Yoga is an ancient practice that yields substantial benefits for mental health and physical wellness. This systematic series of poses has evolved over millennia to include a variety of styles to suit every practitioner. From hot yoga to cooling yin yoga, movement guided by breath has become one of the most popular types of physical exercise in the world.
If you are looking to get into yoga for the first time or want to expand your yoga accessories, you'll need a high-quality mat to support your practice. The Gaiam Dry-Grip Yoga Mat is a great choice for both form and function for yogis at every level.Advertisement
What to know before you buy a Gaiam yoga mat
Which yoga mat material you select is primarily a personal preference, but those materials can also have environmental impacts and may contribute to the stability of your practice. PVC, rubber and foam are common yoga mat materials, as are cork, cotton and jute. Of these materials, cork, cotton, jute and natural rubber are the most sustainable and environmentally friendly options.
Another option is polymer environmental resin, which is technically made from PVC but can be recycled and is free from phthalates and other toxins.Advertisement
If you have latex allergies, rubber and some foam mats may not be a good choice.
Consider the texture of the mat you want before buying. Jute mats have a raised, sometimes scratchy texture, while foam mats are smooth and slick. Textured mats will give your hands and feet more traction in poses that apply pressure to the mat. You’ll want more traction, too, if you’re doing yoga in a hot, humid room, since sweat can make the mat slippery.
If you like the texture of a cotton or jute mat, but want more padding, layer mats to change the thickness and level of grip.
Some mats are more suited to different types of yoga. If you are primarily a hot yoga practitioner, you’ll want a mat that offers good grip and stability when things heat up.
Prefer a more cooling, restorative practice? Your mat should be thick and comfortable for poses that are done lying down or sitting on the floor. You can learn more about the best mats for different practices on the BestReviews yoga mat buying guide.
Gaiam yoga mat features
The design on a yoga mat doesn’t mean the mat is good or bad, but it’s nice to have something enjoyable to look at while you’re moving through your practice. Gaiam mats come in a variety of colors and designs to suit every yogi's style.
Yoga mats are typically available at a length of 68 inches, but Gaiam mats are also available in their XL size for tall yogis. At 78 inches, these mats make it so tall practitioners don’t have to constantly adjust themselves to stay on the mat.
Gaiam yoga mats come in a variety of thicknesses so that you can customize your practice. The most common thickness is a quarter inch (just over six millimeters), but you can also get mats as thin as a sixteenth of an inch. These thinner mats are lightweight and best for travel.
Gaiam yoga mat cost
Yoga mats can vary in price depending on size, design and materials used. Gaiam yoga mats usually cost between $20-$75.
Gaiam yoga mat FAQ
A.After each use, use a specially formulated mat spray to wipe your mat down, then allow it to air dry. If you want to make your own yoga mat cleaner, just add a few drops of tea tree oil in a two-to-one ratio of water to apple cider vinegar.
If you use your mat every day, it’s best to deep clean it once a week. Soak in warm, soapy water in the bathtub, then scrub and rinse thoroughly before air-drying completely.
Store your Gaiam yoga mat flat under a bed or loosely rolled. Rolling a mat tightly promotes bacterial growth and can result in a smelly mat.
A.With proper care and storage, your Gaiam yoga mat can last for years. Eventually, though, you might notice that areas of the mat are becoming thin or flakes of the mat cling to your clothes when you rise from savasana. These are signs that you need to replace your mat.
To extend the life of your Gaiam yoga mat, flip it regularly during your practice to ensure even wear.
Which Gaiam yoga mat should you get?
Gaiam Dry-Grip Yoga Mat: available atAmazon
Our take:This premium mat provides extra grip that's perfect for hot yoga and Pilates.
What we like:The topcoat stays dry and closed-cell construction provides superior grip and odor resistance that works great for sweaty yoga and Pilates workouts. It's also available in XL sizes for tall yogis.
What we dislike:Some yogis found that this mat sheds with intensive use.
Gaiam Premium Print: available atAmazon
Our take:You'll love this affordable, high-quality mat that comes in a variety of colors.
What we like:This mat has a textured surface and comes in your choice of 29 colorful prints. It's a thin mat that still provides a good cushion and is lightweight enough for travel.
What we dislike:The print tends to fade over time, and the mat has a distinct odor (that also fades with use).
Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat: available atAmazon
Our take:If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly choice, this cork mat is for you.
What we like:This mat offers superior grip underneath with a non-toxic rubber backing and an all-natural, sustainable cork top. The cork softens and becomes more pliable as you practice, too.
What we dislike:Some yogis report cracks in the cork if it is rolled up and stored for too long.
Suzannah Kolbeckis a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
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