Yoga mats originated in India, where the art of yoga was first practiced. The Indians would use animal skin rugs as mats during their yoga sessions. As the practice of yoga became more global, and more people became involved, the yoga mats were invented in the place of animal skin rugs. Yoga mats are designed to help create a comfortable environment when practicing yoga. They come in different types and can be used anywhere. Travel yoga mats are specifically trendy because they are lightweight and versatile; hence can be carried around when traveling. Besides travel yoga mats, there are several different types of yoga mats in the market, which we will be looking at in this post.
Types of yoga mats
Yoga mats can be characterized according to the materials from which they are made, their shape and use. Below are some categories and types within the categories.
Type of yoga mat according to shape
1. Rectangular yoga mats
Rectangular yoga mats are the most common and oldest type of mat. They are designed for traveling and use in class yoga sessions. They are the standard type of yoga mat, and they come in different sizes. The standard size of a rectangular mat is usually 72 inches (length) by 24 inches (width).
2. Round or Oval yoga mats
These are yoga mats that feature a round or oval shape. They are relatively new types of yoga mats but keep gaining popularity at a tremendous rate. One of the main reasons they are catching on so fast is that oval or round yoga mats around for a full range of movement. This means that they are less confined compared to traditional rectangular yoga match. They typically feature different sizes depending on the size of the diameter. Large diameters are suitable for outdoor yoga, while small diameters are suitable for travel and class setting yoga lessons.
3. Hourglass yoga mats
These mats usually feature the form of the human body. They are wide and rounded at the ends, and the mid-section is typically tapered to an average mat width. They are not as popular as the first two types.
4. Square mats
These mats are ideal for couples’ yoga sessions. But note, they are usually larger than standard types.
Types of yoga mats according to the thickness
1. High-impact mats
These are extra thick yoga mats that are designed with intensity and endurance in mind. They usually feature more padding and offer more protection and comfort.
2. Low impact mats
These mats are usually thinner, and they are ideal for sessions on soft surfaces. Additionally, they are generally lighter hence suitable for carrying around.
Types of yoga mats according to size
1. Travel yoga mats
These mats either feature a carry-on feature or are made with lightweight material to allow for travel. They roll up effortlessly, and they sometimes come with straps that can be used to carry them around.
2. Long yoga mats
These are suited for tall people. The reason being, they allow for more space and comfort than standard-sized mats. They are usually around 70 or more inches long.
3. Extra-wide mats
These allow for different styles of yoga excersises. Secondly, they are ideal for pregnant women and couples who want to engage in yoga. Last, they allow for added comfort as well as stability.
All the types of yoga mats mentioned above are made with non-slip materials. The role of the material is to prevent injury during sweaty sessions. For added comfort, the mats usually feature a thickness of around 5mm or more depending on the type and brand.