How to Choose the Best Yoga or Pilates Mat
- Your Yoga Practice Most yoga classes require a good number of standing poses which makes the traditional "sticky mat" ideal for good support and avoidance of slipping. Mats can be purchased anywhere from our mainstream Target to specialty yoga store. As fitness consumers we have so many options! Let your personality and style shine through by picking an eco friendly or decorative mat on websites such as Gaiam.com. On a budget? Find a local Marshall's or Nordstrom's Rack. These stores typically have great deals on yoga mat kits that often include a DVD or additional prop.
- Your Pilates Practice Traditionally, most Classic Pilates poses are done seated and many require C-curving the back and rolling down on the mat. Thus for Pilates, a softer, thicker mat is ideal. It should provide enough support for you to maintain your alignment, while giving you a firm cushion to rely on every time you lie down either on your back, side or stomach. Thicker mats are less ubiquitous and design options are usually limited by solid colors. Check your local sporting good store, Target, Gaiam.com or Amazon.com for thicker mat options.
- Best of both worlds It is great to have one of each type of mat lying around for your fitness needs. However, if you are a minimalist like me opt for the thinner mat for your yoga needs and grab a thick towel to lay on top of your mat for Pilates. If you are taking a group class at a gym or studio there are often mats or towels for your own use. Again, use one of the public mats for the bottom layer and place your towel or sticky mat on top. Now take a deep breath and start your practice!