I'm guessing you're here for one of two reasons. Either you're tired of using the communal mats provided by your studio, or you've never stepped foot on a yoga mat but you figure it's time to try it. Either way, you're on a quest for the best yoga mats for beginners, and I'm here to reveal them to you.
The fact of the matter is that you're already researching, so I don't have to tell you about all the surprising benefits of yoga. What I do need to tell you, however, is that starting off on the right foot is one of the absolute best things you can do for your practice.
Personally, I decided halfway through my first-ever class that yoga "wasn't for me" because the hard studio floor created a shooting pain in the knee that I injured as a child. If my close friend/instructor hadn't suggested that I was using the wrong yoga mat, I never would've given it a second try. I also never would've ended up where I am now: practicing yoga on a regular basis and benefiting both mentally and physically every day because of it.
My advice? When you're first starting yoga, don't grab the first mat you see on a department store shelf. Instead, do a little reading and find one that's comfortable, reliable, durable, and supportive. If you're not sure where to start, the seven great yoga mats, below, can help.
1. The Overall Best Yoga Mat For Beginners Considering Size & Functionality
I didn't start with my Gaiam premium print mat, but I seriously wish I had. It's made from a non-toxic PVC material, which is lightweight and well-cushioned while remaining durable and easy to balance on. With a 4.3-star rating and over 1,600 Amazon reviews, it's safe to say other buyers are just as happy with it. One happy customer raved, "It does not slip and has a nice grip to it." That's an important feature when you're trying out new poses and finding your footing. Another huge plus? No boring designs or drab color-schemes here. This mat is available in 24 gorgeously intricate designs. At just $30, it's an affordable mat that'll give you something beautiful to practice on for quite a while.
2. A Budget-Friendly Yoga Mat That's Still Supportive AF
If you don't yet know if yoga suits your body or lifestyle, but the idea of sharing a mat with strangers skeeves you out, then the BalanceFrom GoYoga mat is your best bet. It has double-sided non-slip textures, moisture-resistant technology to keep things sanitary, and a high-density construction to cushion your joints and bones. Most importantly, you get all of the aforementioned specs for a mere $11, so should you decide yoga isn't for you, you've kept the investment minimal. This mat is available in seven color options and even comes with a free carrying strap.
3. A Great Mat For New Yogis That Tend To Sweat A Lot
For those who tend to sweat a lot during other physical activities, it's likely that a yoga practice will also prompt some perspiration. The Youphoria Premi-OM yoga mat is the best option for those who fall into that category, because it's made from a special open-cell material. Unlike your average mat, this one actually absorbs moisture to keep things especially grippy and safe — even when you're dripping sweat. That said, the porous top is also antimicrobial, durable, and easy to wipe down, keeping things sanitary. Underneath that, you get a layer of high-density material to keep your body comfortable in all the poses. "You will never slip on this," noted one yoga instructor, who has been through countless other mats, in an Amazon review.
4. An Extra Thick Yoga Mat For Sensitive Joints
Your elbows, knees, and other sensitive joints will grow more accustomed to the poses the longer you practice, but in the meantime, it's important to protect them from the hard floor. The HemingWeigh high-density yoga mat is unique because it offers a full half-inch of thick foam padding. This works to cushion your body, but it also helps to create a non-slip surface and optimal grip against the floor. It's long and wide enough to accommodate all sizes of yogis, and it comes with a free elastic carrying strap for easy travel. If you don't love the pink, you can also get it in black, blue, purple, red, teal, or green. Just take this reviewer's word for it: "When everyone else at yoga has to have a blanket under their knees, I don't."
5. A Sustainable Yoga Mat That Fully Embraces The Lifestyle
With over 2,000 rave reviews, the Jade Harmony yoga mat is easily one of the most popular options for all different types of yogis. Buyers call it an "awesome mat for beginners or masters" because it's "thick, durable, sticky, comfortable," and most importantly, "well worth the investment." This mat also one of the few options that helps you live the yogic principle of Ahimsa — meaning to "do no harm." It's made entirely in the U.S. using only natural rubber, which is a renewable resource that contains no synthetic plastics. As a result, it's grippy and supportive (but also non-toxic and eco-friendly, too). Thanks to JadeYoga's partnership with Trees for the Future, they plant a new tree for every mat that's sold. This one's available in 13 colors, three sizes, and two thickness levels.
6. A Yoga Set For Beginners That Comes With All The Props & Accessories You Need To Get Started
One of the main reasons I love yoga is that it's one of the few disciplines that encourages you to use props to enhance and deepen your practice. Most studios provide them, but to get the full experience in the comfort of your own home, there's the Sivan Health and Fitness Set. It comes with a non-slip, extra thick mat, two foam blocks, a strap, and two different sized of towels. These help you to practice without pain, stretch further without losing your balance, and move deeper into poses without injury. The set is available in multiple color options, and reviewers say it's "worth so much more than it costs" since it comes with "everything [you need] to get started with yoga."
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