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.”

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.
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
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.
Yoga is an incredible workout: not only does it increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and calm your mind, but it can also seriously whittle your waist, ease lower back pain, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, even boost your immune system. But while the list of health benefits is long, not everyone has the time, money, or patience to fit regular yoga classes into their workout routines. To the rescue: these free online yoga videos let you reap yoga's many health perks without leaving the comfort of your living room. The best part? They start at just 5 minutes long, so you can fit in a sequence anytime, whether it's first thing in the morning or while you wait for dinner to cook. Pick one (or a few!) to practice daily and learn for yourself how yoga can benefit your mind and body.
Polyvinyl chloride is a synthetic material commonly used in yoga mats because it keeps slippage to a minimum, is durable, provides the most “give,” and tends to be the cheapest material. A concern with PVC, without going into too much detail, is that it contains phthalates — substances that have been linked to health issues and negative impacts on the environment.

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.
On an inhale, raise your arms straight up above your head and bring your palms together. Bend your knees slightly, and on the exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward, lengthening your spine the whole way down as you reach your hands for the floor. Bring either your fingertips or palms to the floor, fingers in line with your toes. Slowly straighten your legs as much as you can without straining them.
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