- It is worth spending a little extra. I know you have all heard the saying "you get what you pay for." I have had students come in and say that they purchased mats from a bargain store for four to five dollars. Some consider that a steal if you are just trying out yoga. I would disagree - there are far too many unused junk mats out there sitting in basements and landfills. And unfortunately, these mats are not made of the most sustainable products.
- Don't even bother buying a mat if you are just trying yoga out. If you are just giving yoga a try - use one of the extra gym or studio mats. (But I am going to warn you - you are going to like it.)
- Look through studio lost and founds - for some reason, people leave their mat behind and don't come back for it. Try out a few of these - and look for different brands in the L+S stack.
Sticky vs. Not Sticky
Reasons to buy a super sticky mat (Manduka/Jade)
- You will not slide - I know many people say they have a hard time with downward dog because their hands won't stop sliding. If this is the case- get a super sticky mat.
- Very good for more difficult back bends like Viparita Dandasana - where sliding is scary
Reasons not to buy a super sticky mat:
- Sticky mat stubbed toe - these mats are sticky. Occasionally, when working with a super sticky mat, you will jamb your foot or fingers on the mat because...well...they are sticky.
- If you do a lot of jumping in your asana practice - I have been stopped mid jump because my toes caught the mat. This is a good and a bad thing. Good, because it will train you to lift higher to keep your feet away from the mat. Bad, because sometimes you just want to slide a bit coming out of your jump.
Feel free to share your responses. What makes a good mat? Can a mat be too sticky?