Why Memory Foam Yoga Mats Are Good For Your Body, and Your Yoga Practice
Yoga remains one of the most accessible and beginner-friendly forms of exercise to date—all you really need to start is a yoga mat and a can-do attitude! However, don’t let this convenience fool you: while yoga mats may seem like nothing more than colorful rectangles, a lot more goes into choosing the right one than you’d think, right down to what they’re made of. So before you head out to the supermarket and grab the first mat you see, take a look at this primer to find out why memory foam is the smart choice for you.
Breaking Down the Basics
While yoga mats can come from dozens of different materials, the two most common are plastic vinyl and natural rubber. Vinyl mats are the most basic and entry-level of all: they’re the ones you see at the supermarket, and the cheapest too. While they’re lightweight, portable, and have a good amount of “stickiness”, they come with one major drawback, which is how environmentally unfriendly they are. There is no eco-friendly way to either make them or recycle them, and they’ll release toxic chemicals if they’re ever burned (even accidentally by your dryer at home!) The cheap material can also cause uncomfortable skin rashes for some.
Natural rubber mats, in contrast, are much more environmentally friendly than vinyl, and rate much higher in quality, too: they’re thicker, which can provide good cushioning, as well as durable, which means the mat will last you years to come. They’re not quite as sticky as vinyl but will get the job done. Still, natural rubber has its own disadvantages, namely its price point, which is on the higher end of the scale, as well as being completely unusable to yoga enthusiasts with latex allergies. While the denser mat is great for protecting your body, it’s also much heavier, too, making it not nearly as portable as vinyl.
The Best of Both Worlds
This is where our dark horse material comes into the picture: memory foam yoga mats balance out the pros of both natural rubber and standard vinyl while having almost none of the cons. The soft foam is not only easy on your joints, but your skin too, being much gentler than the abrasiveness of vinyl mats and the allergy risk of rubber. Not only that, but these memory foam mats are non-toxic too, meaning you can peacefully meditate without having to worry as much about harming the planet. Memory foam is also significantly lighter than rubber with better stickiness, making them just as portable as thin vinyl. As for price-point, memory foam mats are in the middle of the road, being pricier than vinyl but much more affordable than natural rubber, making it a perfect choice for beginners and experts alike who don’t want to sacrifice quality for the price.
If you’re having trouble deciding on which memory foam mat is right for you, Yoga Pants Cat offers a top-of-the-line memory foam mat that is durable, non-slip, and perfect for yoga enthusiasts at any experience level.