With the numerous yoga practices, different yoga mats can prove to heighten the experience.
Iyengar is all about balance and alignment, so we recommend a thin and sturdy mat that will not wobble or throw you off. If you practice Iyengar, it may be best to stray away from sticky or cushiony mats.
Hot Yoga is vigorous and often results in sweat, meaning you will want a sticky yoga mat that will stop you from slipping and help maintain a balance between poses. PVC is best for this reason as they are generally the stickiest. Natural rubber mats also work well with sweat if you prefer not to use PVC mats. We don’t recommend Manduka as they are heavily criticised for the stickiness of their mats. Jade mats generally hold a slight edge over Manduka in this category, but it depends on the specific mat you choose, Jade Harmony Yoga Mat has a strong grip that is very useful for hot yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga is another intense practice that will leave you short of breath and streaming with sweat. Therefore, we recommend the same as we do for hot yoga.
For Hatha Yoga, which is usually what people think of when mentioning yoga, a foam mat would be ideal for a start before branching in a different direction.
Vinyasa hails from hatha yoga but it is much faster and tiresome. It also involves a lot of movement, so we recommend a mat that smooth but has a high level of stickiness, that way you’ll have nice traction and avoid slipping. Yoga Zeal has luxuriously soft surfaces with a high level of grip on them.
For Restorative Yoga, one that holds poses for longer than usual yoga practices but is the gentlest, we recommend thick, comfortable, cushiony mats. Usually, mats go up to ¼ an inch, which is not recommended for balance, but for a practice that revolves around slow, low movements, it can feel great.
Outdoors Yoga is, arguably, the most freeing form of yoga. With the nature of outdoor yoga, you don’t need a mat and will often find it more liberating and comfortable not to use one. If you are determined to use one though, we recommend thick mats. These may make it difficult for some poses, however, that focus on balance since they can be wobbly. Thin mats can also work, and they let you feel the earth more, but considerable downsides exist for outdoor practice with mats. Lumps will usually form on the mat and sometimes, the mat can be punctured by sticks or grass spikes.