Yoga involves a series of exercises and stretches that work out your whole body, and often require you to sit on the floor, or even lie down both on your tummy or on your back. Depending on the surface upon which you are doing your yoga, you could end up with bruises or sore patches. This is why a good quality yoga mat is a must – it will make your workouts safer and much more comfortable, ensuring that you are ready, willing and able to turn up again the next day to do it all over again. Let us take a look at the best thicknesses for yoga mats.
The comfort level offered by a yoga mat actually has little to do with its thickness. It is instead the material from which the mat is made that makes all the difference. Cheaper mats – such as those purchased on a whim while you try out yoga and see if you like it – are often made from diffuse foams which offer little support or comfort against the hardness of the floor, while high quality brand name yoga mats, such as those from Manduka, are made from dense and compact eco-friendly PVC or non-Amazonian rubber for superb comfort in even their thinnest mats.
Thick or Thin?
However, one thing that should be taken into account when you are choosing a yoga mat is your own size and shape – and weight. While a taller person will automatically choose the longest length yoga mat available (they usually go up to two metres long), heavier people often do not take their extra pounds into account, which means that they can suffer doubly from the hardness of the floor – firstly, because their yoga mat is not thick enough to offer them the support and comfort needed, and secondly because the heavier they are the more resistance from the floor will be experienced. While you may be absolutely determined to shake off those excess pounds, do take them into account when beginning yoga: your comfort and safety is all-important as you find your way back to a healthier body size.
Some Yoga Mat Thickness Facts
Choosing the right mat is important, no matter your size, as it can impact on the way you perform and feel. Too thin and yielding a mat can leave you with bruises and stiff joints, but too thick a mattress can feel insecure, causing you to wobble and tip over, especially when attempting the trickier yoga poses that come along with more advanced lessons. In general, yoga mats measure between 2mm thick and 10mm thick with most being between 4mm and 6mm on average. The heaviest mats will be those made of rubber – even quite thin rubber will weigh more than thick foam – but rubber is one of the best materials for yoga mats, being tacky without being sticky for a good grip, offering excellent cushioning, and being very easy to clean and sanitise when you are finished your workout.