How to Choose a Yoga Mat

When you are considering buying a yoga mat, run through the checklist below before you decide to simply grab the cheapest one in the shopping mall.
 
Outdoor or home use
  • Outdoor - Choose a mat that is reasonably lightweight.
  • Travelling - Do you need a foldable mat - to fit into your suitcase?
  • Home - You can afford to choose a sturdier and heavier mat for better cushion and grip.
Function - grip & back support
  • Sweaty palms: Choose a yoga mat that provides adequate friction against the palms and maybe top it up with a yoga towel to absorb the sweat.
 
  • Health issues: Select the mat with caution!
    • Back/spine/under- & overweight issues: Look for a mat that provides reasonable cushion while you lie down on your back.
    • Weak heart, weak joints, blood pressure issues: A mat with good friction is absolutely necessary. Your body constitution means it does not have the strength to hold you safely when you practice standing poses on a slippery mat.  ​​​​
  • Height and Width: Are you taller or wider than the average body build?
    • Check the mat dimensions to make sure it is at least slightly longer/wider than your body.
  • Are you an intermediate to advanced practitioner? If so, consider looking for a mat with lesser friction so that you enjoy a flow smoothly, and it gives you the opportunity to activate your body strength for the grip, ie, intensify your practice.
How to Test a Yoga Mat:
Grip test
 
Stand with arms and legs wide open apart.  If you are slipping in this pose, this mat is not for you unless you are an intermediate/advanced practitioner (read above).
Cushion test
Listen to your body as you choose your mat! Lie down on the mat, hug both knees and roll from side to side.  Does your back feel adequately supported or your body feels the hardness of the floor and do not quite like it?  
 
 

What You'll Need:

Yoga Mats
Yoga mat
(necessary)
Buy online
Purchase Guide
Yoga Equipment
Blocks & straps
(case-by-case)
Buy online - Blocks
Buy online - Straps
yoga blanket
Yoga blanket(s)
(case-by-case)
Buy online
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Bolster
(case-by-case)
Buy online
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