Yoga and meditation are forms of exercise that promote mental and physical wellbeing. A good yoga mat is key for providing grip and cushion while one practices. One can easily find mats in gyms and studios for public use, but it is more hygienic to have your own mat if you do regular yoga. There is not just one type of yoga mat; in fact, it comes with many options. The majority of these mats can work just fine for any style of yoga.
Is your yoga mat too thin? A yoga mat can be too thin for people who are bony and may feel the ground digging into their bones when they are holding a yoga pose. It can also be thin for people who prefer yoga styles that involve sitting or kneeling for long periods. These issues can be resolved by choosing a slightly thicker mat for yoga practice.
If you practice yoga with fewer poses held for longer, you may prefer a softer, more comfortable mat. For styles of yoga, more active or balance focused postures, thinner mats can help increase stability. Mats with more textured surfaces will help maintain grip when the poses get more strenuous. Yoga mats differ in thickness, and this varying thickness is aimed towards keeping the different styles of yoga in mind.
Thin VS Thick Yoga Mats
Yoga mat manufacturers provide mats in a variety of styles and thickness. They come in extra thin to quite thick styles, and they serve separate audiences according to their yoga needs. Standard sizes are also available that can be used for any style of yoga.
Thin Yoga Mats
Thin mats provide more stability with certain styles of yoga, and if one practices a more active form of yoga, such mats are preferable. Balanced, focused poses are better achieved on thin mats. If these thin mats are also textured, then they help get better grip with strenuous poses.
If a yoga mat is too thin, it can get quite uncomfortable to hold poses for long. Some cushioning of around 5mm of thickness is good for a thin mat, which can also keep one balanced for long.
A disadvantage that comes along with thin mats is that they need to be replaced more often because of quicker wear and tear. However, they are less expensive than thicker yoga mats, and replacement is not costly.
Thick Yoga Mats
For therapeutic and restorative yoga, thick mats work better. The extra cushioning and softness can help with poses held for longer and those which involve kneeling practices. Thicker mats prove to be more comfortable for joints and knees. People in the older age group may find these mats more preferable for their yoga needs. However, these mats are not preferable for balance oriented and standing poses.
How to Choose a Yoga Mat
If you practice regular yoga, then you should consider buying one for your needs instead of using the ones found in gyms and studios. Yoga mats aren’t all the same and require some consideration when being bought. The following factors should be kept in mind when choosing a mat for yourself.
The Thickness of the Yoga Mat
There are standard yoga mats with the most common thickness, and they work for most people. If, while practicing, you feel your bones digging into the ground, then you should go for a thicker mat for comfortable posture. A mat with 6mm thickness may be a good choice; however, if your yoga style is standing postures and balance orientation, then a thinner mat would work better.
The Length of the Yoga Mat
Sometimes it is likely that you may be too tall for your yoga mat, and if your yoga involves lying down and stretching, then a more comfortable option would be a longer mat.
The Material and Texture of the Yoga Mat
Several yoga mats are designed to absorb sweat because some yoga practices can be quite strenuous. If you plan to practice the sweaty styles of yoga, it will be easier to do so on such mats because the typical ones may get sticky and slippery, making them hard and dangerous to practice on. If you wish to keep the common mat, then keeping a texture yoga towel on top of the mat might be helpful. Open-cell mats are porous mats to absorb moisture and are made for this purpose. Keeping these mats clean is also essential, therefore. Some high-end premium open-cell mats come with anti-bacterial agents in their material.
Extremely smooth mats are not good options because they will get slippery even with normal poses. Natural rubber mats are a better option, and people considering sweat-absorbing mats should go for textured ones because they also provide more grip and stability.
Is Yoga a Form of Meditation?
Meditation is a more spiritual form of workout, while yoga is a more physical practice. Meditation involves consciously breathing to calm the mind and practicing alertness. Yoga is a form of meditation because it also involves training your breathing with the movements you are practicing to promote physical and mental wellbeing. In literal terms, it means the union of one`s body, soul, and mind with the Divine. It can be called a branch of meditation.
Yoga VS Meditation
Yoga and meditation both are aimed towards relaxing the mind and body to get away from everyday stress and troublesome thoughts. Both make the person aware of the present experiences and reality. They can be interchangeable for some people, but a few differences in the two practices define them as separate.
|Yoga is a more physical practice and involves mindfulness while moving from one pose to the next or while holding one pose for long.||Meditation is focusing one`s attention on their breathing or mantra by sitting in a quiet place with their eyes closed or open for a certain time.|
|Yoga adds strength and flexibility in a person, along with the aspect of mental wellbeing and releasing stress.||Meditation helps with the peace of mind and developing alertness of one`s surroundings. It also enhances physical wellbeing when a person heals from mental stress or depression.|
|While practicing yoga initially, it is difficult to build the flexibility, balance, and strength. Both yoga and meditation require practice.||While practicing meditation, it is hard to concentrate initially and training to be attentive. The mind wanders and makes it difficult to focus.|
|It boosts energy and helps avoid injuries caused by muscle cramps or twists.||Meditation helps spark creativity and fights age-related memory loss.|
|Yoga improves cardiovascular health and improves strength.||It improves one`s attention span and helps get control over emotional reactions.|
It is also common in some individuals to practice both yoga and meditation, and this combination can help achieve a greater state of wellbeing and peace. It is not necessary to choose one over the other; both come with their set of benefits and can be availed with practice and consistency.
Meditation and yoga both have positive effects on the mind and body. In addition, yoga helps build strength and flexibility in an individual. It depends on the individual what type of yoga they prefer, and according to that, they can choose the type of mat that would be suitable for their practice. Thicker and thinner mats, along with standard mats, are available for yoga. One should keep in mind factors like balance and poses to decide which mat they want to buy.