Yoga Mats
April 21, 2005 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Are the more-expensive Yoga mats worth the extra $$?

I'm having problems with my hands slipping forward on the mat (partially due to an old left wrist/right arm injury) especially when working on the down-dog position. Right now I just use the mats provided by the studio, but if I upgrade to a more expensive mat, will I see a difference?
posted by lilboo to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I use a mat from Gaiam. It is slightly thicker than a standard mat, and gives my wrists and feet a little more cushion for the higher intensity moves of Ashtanga yoga. I think that it's squishiness gives wrists and hands a little more friction and support. For Bikram yoga, i like to place a cotton mat on top of my regular mat to handle the extra sweat and slipperiness. I think that they are usually used for Mysore, but i find that that they are nice for most any yoga. Hint: It helps to pour a little water on the cotton ones before class begins, it makes them have a little more traction.
posted by tumble at 11:50 AM on April 21, 2005

if I upgrade to a more expensive mat, will I see a difference?

Probably not. I have this problem as well, and found that keeping my fingers more actively engaged and pressed against the mat (as opposed to my palms) was the most effective tactic.

That said, I have a good, fairly thick mat- I like the extra cushion. Some people swear by the "Black Mat".
posted by mkultra at 12:34 PM on April 21, 2005

I've had several of the standard Hugger Mugger mats over the years, and just recently switched to a thicker, more textured one. It's made a small difference, mostly in my downward dog. I *think* this is the thicker, more textured mat, but I'm not sure since my new one doesn't have a label. So I'd say depending on how much you practice, a difference of ten or twenty dollars is probably worth it; it was to me, even if some of the difference was psychological.

On preview, mkultra's comment about really engaging your hands, especially on the mounds of the palm, knuckles, and fingertips, really helps. For your feet, just think about distributing weight evenly on all four corners of the feet.

As a side note, the author of Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga has discussed various mats over time. This post as well as some others mention the extra-thick black "transformer" mat, which she seemed to like.
posted by j3s at 12:39 PM on April 21, 2005

Have you washed your mat? Stick in in the washing machine with a little detergent. Roll it together with a towel and squeeze the water out. Then's a lot less slippery after you've washed it.
posted by duck at 12:43 PM on April 21, 2005

I adore my ultra mat. It's just thicker, but I find that it's much more comfortable. I feel more supported and cushioned. It was totally worth the extra $$$.
posted by abbyladybug at 2:01 PM on April 21, 2005

The Airex Mat has a great grip. I never slip anymore. But it's not very thick, so if your studio has hardwood floors, you might want a Black Mat.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 PM on April 22, 2005

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