When I began practicing yoga about 15 years ago, there werenât many…READ MORE
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When I began practicing yoga about 15 years ago, there weren’t many decisions to be made when it came to buying a yoga mat. The biggest decision was, do you want this toxic PVC mat in purple or blue?! Ha and Yikes! Thankfully, this is no longer the case as we now have many choices when it comes to purchasing a yoga mat. Buying the right yoga mat is a good investment but it can be a little overwhelming to know which one to get! I want my yoga mat to feel like a safe and happy place to land, a place where I enjoy spending time. So . . . here is my two cents on what I look for in a yoga mat and the kind of mat that I am using now.
Eco-friendliness: This a big one for me! I like mats that are made from a natural tree rubber base and contain no PVC.
Thickness: I prefer a mat that is a little more thick and dense(solid), one that provides plenty of cushion and stability. (If I’m using a thiner mat, then I always have to use two which is kind of a hassle.)
Texture & Grip: Everyone needs a mat that will help them stay put. Sliding on your mat is dangerous for muscles and it’s impossible to maintain alignment as you move from one pose to another if your hands and feet are slipping and sliding.
Style: This matters! LOL After all, you’ll be looking at your mat A LOT as you go through your poses. So choose a color or pattern that really inspires you. I’m a visual person so this is important to me. I have different feelings towards the different yoga mats that I have. Ha ha. Also, if it comes with it’s own carrying strap, that is an convenient extra bonus.
Price Range: A plain, PVC mat will be your cheapest option (go figure!). If you can find an eco-friendly mat with great cushion, inspiration and grip/texture for under $80 - $100 then that is a GOOD DEAL. Get that one! Your yoga mat is like your running shoes, so don’t skimp too much. It will be worth it.
Let me tell you about the mat that I am using now in my practice. I was recently contacted by Tara of “Faith Mats” and was asked if I’d like to try one her new yoga mats. I said, “Absolutely!” I already know what I’m looking for in a mat, so I was excited to see if a Faith Mat would meet my criteria and needs. Here’s what I found . . .
My Faith Mat arrived from Amazon with some very pretty packing! (I said I was visual! LOL!)
When I unrolled the Faith Mat I’m pretty sure I said, “Wow!” out loud even though my cat, Reverend, was the only one in the room. The artwork is gorgeous!
The feel of the mat is super soft, almost feels like a suede material! And I was happy to read that even the ink used is environmentally safe. I have never used a mat like this before so I was excited to try it! I tested the thickness and density with a headstand.
Then I checked the grip with a downward facing dog and noticed that I started to slide a bit. Oh no! I was bummed cuz so far I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MAT. I contacted Tara and asked about it. She suggested to very lightly dampened the mat using a spray bottle and for some extra fun, put some essential oil in the water. I did! I chose peppermint. I only dampened the top and bottom of the mat where my feet and hands would be in a downward dog or in warrior poses. Bam! It worked, perfectly and smelled so good. (I don’t know why I haven’t put essential oil on my mat before!) Super tight grip. The info on the Faith Mats Facebook page describes it this way. — “The top microfibre layer is soft and actually increases grip factor as it dampens with your sweat. No more slippery wet spots while exercising. Plus with the absorbent layer, many people will find they can eliminate packing a towel to class. And if that wasn’t enough, the mat is machine washable.”
I’m enjoying practicing on my Faith Mat and I give it five stars. If you’d like to have one for your practice, Tara is offering a 30% discount until April 30, 2017. Just use the 30% discount code yogabird when checking out on Amazon! That brings the price of the mat down to $62, which is a great price for this quality of mat. Post a photo of yourself practicing, I’d love to see it! Love be with you and always . . . #beyourownbird!
It’s here! The 28 Days of Yoga Bird Calendar! Ready for you to print out and hang on your fridge!
This calendar will guide you in . . .
* A daily yoga practice and guided meditation, for your body, mind and spirit.
* Each week has a specific theme of Christian meditations that will feed your spirit. The classes and meditations are all matched up for you.
* Once a week there is a recipe for a meatless meal to inspire you and your family to eat more awesome veggies. Each recipe is on the blog, you can search it and find it by name.
So get inspired! Connect with a group of friends and have them join you, on your 28 day fitness fun. Delight in your journey to new habits and heath.