Yoga is more popular than ever these days, in part because people of all ages and fitness levels can take part and enjoy its physical and mental benefits. Schools and prisons now offer yoga classes, and people with cancer can use yoga to manage their side effects and boost their chances of recovery.
Another perk of practicing yoga? All you need is a trusty yoga mat and your body. We’ve rounded up five particularly cool mats to help get you started:
This mat is cleverly designed to give your body the room it needs to perform a full range of poses and exercises. As the designers say, “Why are yoga mats all the same? Straight lines, angles, corners — but bodies don’t have straight lines, bodies have curves.”
The Infinity Yoga Mat is biodegradable and 100-percent recyclable, and it has a natural rubber base to help it stick to the floor. On top of that, the base boasts an absorbent layer with a nifty trick: the wetter is gets, the stronger its grip is! That means you definitely won’t slip in a sweaty hot yoga class. If you want more grip in a regular session, just splash a little water from your bottle onto it.
You can either spot-clean the mat after practice or toss it in the washing machine.
Grippz Mats give you “the full benefits of acupressure and reflexology,” including “increased blood circulation, relaxation, released muscle tension, increased well-being and vitality, better sleep, stress reduction, and enhanced life force energy.” Sounds good, right? The mat’s unusually nubby surface is designed to trigger pressure points while you’re moving through your routine.
Grippz Mats are hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and water and stain-resistant, which means that your mat will always be protected from pesky bacteria, mold, and mildew.
The SmartMat is a yoga mat that communicates with your smartphone, using its high-precision sensors to give you real-time feedback so you can adjust alignment mistakes and other issues as you go through your at-home session or studio class (there are separate modes for each of those).
You can roll up a SmartMat as you would an old-school yoga mat, as it’s made from similar materials and is about the same thickness. The only thing that stands out is a low-profile device that attaches to the front of the mat via
electrostatic magnets, which you can use as a stand for your tablet or phone.
The SmartMat can tolerate heat up to 110 degrees, and you can use it for six hours before it needs to be charged.
Manduka offers many types of yoga mats, all designed by people who practice yoga themselves and understand the qualities that make up the perfect mat. One thing that all the company’s mats have in common? No toxic chemicals, dyes, or hormone-disrupting phthalates.
“PRO mats are made from the highest-quality PVC on the planet,” the company says, “manufactured emissions-free and guaranteed for life.” The “eKo” mat is crafted from biodegradable natural tree rubber and manufactured with zero waste. Into hot yoga? Check out the “eQua” mat, which fuses towel technology with natural rubber layers.
Who says exercise can’t be fun? Cute creatures and groan-worthy puns help IdeasByAriana’s yoga mats stand out. They are handmade from eco-PVC and recycled plastic, are toxin-free, and have a nonstick bottom layer.
Whether you feel sloth-like yourself every now and then or you simply want to amuse or tease a fellow yogi, you’ll definitely want to check these mats out.