I’m a girl who likes to mix up my fitness routine. I could say that it’s because I’m working different muscle groups or I’m using a plan from my trainer. Trainer? HA! I’ll just go with the truth, which is that my days are crazy. Workouts have to fit into the schedule for the day. Whatever that may be. There are even days that simply don’t allow for a healthy sweat. And, there’s also my revolving attention span. That’s another story.
I have several workouts that I truly love. Sometimes, a long run with a killer playlist is all that I need to feel energized. Training with weights is a great way to pump up my attitude and muscles. But, there’s just something about yoga that feeds my soul as it strengthens my body.
Yoga can take me from frazzled and stressed to calm in a way that other forms of exercise can’t. Don’t get me wrong. The sound of my feet hitting the pavement or the feeling of my muscles working to lift those pounds can be exactly what I need. The release from pushing the limits alter my mood and clear my head, for sure. However, yoga takes it one step further. Yoga brings me back to center.
When I first ventured into the world of yoga, I didn’t have any idea what I was doing or what I needed to be successful. I figured that I could wear my running clothes because they’re comfy and move with my body. I found an amazing online yoga instructor (shout out to Yoga with Adriene! http://yogawithadriene.com). I discovered the perfect spot in my home with sunlight and space to stretch. I soon realized that I needed to invest in a yoga mat.
They seemed to be everywhere. Colorful yoga mats with intricate designs. Some were thin. Others were thicker. The texture of the surfaces varied. There was a lot to choosing the perfect yoga mat. The first time I picked a mat, I didn’t do the research. I picked by color and how easily it rolled up to move from place to place. It was a swirly gray pattern that looked like a slab of marble with a medium thickness from all of the options I saw in the store. And, it was fine for my initiation into yoga. Now that I’m experienced (I say that with a chuckle because I haven’t even been practicing yoga for a year!), I have a new appreciation for what makes a great yoga mat.
So, the hunt for the new, perfect yoga mat was on. Review.com published an article that featured everything I needed to know about choosing the perfect mat. A yoga mat should be comfortable, supportive, and easy to maintain, according to the site. That was a good place to start. I was also concerned with the grip of the mat. I wanted my mat to grip the floor, but not stick to my hands and feet.
Thickness was also a concern. I didn’t feel like I chose correctly the first time. My current mat seems too thin. I think I let cost influence my initial purchase. This new mat needs to be, according to the Review.com article, “squishy enough to take some of the pressure off your joints, while being dense enough to offer a stable foundation while balancing.”
Armed with their research, I made the right decision for my new yoga mat. My yoga practice can now move to the next level. It’s my job to carve out those blocks of time in my crazy life to put this new mat to good use.
If you’re in the market for a new yoga mat, check out the awesome research in this article from Review.com for yourself. You’ll be glad that you did!