Find Your Ideal Yoga Style and Mat

Hatha to Hot Yoga, These Yoga Mats Have Got You Covered

People often think of yoga as too slow and gentle to significantly improve the body, but yoga can dramatically change your mental and physical health with its long list of known benefits. Plus, different types of yoga classes offer different methods and goals, so you might find that you personally benefit from one type over others. On top of finding the right style and teacher for your needs, it’s important to use the right tools to facilitate your practice. In particular, find a yoga mat you’re comfortable practicing on.

Benefits of a Yoga Practice

Yoga is a holistic practice that has benefits for the mind, body and spirit. People who practice yoga rave about how it improves their lives for the better, while many of the benefits are backed by science.

Even gentle yoga practices can improve your fitness level by increasing strength and helping you lose or maintain weight. Some styles, such as Bikram yoga, also get your heart pumping as they flow from pose to pose. Performing poses can improve flexibility, encourage proper posture, and strengthen bones and joints. This practice has many additional physical benefits, including reducing high blood pressure, improving circulation and promoting immune system health.

As a holistic practice, yoga also provides benefits to mental and spiritual health. It can increase feelings of happiness, relax the body and mind, and help you open yourself to a spiritual transformation. Yoga has been associated with reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Further, following this practice tends to promote a healthier lifestyle. It could encourage you to eat healthier and could benefit aspects of your lifestyle that enhance overall health, such as improving sleep. This is not even a full list of the specific benefits yoga offers. Try the practice consistently to see if it makes your body and mind feel better than before.

Finding the Right Yoga Style and Mat

Not everyone responds to the same styles of yoga, so it’s fortunate that there are many options available. This is also a plus if you’re looking for a class to focus on one aspect of your health and wellness regimen, such as flexibility or stress relief. For instance, power and Hot yoga provide a good workout, while Kundalini yoga offers relaxation and spiritual advancement. Look into different styles to find one that will be a good fit for you.

For example, Hatha classes tend to provide a strong balance of physical poses and meditation. Bikram yoga offers a specific routine practiced in a hot room to create conditions that are designed to promote deeper stretching and detoxification. Kundalini is a very spiritual practice that includes a blend of breathing, chanting, meditation and poses.

Regardless of the type of yoga you prefer, find a mat that makes you feel comfortable. The right mat can support your poses and enhance your results. We like four yoga mats in particular. 

One option is the HemingWeigh 1/2-Inch Extra-Thick High Density Exercise Yoga Mat. This mat comes with a carrying strap that makes it convenient to bring to class. It’s also extra thick, which is ideal for floor poses. The range of colors helps you fit your style, while a non-slip surface keeps you in place as you hold a pose. With a price tag that can easily accommodate beginners and those on a budget.

You could use the Clever Yoga Premium Mat with a variety of yoga practices. It’s ¼-inch thickness gives a good balance of cushioning and support to help you transition from seated and lying-down poses to standing and arm balance ones. This mat also has strong grip to keep you from slipping, which would help it work well as a Bikram mat.

Another choice is the Gaiam Print Premium Reversible Yoga Mat. The extra-thick style is great for practices with a lot of seated and lying-down poses, such as Kundalini. The variety of spiritual designs is perfect for this style of yoga as well.The extra-thick style is great for practices with a lot of seated and lying-down poses, such as Kundalini. The variety of spiritual designs is perfect for this style of yoga as well.

Our choice yoga mat however, is the Clever Yoga Mat Premium LiquidBalance. This 4.5mm Thick Mat is great for Hot Yoga mat because of its superior grip that keeps you in place even when you’re dripping with sweat from the heat. The thickness and padding provides necessary support for ground and restorative yoga poses, not to mention this mat is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

If you are local to the Pensacola, Florida area click below to see local classes offered by Melissa Garner, LMHC, RYT.