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Yoga Mat
by the Hippie Yogini

Yoga MatYoga has become a very popular form of exercise in recent years, because it is effective at both toning and strengthening the body, reducing stress, and freeing the mind. More and more men and women are making their way to yoga classes where they can leave the day's stresses behind as they reach for the health benefits yoga offers. Having the proper equipment is a must before you head to the yoga studio and in particular a good quality yoga mat will help to prevent injury and make your yoga practice more effective. Not all yoga mats are the same so it is important if you are new to yoga to check with your instructor to find out what sort of mat is best for you. Finding the right yoga mat entails taking into consideration your fitness level, age and type of yoga you are doing as well as your own personal preferences. You need to find a yoga mat that you are comfortable practicing on because this will help you keep your concentration on your routine rather than keeping your balance on the mat. There are a wide variety of mats available; some are geared towards keeping your footing more solid, while others are intended to increase the padding under your feet.

The most important decision in choosing your yoga mat is how your feet will feel on the mat. Try out a couple of different mats, perhaps at your yoga studio to decide what your priorities in choosing a mat are, by doing this you will more clearly understand whether keeping your balance is a priority or whether you need a yoga mat that is wider or has more cushioning. Make sure your yoga mat is designed to sit flat on the floor without slipping; this can mean the difference between safe yoga and getting hurt. This will largely depend on the material that is used to make the yoga mat so ask around to determine the best material available. Many online yoga sites will send you free samples of the materials their mats are made of allowing you to see and feel them before you buy.

There are several features to choose on a yoga mat, some are sticky so that they will stick to both the floor and your feet, others have a textured surface that will give your feet some extra traction during difficult poses. You can choose yoga mats that are an eighth to a quarter of an inch thick, the thicker the mat the more cushioning it provides, a must, especially if you have joint problems. You can also buy a yoga mat that is eco-friendly, these mats still have all the features of every other mat, but they are made from non-toxic materials that are biodegradable, and recyclable. The manufacturers of these mats are conscious of the manufacturing process and strive to minimize waste, pollution and use no toxic materials in their production. If you are looking for the right yoga mat for your yoga practice check out as they carry a large assortment of yoga mats for every style of yoga and they will take the time to assist you in finding the right mat for you.

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See also: YoVedic.