Yoga mats come in all shapes and sizes, the thickness however depends on your preference and the material you choose. Different material will have different options.
Why Does Thickness Matter?
Yoga mats can be quite a personal choice, often people will shop around to find the best one for them before committing to one. It sounds like a lot of faff just for a mat, but it’s a mat you will be using for long periods of time and will be the only thing between you and the hard floor. Getting the right mat is important for you and your comfort. Chances are you will spend a proportion of your time in discomfort in pose so the last thing you want is for your mat to give you added discomfort as well. You not only have thickness to consider but the material of the mat in the first place (PVC, natural rubber, jute, cotton etc)
Thickness vs Effectiveness
Your first gut instinct is to get a mat that will cushion you as much as possible from the floor and make mat work for comfortable. However there are a few things to consider before you go out and buy one the depth of a book. The thicker the mat, the less contact with the floor, so this means you are not as engaged with the floor as you might need to be and in some poses could put your off balance and cause you to wobble. If you have a thick pvc mat for example you will find your feet will sink in and you may bob slightly from side to side. A thinner mat will obviously do the reverse and give you more connection with the floor. It’s about getting the right balance for you.
What Thicknesses Are There?
A standard PVC yoga mat is about 1/8 inch thick and the thickest are in the 1/4 range. However you can get travel mats which are built to be very flexible and easy to carry which come in on the 1/16 range. They offer very little comfort but are easier to carry and store for holidays, a premium mat in the 1/4 range will weigh about 7-8 lbs so may not be a good choice for travel even if they do offer the better comfort level. There are also websites that allow you to ‘build’ your own, based on a standard thickness you can choose your own artwork.
Ultimately – shop around and try before you buy so you can find the best mat for you.
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