The 6 Best Yoga Mats For Beginners
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.
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1. The Best Yoga Mat For Beginners, All Things Considered
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.
According to one reviewer: "This is the second mat I've purchased with the alignment print. I have one at work and one at home. It's great for life-long novices like me who practice often but don't seem to improve too much, sadly! No worries, I just line my hands and feet and and easy peazy in the pose!"
2. A More Affordable Mat For Beginners
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.
According to one reviewer: "I’m new to yoga and was looking for a decent priced mat [in case] I decided to quit lol. I thought it would’ve been a little thicker but honestly I don’t mind. Seems pretty durable because I use it everyday and haven’t had any tears or problems yet."
3. The Best For Those Who 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. This yoga mat is the best option for those who fall into that category, because it's designed with a textured underside that works double time to prevent any slipping when you workout. Unlike your average mat, this one actually absorbs moisture to keep things especially grippy and safe — even when you're dripping sweat. Underneath that, you get a layer of high-density material to keep your body comfortable in all the poses.
According to one reviewer: "Excellent grippy yoga mat for hot yoga. I have used Lululemon and Gaiam SOL Drigrip mats and this one easily compares in the non-slip category. I practice both hot and hatha yoga. In hot yoga, you can drip sweat and you will not slip on this mat. Plus, it is extremely light weight, so I love this for traveling to and from classes or to have at work."
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.
According to one reviewer: "Nice thick mat, one side is textured and the other is smooth so you can choose your preferred surface. Helps on harder surfaces if you are kneeling or pressing other joints into the floor while exercising, and it has a good grip so slipping and sliding even on carpet isn't an issue."
5. A Splurge-Worthy Sustainable Mat
With over 2,000 rave Amazon 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.
According to one reviewer: "I am a beginner yoga student. I had a cheap mat and was very frustrated during class as it would slide and bunch up on me. That was very annoying, especially when you are just learning and trying to focus on class. This mat was big investment, but well worth it."
6. A Yoga Set For Beginners That Comes With All The Accessories
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."
According to one reviewer: "Bought this yoga kit for my partner who's a personal trainer and fitness instructor, as she is about to start a yoga qualification too. We are both really impressed with the quality of everything in this kit. The mat is thick and comfortable to use, and feels like memory foam. The towels are a good size and feel soft and of good quality, and so are the yoga blocks and strap."
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