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I started feeling my left knee pop and my back ache at the base of my neck. With any new exercise, it’s normal to feel some new aches and pains while your muscles adjust. When you release tight muscles as you start doing yoga, it impacts your overall posture and muscles in unexpected places across your body, which might make you sore. Since I’m a desk worker, I wasn’t surprised that waking up neglected neck muscles was uncomfortable—they always get sore when I exercise my upper body, and the sensation was familiar.
Best of all, this mat is produced by a company with an eco, and human-friendly vision. Liforme cares about the company’s impact on the planet, and they have tackled the challenge of a sustainable, non-toxic yoga mat by diving into the research and doing their own independent study. The result is a mat made from low-odor, non-toxic, PVC-free material that is heat bonded without the use of any toxic adhesives and biodegrades in normal landfill conditions in 1-5 years! Liforme even send their eco mats to you without the irony of plastic packaging, which is always a plus!
It’s best to clean your yoga mat at least once a week to prevent staining and buildup. Use water and gentle cleansers like lemon juice or dish soap, but avoid abrasive sponges. Wipe down excess moisture and let your mat dry away from direct sunlight or high temperatures, which can accelerate the breakdown of natural materials like rubber. When in doubt, check your mat manufacturer’s care guidelines.
You just need to know where to start, and this article is designed to simplify your choices. I’ve waded through the mass of lesser mats to bring you what I consider the Top 10 Best Yoga Mats of 2018. This list includes mats intended for home, studio, or travel, and for each one I provide a summary -- weight, materials, where it was made -- a description of my personal experience with it, and rate 7 features from 1 to 10, using the following system:
AllAndrea MarcumAnne NovakAnnie CarpenterAshleigh SergeantAshley TurnerBernie ClarkCameron GilleyCameron ShayneChrissy CarterChristine Price ClarkChristopher Hareesh WallisClara Roberts-OssColleen Saidman YeeCristi ChristensenCyndi LeeDanielle Mika NagelDavid MagoneDayna SerayeDesiree RumbaughDharma MittraDina AmsterdamDoug SwensonDr Carla CupidoFaith HunterGina CaputoGiselle MariGloria LathamGreg BurdulisGurmukhGuru JagatHala KhouriHemalayaa BehlJames D'SilvaJane EllisonJanet StoneJasmine TarkeshiJeanie ManchesterJennifer MoreJesse EnrightJo SchaalmanJustine LemosKate KendallKate PotterKathryn BudigKent KatichKerri KellyKevin CourtneyKia MillerKino MacGregorKishan ShahKreg WeissKrishna KaurLeslie KaminoffLindsey LewisMara BranscombeMariel HemingwayMarla WaalMary Clare SweetMatt GiordanoMeg McCrakenMeghan CurrieMelina MezaMichelle TrantinaNichole GoldenNicki DoaneNico LuceNicolai BachmanPadma ShyamPatricia WaldenPedro FrancoRick CoeRina JakubowiczRodney YeeRyan LeierSadhvi Bhagawati SaraswatiSally KemptonSarah HarrisonSeane CornShannon PaigeShiva ReaSianna ShermanSteph SchwartzSuzanne DeasonSwami Chidanand SaraswatiTara LeeTommy RosenTroy HadeedTrudie StylerTwee MerriganZain Saraswati Jamal
Sweet dreams are made of these... yoga poses. You’ll move through shoulder-opening poses to relieve stress, gentle forward bends (which host Jason Crandell says will quiet nerves), and hip openers that’ll help slash tension. Plus, the fact that Crandell’s detailed, easy-to-follow instruction is as soothing as the sequence itself helps set you up for some quality shut-eye. (via Yoga Journal)
Start in warrior 2 pose: left foot is back and left leg is straight. Right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle directly over the ankle, and right toes are pointing forward. Chest and hips are squared to the left side. Left arm is reaching back and right arm is reaching forward, so that they are parallel to the mat in a “T” position with palms facing down. Engage your abs.
The Liforme Yoga Mat rolled out with a quietly satisfying plop and seemed firmly set in the ground, ready for action. We never had to worry about the mat sliding around on the floor or about sliding around on top of it ourselves. The Liforme mat has a natural, grippy rubber base and smooth, matte polyurethane top. It’s not so sticky it catches you while you’re trying to switch positions (like the Hugger Mugger Para Rubber did), but was grippy enough to keep us stable even during hot yoga sessions. One tester noted, “The sweater I got, the stickier the mat was.”
Specifically designed for pregnant ladies (like Kristoffer herself!), this sequence helps define arms and open the shoulders to counteract any hunching that might occur as a result of carrying extra weight. Similar to a regular flow class, it involves poses like lunges, downward-facing dog, and chaturanga (modified with your bump in mind). Be sure to talk to your doc first before attempting. (via Qinetic Live)
Yoga and Pilates offer a safe entry point to fitness for new exercisers. Specifically, yoga is proven to improve muscle tone and flexibility, reduce stress, promote concentration, create self-awareness, and increase your range of motion. Some of the Power Systems tools and accessories that can help integrate yoga into a workout routine include yoga straps for flexibility, yoga blocks for added support during certain postures, and high quality mats for comfort and cushioning. For large classes, Power Systems has a handy multi-purpose rack that can hold all these accessories in one, easy to organize space.
Our women’s yoga pants and tops are invented and designed, tested and perfected by the active women at prAna. From ultralight to super compressive yoga pants, to supportive yoga bras and lightweight active layers for street-to-studio looks with a sustainability twist, our yoga favorites for women combine the style, performance, and durability you need to achieve the ultimate balance and embody active joy. Yoga bras and yoga tanks are available in a variety of sustainable fabrics and fits, while our yoga pants and yoga leggings come in capris, leggings, and shorts. Find the essential active basics like black yoga pants, or push the limits with vivid colors and prints on our white yoga pants with a vibrant floral pattern. Don’t forget the yoga mats and yoga gear is eco-friendly too, ensuring your practice is as mindful as it can be.