7.99 to over $100 and typically, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. For your first mat, I recommend choosing something in the middle of that price range as you are developing your practice and figuring out what style of yoga you like best, but also want something that will last a while.
Yoga mats are designed to suit various styles of yoga. Most mats are pretty versatile and will be suitable for a wide variety of styles of yoga classes. However, you may want something more specific to your favorite style of yoga. For example, there are hot yoga mats or hot yoga towels to lay over your mat that will prevent you from slipping, even when you’re dripping in sweat! You may have other considerations or preferences such as a mat with designs to support correct alignment or a mat with extra thickness to provide extra cushion for achy knees.
Lastly, consider your personal preferences for feel, color, size and design. My first yoga mat was purple, my favorite color, and I have another with beautiful pink cherry blossoms that reminds me of springtime. Choosing a style and color you love is important because you’ll be spending a lot of time looking at your mat!
Gaiam has some fun designs and Yoga House is carrying a number of the Performance Metallic style in our retail space for around $30. For next level grippy mats, check out the Manduka mats we carry! Come by the studio to check them out before your next class or ask an instructor for a recommendation!