We wanted to make sure our top picks would be easy to clean and durable (no mid-session mat shrapnel here!) We found that more porous, open-cell mat surfaces tended to be grippier, but were also harder to clean — they tend to absorb everything, like a giant sponge. Smooth, closed-cell surfaces tend to be easier to clean, but may be more slippery. The sweet spot is a mat that’s just grippy enough but doesn’t hold onto dirt and debris.
In addition to our personal and wholesale yoga mats, we also supply tote bags that allow you to roll your mats up and carry them between classes. Our reusable water bottles provide a sustainable alternative to carrying disposable water bottles to your yoga classes. You can order useful accessories such as disposable wipes for your mat and equipment, and our YogaMate mat even comes with a handy towel and tote bag.
Crank Up Core Strength: an athletic, dynamic routine with some arm balances that will tire you out. I think it’s best suited for someone who is already in good shape but is trying out yoga for the first time. The flow requires two blocks, which can stabilize you in poses when one hand is on the ground or help improve overall alignment. Until I got a great set of cork blocks, I used big, heavy books instead.
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.
Experts say: "Jessamyn Stanley is a rising Instagram star and has gained much popularity for using yoga as a way to promote a positive body image and a positive self-esteem in ourselves. Yoga transformed Jessamyn's life by helping her overcome depression and years of body negativity. She uses Instagram and YouTube to defy the negative statements that many people have about people who are overweight, and you can often find her posing in advanced yoga postures. Viewers love Jessamyn's videos because they're very empowering — and she's creating a new and aspirational image of a 'healthy and athletic body.'" — Serena Tom, Yoga Teacher, Equinox
Luckily, YouTube is a treasure trove of awesome (and free!) workouts—and that includes yoga routines. We compiled 21 of our favorite, super-effective videos: With options ranging from quickie sessions to ones that focus on relaxation to those that target specific trouble areas, there’s bound to be one that works for you. Consider this the green light for plenty of at-home om-ing.
Challenging your muscle memory keeps your mind sharp! In this sequence, Health's contributing yoga editor Kristin McGee puts a new twist on the standard yoga flow, shaking up classic sequences so they feel brand-new. McGee says this routine is perfect for yogis of all skill levels. As a bonus, studies show that making your brain’s processing center work harder may help with long-term memory retention.
A yoga mat's material affects its stickiness, durability, comfort, texture, and whether or not it’s environmentally friendly. PVC is cheaper and more durable but may be exposed to toxins during manufacturing and be less beneficial for the environment. Eco-friendly materials tend to be more expensive and degrade more quickly but are both free of toxins and more sustainable.
We were initially pretty skeptical about the special alignment markings, thinking they might just be a gimmick — but our testers were taken with how helpful the markings were in practice. A centerline helps you maintain symmetry, while 45-degree lines and other parallel markings help you nail perfect alignment. (Lines are spaced at varied distances for taller and shorter people). Liforme explains how the markings should be used more thoroughly on its website, but we found this to be pretty intuitive for experienced testers, even if they didn’t read the instructions.
The Aurorae Synergy specializes in providing a non-slip surface during hot yoga. The mat’s top layer is a non-slip, ultra-absorbent microfiber towel that is bonded to a 5mm-thick PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) yoga mat. It is excellent at providing grip, but that grip is limited to when it is wet.This microfiber side provides excellent grip when wet, but is actually quite slick when dry. Of course, you can use the PER side of the mat for dry classes and the towel side when it gets sweaty. The mat is also lightweight, thick enough to provide reasonable support and good value for the money.
The leading yoga publication’s video section is a comprehensive resource with 360-degree views to better understand the nuances of every pose. The routines are more technical, more likely to use Sanskrit terms, and more athletically challenging than the ones I came across on DoYogaWithMe. My two main gripes with Yoga Journal’s online offerings: The videos were often shorter than I’d like (I find I need about an hour to get into a meditative, head-clearing state) and didn’t include any user reviews, so I found myself clicking around aimlessly in search of videos that would be a good fit. That being said, the production quality and detailed explanation of each pose is hard to beat when it comes to free yoga resources.
It’s easy to fall off the yoga practice bandwagon. There are so many things that can keep you away from the studio—staying late at work, forgetting your mat, or even feeling anxious that you’ll look silly in a class of seasoned yogis. Whatever the reason, there are tons of free online options to supplement your practice. The problem then becomes searching through the haystack of free online resources to find your perfect namaste needle.
Beyond Yoga Essential Long Legging: "These pants are by far my FAVORITE yoga pants. I think I own maybe 7-10 pairs of just the "Essential" legging, and many pairs of other styles/colors. The fabric is to die for. They don't feel like your typical yoga pant, and you'll never want to take them off. They aren't just for working out. Since they don't have a side seam, they are the perfect legging to wear with a sweater/tunic. They also pass the "bend over" test...you can't see through them.