Krishna Chandak, co-founder of TEGO and Anushka Parwani, celebrity trainer and founder of Anshuka Yoga Classes and Yogalates, share some points to look out for before choosing a mat.
*Identify a mat that suits your body size, ensure you check for length and width. A mat too thick could make you unstable, making it difficult to hold a pose, while a mat too thin can be an issue if you have a high concern for knees or elbow joint pain. Thicker mats tend to be heavier and can affect portability.
*Thickness is important because the yoga mat has a lot to do with the comfort. If it is too thin, then your knees get banged to the ground and it will hurt your knees, but also if it is too thick then it is very hard to find that grounding from the ground level. The one advantage that thin mats have over thicker mats is that they are extremely portable especially if you are travelling. While buying a yoga mat, make sure you have enough space to store it.
*PVC mats generally provide the best stickiness, with least amount of slippage. Check for the texture of the mat which will determine your grip. Look out for a mat with raised, tactile pattern to boost your confidence during a difficult workout. These surfaces also prevent your mat from skidding on the floor.
* Mats that absorb moisture allowing sweat to seep in deteriorate due to bacterial activity and start flaking faster. This also affects overall hygiene along with leading to malodour. Therefore, look for a closed-cell construction mat which is slightly slippery at first, but is easier to maintain over time. The grip also improves the more you use it.
* It is also important to pay attention to the texture because like the stickiness, the texture also allows you to slide and increase or decrease your range of motion. It sort of provides barriers to sliding and is a very big factor of comfort and protection.
* The last thing to consider is the price range. PVC mats which are widely used are much cheaper. However, if you go for mats which have different designs, patterns or organic ones, then they are priced high. But, you also have to consider the lifespan of the mat.