Yoga studios typically are wide-open rooms with wood floors where students enter and choose a place to settle in for class.
One of the first actions you’ll do when you find a spot is to roll out a Yoga mat.
This is a great way to define your space and provides a cushioned, skid-resistant surface.
For postures in which your face is near the floor, the mat also provides a clean barrier between you and the surface on which others have walked.
Consider Buying Your Own
Although Yoga studios frequently have mats available to rent, many students prefer to buy their own which they can also use at home, on vacation or anywhere the impulse to do Yoga strikes them.
Renting a mat can cost an extra $2 or more per visit, whereas buying one costs as little as $15 to $25. Not only will the mat you buy pay for itself quickly, you will avoid the risk of exposure to fungi, bacteria and viruses that may be present on shared mats — even those cleaned regularly by studio staff.
Research Your Yoga Mat Options
You’ll find plenty of choices when shopping for a Yoga mat. Online sellers, retail stores and many Yoga studios have colourful mats available at prices ranging from about $15 for a basic version to upwards of $90 for mats with precision-engineered characteristics for advanced practice.
Read available reviews and try out a few options if you can. Mats come in different thicknesses and may be manufactured from a variety of natural and synthetic materials, so choosing the right mat can help your Yoga practice immensely.
If your knees hurt when kneeling on a bare floor, chances are you'll want a thicker mat. If you have a sensitive nose, look for a mat without any residual manufacturing odours.
For Mysore-style Astanga Yoga and other vigorous classes, you may need a tightly woven cotton mat layered over a regular Yoga mat, to help absorb sweat.
Take a little time to find a Yoga mat you really like : you’ll be rewarded many times over by the stability and confidence you feel as you use it to advance your Yoga practice.