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Choosing the Right Yoga Mat
Written: Aug 27, 2003
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Mat is a good size and thickness. Comfortable and easy to carry. Durable material.
Cons:End of mat curls.
The Bottom Line: A non-slip mat is a must for anyone practicing yoga. The Livingarts yoga mat is comfortable to use, easy to store and is portable.
When I first started yoga, I didnt use a yoga mat ... and my feet slid across the floor during certain yoga poses. Even using slippers with rubber grippers on the soles didnt help. The slippers twisted on my feet. With my feet sliding in opposite directions, I lived in danger of becoming an unwilling gymnast! I needed a yoga mat.
The Living Arts Yoga Mat
Living Arts makes two thicknesses of yoga mats. The yoga mat I own is a non-slip mat that is 1/4" thick and came as part of the Yoga Essentials Toolkit by Livingarts. Livingarts also sells a yoga mat that is 1/8" thick. Both mats measure 24" wide x 68" long.
My yoga mat color is aqua. I have also seen the 1/4" thick mat in purple. The 1/8" thick mat is available in iris (pink-purple), fern (beige-yellow), mango (orange), purple, green, blue and black. Some of these colors are hard to find. When my 1/4" thick mat is rolled, the diameter of the mat is 3 3/4". I dont know the diameter of the 1/8" thick mat since I have not seen one in person.
The PVC material is durable. Ive had no problems with wear or tear. When I spoke with the manufacturers customer service representative to gain the inside scoop on these mats, she said that the mats last a very long time. She remembered a phone conversation with someone who has used the same mat consistently for over four years and that the mat is still in perfect condition. The customer service representative also advised using a blanket beneath the mat for padding when using either thickness of yoga mat since some of the poses can be hard on the knees. I asked the customer service representative which thickness of mat she used. She uses the 1/8" thickness with a wool blanket underneath it for cushioning and has never tried the 1/4" thick mat.
At first touch the 1/4" mat is not sticky like some yoga mats. Both sides of the mat are in a waffle pattern. I like this textured feel. The mat feels a bit cushy beneath the feet, but the cushion does not interfere with my balance. I use the mat on a carpeted floor so do not need a blanket beneath it. Doing the yoga poses, my feet stay in place, and the mat does not shift during my yoga practice. Laying down on the mat is comfortable, too. One thing I find is that the mat tends to stay rolled at one end, not laying flat, which is a bother. The size of this mat is great for using at home or taking to yoga class.
This mat is easy to care for too. Just use a damp cloth to clean it and towel the mat dry. The manufacturer recommends keeping the mat out of direct sunlight. I have never had the mat in direct sunlight or heat, so I cannot say whether it will fade or melt. Store the mat in a cool, dry place.
In case you didnt know, Livingarts is a branch of Gaiam, a big name in yoga products.
Since theres not much more I can say about the mat, here is some additional information about yoga.
Choosing the Right Yoga Mat For You
Not all yoga mats are right for all people. So how do you know which mat is right for you? Here are some guidelines in choosing the best yoga mat for your workout.
* Does the mat grip the floor without sliding?
* Do the feet stay in position on the mat?
* If the feet sweat, will they still grip the mat?
* Is the mat made of a durable material?
* Does the mat lay flat without curling?
* Is the mat washable? How easy is it to clean?
* Is the mat lightweight for carrying?
Some Yoga Tips
* Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program
* Wear loose, comfortable clothing that doesnt restrict movement
* Dont eat or drink before yoga practice
* Practice yoga on a non-skid surface (such as a yoga mat)
* Start with an easy pose to warm-up
* Remember to breathe
* Dont force the body into positions; find your comfort level
* Modify poses if necessary to avoid injury (an instructor can demonstrate)
* Pay attention to your body; it knows how far into a pose it can go
* If unsure of balance, use a wall or chair for stability
* If in a class, dont compete with others; everyone is different
* End with a relaxing pose or meditation
These suggestions are not meant as professional advice. They are tips that I have learned from others or through my own yoga experiences.
Why Practice Yoga?
Ive been practicing yoga for about a year now and find it the best exercise routine for me. Since I started yoga, my breathing, balance, flexibility and posture are better, and my energy level has increased. My appetite has decreased. I eat regular meals but eat smaller portions and have little desire to snack. For me, yoga is not an exercise plan geared toward losing weight, but it is an excellent way to tone the body. After a yoga workout, I feel revitalized.
I enjoy using this yoga mat. Other than the one end that tends to curl, the mat offers a durable, non-skid workout surface. I purchased the Livingarts yoga mat for $5.00 while shopping at Kohls. It came as part of the Yoga Essentials Toolkit by Livingarts. The kit contains a yoga mat, cotton strap, foam bricks and video. I couldnt go wrong for $5.00. The mat usually sells for about $20. The Livingarts yoga mat in both thicknesses is available in stores and in many online shops.
I hope you have found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
360 Interlocken Blvd. Suite 300
Broomfield, CO 80021
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Please read my other reviews:
JVC XV-N44SL DVD Player
Gateway 500X Desktop Computer
HP LaserJet 2200dse Printer
HP LaserJet 1000 Printer
Logitech Cordless Freedom Optical Keyboard and Mouse
Logitech Mouseman Cordless Optical
Belkin Home Office UPS Emergency Battery Backup
Copyright 2003 Dawn L. Stewart
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