Selecting and Caring for Yoga Mats
If you are considering a yoga class, one of the most attractive elements of this type of exercise is the limited amount of equipment that is necessary. Besides comfortable clothing, the only item that you will be bringing along to your workouts is one of the many yoga mats that are on the market today. While there is an abundance of choices available in yoga mats, and many are within a more than reasonable price range, it can still be difficult to pick the perfect mat for you. Why? Because the relationship that you develop with your mat can be much more significant than that of other types of fitness equipment. In fact, you and that mat may be spending quite a bit of time together, which is why you want one that will look and feel right time after time.
Types of Yoga Mats
There are many different types of yoga mats, in a variety of materials and colors. The one common element that you want to have with your mat is a stickiness factor that allows you to plant your poses safely on the terra firma. Many of the yoga mats today will stick to the floor once they have been moistened with water or sweat from all of your hard work. From there, you can select a mat that will work best for the type of yoga that you plan to do. For guidance in this aspect of selecting a mat, you can ask your yoga instructor or do your research on the Internet. The next step will be to try out a few yoga mats to see which ones feel the best to you. And although it may seem shallow to select a mat based on color, keep in mind that you will be spending a lot of time looking down at that surface, trying to focus your energy. It will be easier if it is a color that you find attractive.
Caring for your Mat
Most yoga mats will need to be broken in before use, and then cleaned periodically. With any luck, the mat that you choose will come with care instructions. If it does, it is best to follow these directions to the letter, to ensure that your mat lasts for as long as possible. If you want to wash your mat in the washing machine, this generally works best with machines that are not top loaders, since the spin action of these machines can damage the mat. It is also a good idea not to place your mat in the dryer, because this can affect the stickiness factor of the mat. It is best to air dry your mat, away from direct sunlight if possible. If you do feel the need to place your mat in the dryer, use the low setting, and don't leave it in for longer than ten minutes or so.
If you choose one of the high quality yoga mats and care for it properly, your mat can hold up for many years and many workouts. Choose a material and color that you like, and you will get plenty of good use out of your yoga mat.