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7 Types of Yoga Mats & Their Unique Benefits

When it comes to choosing a yoga mat, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Well, one size pretty much fits all. But the yoga mat that’s right for you does depend on material, durability, surface quality, and weight. Take a closer look at the reasons why these mats are studio favorites:

Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat

Do you find yourself slipping on the mat? Ditch the towel and invest in the original cork yoga mat by Yoloha. Fun fact: Cork is the outer bark of a Cork Oak Tree that grows in the Mediterranean. Cork bark is harvested by hand every 9 years, so no trees are cut down to make these mats. The backing of Yoloha yoga mats is 90% domestically recycled rubber tires. These eco-friendly mats are known for helping you keep your grip with damp hands, especially during hot yoga. Reviews weigh in on the heavy side, but Yoloha’s cork mats are said to last for the long run.

Kulae Elite Hybrid Yoga Mat

Machine wash on gentle with cold water. Have you ever seen that on yoga mat care instructions before? Finally! A performance yoga mat you can easily toss in the washing machine after class. Kulae’s Elite Hybrid is an environmentally friendly mat that combines the effect of a rubber mat and a yoga towel in one. With one side made of ECO PER and the other side made of Bamboo Microfiber, this yoga mat is absorbent and sure to keep you grip-happy on the mat.

Khataland YoFoMat

Are you a traveling yogi? The YoFoMat might be the one for you. It folds up into a compact 13 x 10 x 3 inch stack you can easily stow in your suitcase at 4.9 pounds. This newcomer to the yoga mat party is quickly becoming a traveling yogi favorite that performs well even when you’re not on the road. Its slip-resistant surface supports your practice on virtually any surface.

The Original Eco Yoga Mat by Barefoot Yoga

Looking for a yoga mat that is as earth-conscious as possible? The Original Eco Yoga Mat is biodegradable, and made of all-natural rubber and jute fiber. A rough fiber made from stems of a tropical plant, jute is commonly used for making twine, rope, and burlap. The upper mat layer shown above is a rubber and jute fiber mixture, creating a natural texture yet grippable surface for a sweaty practice.

Hugger Mugger Ultimate Comfort Yoga Mat

The Ultimate Comfort Yoga Mat is true to its word. This ultra comfortable, thick mat provides a soft cushion perfect for a Restorative or Gentle Vinyasa practice. The Ultimate Comfort Mat is like an elephant. It never forgets. This mat boasts that it’s the first mat with memory: it conforms to your body.

Lululemon the Mat

Lululemon’s the Mat is ubiquitous at yoga studios. This Lulu-fan favorite comes in cute colors every season, and it’s reversible. The grippy surface also has an antimicrobial additive that prevents mildew and mold, which definitely comes in handy in Texas. As a bonus, the Mat perfectly fits the cutest Lululemon yoga mat bags. It’s almost like they were made for each other. Because they were. Lululemon’s Mat is super durable, but it does scuff and dirty over time. If you go with this studio favorite, make sure to wipe it down with soapy water at the end of every session.

Manduka Black Pro Yoga Mat

This bestselling mat lasts forever. Literally. That’s not just an expression. The Black Pro comes with a lifetime guarantee. The Black Pro is also composed of a very dense material, which is what makes it so cushiony and thick. However, this also makes it a bit heavier and thicker when rolled up than most other yoga mats, so it can be a bit tricky to negotiate the Black Pro into many of the zip-up yoga bags on the market. A great solution to this is the slightly more lightweight version, the Manduka Pro Lite. Some people report challenges gripping the surface with their hands, but that really varies from person to person. If your hands tend to the slippery side, you may consider the next mat by Manduka.

If you’re in the market for a yoga mat, it may seem so easy to buy the first mat you find at the sports supply store. But these wear down so quickly! Invest in one yoga mat that is right for you and your practice. It will perform to your expectations and you won’t have to buy another one for years. Or ever.

Now that you have your mat, come take a class at Joy Yoga Center and put it to the test!

Cynthia recently completed teacher training at Joy Yoga University in May. You can meet her on the mat at Joy Yoga Center, or find her at her lifestyle blog, Likely By Sea.

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