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:
The mat’s open-cell design provides an excellent textured feel, but it also absorbs moisture, meaning you’ll have to dedicate more time to keeping it clean. It’s perfect for home practice, but you may not want to lug it around because it is pretty darn heavy. The natural rubber also comes with a few trade-offs. The Jade Fusion Yoga Mat has a distinct rubber smell that takes time to go away, it loses its stickiness if left in the direct sun, it won’t last as long as some synthetic mats, and it’s near the top of the range in terms of price.
Over the years, I have tested mats from just about every well-established brand and many from lesser-known up-and-comers. I have watched technologies, materials and designs evolve to meet the needs of an ever growing number of yogis, and I have observed how brands have risen (or failed to rise) to the challenge of a more sustainable future. If you’re ever going to find that perfect mat for you, I can tell you there’s never been a better time than right now.
The standard thickness of a regular yoga mat is 4–5 millimeters. Travel mats are generally 3 millimeters or less, and thick mats are 6–9 millimeters. The type of yoga you practice can help you figure out which thickness is right for you. Instructor Jane Witzenburg advises, “If you are doing a lot of lunges, use a thicker mat. If you are doing more balancing postures, use a thinner mat.”
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.
Your morning sets the tone for the entire day, so if you wake up feeling tired and stressed, you won’t be off to the best start. A quick early-morning yoga flow is a great way to clear your mind and wake up your sleepy muscles. In this 15-minute sequence, instructor Irina Ovsiannikova from YG Studios in New York City demonstrates the ideal yoga flow to motivate and energize you for the day ahead.
One of the stellar things about yoga is that you can do it anytime, anywhere—and that absolutely includes on the beach during vacay. But whether you’re actually in the middle of an exotic getaway or just in your own living room, you’ll flow from pose to pose in this total-body, 20-minute routine led by Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up. Bonus? The rippling water and beautiful sky in the background almost make you feel like you’re there. (via Tone It Up)
Experts say: "My channel is all about finding support for creating a body-affirming yoga practice that fits people's regular lives. On the channel, folks can find pose tips, practices, and discussion about making yoga work for people of all shapes and sizes and how yoga can be a powerful tool for body acceptance." — Anna Guest-Jelley, Yoga Teacher and Founder of Curvy Yoga
Hatha yoga is the root of the physical yoga practice and most modern-day styles. Hatha yoga is not an exercise but rather the practice of physical postures, or asanas, which drive physical energy. Get familiar with yoga or revisit the foundations with this collection of Hatha yoga videos. Open your body, center your mind, and ground yourself in the fundamentals and watch your practice bloom. Hatha can be translated in two ways. One as "willful" or "forceful," the second as "sun" and "moon." In these translations, we see the representation of the yoga of activity and the yoga of balance. In our Hatha yoga online collection, you'll discover practices designed to bring attention to your breath, manipulate the flow of energy, and align your body and mind. In the physical realm, Hatha yoga uses conscious movement to balance strength and flexibility. Emotionally, this practice calms our nervous system and cleanses our minds of stress and tension to leave you with a feeling of well-being. In this series of Hatha yoga videos, you'll discover a powerful tool for self-transformation. Enhance the way you think, feel, and experience life by learning to be more present in each unfolding moment. Each posture will elevate your level of consciousness while increasing your strength and flexibility. Open your spine and experience a renewed sense of vitality as energy channels flow through you, unrestricted. Explore our Hatha yoga online videos to calm your mind and form a deeper connection with your body.
David is DoYogaWithMe's founder. After doing his first yoga class in his early twenties, he was driven to heal himself from successive injuries as an athlete and yearned to go deeper into his spiritual practice. Since then, David has explored many different styles of yoga, delved deep into the world of meditation and experimented with yoga breathing techniques. He is a yoga and meditation instructor, massage therapist, videographer, writer and dad and is known for his calm, skilled delivery, his ability to encourage people to be connected to their inner experience and his knowledge of anatomy, alignment, meditation, relaxation and pranayama.
About the channel: Gaiam is a lifestyle brand originally founded in Colorado that focuses on yoga, fitness, wellness, and the environment. As part of their brand, they have a YouTube channel where they offer classes by well-known yoga instructors, like Rodney Yee and Colleen Raidman. Most of the videos are of just teachers, though some of them have students in them, too.
Bring your shoulders, hips, and heels into a straight line (imagine that there is a straight line from your head to heels). Keep your shoulders over your wrists. Engage your abdominals. Press your palms into the ground to engage your triceps and biceps. Press your shoulder blades down the back, and lengthen your sternum forward to keep your chest open. Look toward the front of the mat.
The Manduka Eko yoga mat is made from non-Amazonian, all-natural tree rubber reinforced with polyester and cotton and manufactured without toxic glues or foaming agents. No toxic chemicals were used to soften the rubber either, which is rarer than you might expect. These mats have two layers that are different densities, offering a combination of spongy and firm support, and have a closed-cell surface that repels moisture. The natural rubber has good grip in dry conditions and feels nice and supportive under your body.
“I don’t have time” can never be an excuse for skipping a workout. This fast-paced routine is proof that you can pack a lot of core shaping into just six minutes. But don’t let the length of the workout fool you; this routine’s no joke. Yogi star Kathryn Budig leads you through a tough mix of pulsing leg lifts (tiny movements with major impact), bicycle kicks, and more. (via Gaiam)
About the channel: Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga instructor, a body activist, and a self-titled "fat femme" on a mission to defy stereotypes about who can do yoga. Her channel has mostly short videos on how to do poses, but she also has a couple classes and inspirational talks. She's been featured all over, from our site to Glamour to Cosmo, and for good reason: She's a total badass.
The “grippiness” of a mat has two parts. One is how grippy the mat is against your hands and feet — are you slowly sliding out of place during warrior pose, or are you solidly planted? The other is the traction of the mat against the floor: Does your mat slip around on smooth floors, or is it firmly stuck in place throughout your session? Sweat can be a factor too, especially if you practice an intensive form like hot yoga, so you want to make sure your mat will stay grippy through it all.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone was so nice and helpful! Not only was I able to email the staff to set up a time to come by and visit since I would only be in town for a short time, but then when I showed up everyone was beyond helpful in making sure we found the right items. Laura helped me at the store and went back and forth between the stock room and a make shift dressing room so I could try on a variety of items. She also helped my mom and I select our perfect yoga mats. She made us feel welcome and not like we were taking her away from her daily business by intruding. Laura also gave me a preview look at the Portland bridge leggings and then later that week sent me an email saying they were available on the website now. From start to finish everyone was incredible at Evolve! Thank you" (via Resellerratings.com)