Nowadays, finding the right yoga mat can cause paralysis. From sticky mats of all textures and thicknesses to hot yoga towels, traditional woven blankets and much more, there are yoga mats for almost every type of yoga. Which means it’s especially hard to find the best yoga mat for your practice.
So where do I start when it comes to deciding the right one? Read on to find out what the world’s most distinctive yogis say about their favorite yoga mats.
From the best yoga mats from your favorite teachers
The best padded rug: Manduka PRO
Carbondale, Colorado Yoga teacher Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga® and The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity and Freedom, says the best yoga mats he has ever used seem to "disappear under their feet."
“When I’m on the Manduka PRO, it’s almost like I don’t use a yoga mat at all,” he says. “It doesn’t move, it doesn’t stretch, it smells and doesn’t wear out like many other rugs. This is my permanent platform that I practice daily. "
Best adhesive mat: Hugger Mugger Tapas Performance mat
A little history: The Tapas Mat, which debuted in the late 1980s, was the first mat specifically for yoga - as a result, it set the standard for durability, density and grip. For yoga who has reached the age of majority in this era, Hugger Mugger mats encourage loyal followers. According to his mind: Aadil Palkhivala, the founder of Purna Yoga in Bellevue, Washington, says this is his favorite yoga mat.
“I like to use this rug because it’s extremely sticky and extra thick,” he says. - I have injured my body over the years; this mat provides the padding and support my body needs. This allows my hands to immerse just enough to have more friction and less slip. I also find that when I hold the headrest for a while, this mat really helps to distribute the pressure on the head. "
The best rug for travelers: Jade Travel rug
If you don’t pack a yoga mat, chances are it won’t happen. Still, it can be a problem to carry the rug with you wherever you go. Enter Jade’s travel rug, which is as small as a pair of pants. This portability factor gives a high score to Beryl Bender Birch, eRYT, who is the matriarch of vinyasa yoga.
“I love it being beautifully light and easy to pack, which allows me to simply throw it in the outside pocket of my suitcase wherever I travel and be at hand,” he says. Equally important to Birch is the company’s stellar environmental performance. “It’s made from natural wood rubber and doesn’t contain PVC, toxic plasticizers and harmful dyes. Plus, it’s 99 percent latex-free - all of which is important to me as an environmental activist. "
The best sweat-resistant mat: Lululemon The Reversible Mat 3mm
For those who love their yoga, this is one of the most sticky mats on the market. On one side is an antimicrobial polyurethane top layer that helps absorb sweat and prevent slipping. On the other hand, an adhesive texture provides plenty of traction for less strenuous exercises.
Seattle, Washington-based Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine, is pleased with the versatility of this mat.
“I love the yoga mat simple and functional,” he says. "This mat has just the right grip, stands the test of time, and is perfect for a sweaty class or restorative practice."
For the best mat alignment: Liforme yoga mat
Are you ready to take yoga practice to the next level with a mat to help you focus on alignment? Annie Carpenter, the yoga teacher at the bay, founder of SmartFlow yoga, receives the Liforme yoga mat with high praise. If you stick to alignment marks (read: corner to corner), alignment lines are useful, Carpenter says. “Plus, it got me just the right amount of stickiness,” combining the perfect balance of stability and cushioning.
Bonus: Liforme uses materials of sustainable origin, recyclable packaging and ensures that their carpets last a lifetime. “I love that this rug helps me be as environmentally friendly as possible, at least so far,” Carpenter says. “There are a lot of yoga mats these days; we need to be aware of our short and long term footprints. "
Best home practice mat: Manduka Mat PRO Squared
For dedicated practitioners, it makes sense to have a yoga mat for your lessons and stay home. So, why not think of something outside the rectangle that stays in place? Manduka Mat PRO Squared fits the bill.
“Its size allows me to move in any plane without my limbs wandering off the rubber,” says LA-based Jill Miller, co-founder of C-IAYT, ERYT, Tune Up Fitness Worldwide. “Its density and shock absorption are not compared to any other yoga mat on the market. This is a permanent piece of equipment in my home studio.
The best spun rug: Sugamat
If yoga practice is about deepening your relationship with nature, it’s worth taking sustainability to another level by being part of the solution with the help of a SugaMat. For Vancouver yoga teacher and surfer Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology, the best choice is made from recycled wet clothes. “As a surfer, it’s such a joyous awareness that creating a sustainable yoga mat saves space in the landfill,” he says.
Bonus: If the wine can have a terroir (the topography that gives it its distinctive taste), it can also be a yoga mat. “I swear I still feel all that great surfing juju from surfers who wore wet clothes that became the yoga mat when I stepped on it to practice,” says Finn.