Does your mat really matter?
Before getting into practicing yoga regularly I would have said no – a mat is a mat… right?
I think my first yoga mat cost around $10 which I probably got from Target or Wal-Mart. In all honesty, for a while it served its purpose and worked just fine for me. It was a nice mat that I liked and (again) it worked fine… until it wasn’t. Over time it began to stretch out and wear down. It got dirty and started to tear a little in places that I gripped more frequently. It got to the point that I couldn’t really hold a down dog because my mat would start to pull apart between my hand and foot grips… not good for effective and safe practicing….
So, then it was time to get a new mat and I had a decision to make – do I get a similar mat for a price that I was comfortable with or do I pay more and get something that would hopefully last longer and work better? I’m a pretty frugal person, so I don’t really like spending a lot of money for something I can get for much cheaper. However, in my older and wiser years I have realized that there are some things in life worth spending more money on for better quality. I did some research online to learn a little more about yoga mats. One helpful article from Gaiam went through 6 things to consider when buying a yoga mat:
- Price Range
Obviously, that article was written with the purpose of you buying a mat from Gaiam, but overall the information is good.
I ended up going to a sporting goods store and buying a manduka mat, which I love!
I love it because it is high quality and has a life time guarantee. To be fair, I’ve only had it for around one year, but so far it has kept its shape and held up great.
That being said, this isn’t meant to be an ad for manduka, but just a short story for why I would now say, “yes, your mat matters.”
Think about how often you use your mat – it’s like a good pair of jeans, if you use/wear it enough, spending more money up front on something that is higher quality will pay off in the long run.
So, now that you have a good mat, how do you keep it nice?
Spraying down and cleaning your mat regularly is always a good idea, especially if you tend to sweat a lot (like me).
Luckily, at Yoga Time Studio there is mat cleaning spray available that is quick and easy to use after class. However, sometimes your mat might need a little extra TLC when you are not at the studio.
There are a ton of mat cleaners that are out on the market. I have one from manduka (again, not an ad!) that I bought and like to use, but you can also make your own.
There are tons of different recipes and ideas online, here is one article:
And here’s a good video:
In yoga and barre, our mat is one of our best accessories – our mats matter!