Why Use A Thick Yoga Mat?
Well, simply put, it FEELS a whole lot better than a thin one, and this gives far greater comfort and ease for the yoga session so more value is drawn from it.
Thick yoga mat attributes include density, resistance, durability & resilience, most of which are included in a thick yoga mat.
Yoga mats generally come in 2 thicknesses, thin/standard (1/8 inch) or a thick yoga mat (about ¼ inch), nice n simple hey? But for the detail minded, here is a list of other mats available …
- 1/8 inch :: 3.2 mm (1 common standard)
- 3/16 inch :: 4.7 mm
- 4 mm :: just less than 3/16-inch
- ¼ inch :: 6.4 mm (common ” double standard “)
- 5 mm :: just under ¼ inch
- 5/16 inch :: 7.8 mm
- 3/8 inch :: 9.4 mm 1/2-inch :: 12.8 mm ( extreme thickness )
Yoga mats vary in size, with most mats being 24 inches (61 cm) wide and from 65 (165cm) & 72 inches (183cm) long. The larger the mat, the more “personal space” you can command in your class, which can be beneficial for those who seek it.
So How To Choose A Thick Yoga Mat?
Well, if comfort is a priority, then the thick yoga mat is for you for sure.
You can also think about where you plan to do your yoga, outside, inside, hard floor, soft floor. And considering the needs of a sensitive body or not will also help you decide… injuries and sensitive joints do prefer extra padding and support when holding weight.
One super benefit of a thick-yoga-mat is being able to roll it or fold it to create superb padding for knees, which do get a lot of exercise in traditional yoga classes (and in life as well actually).
Now, if you do go for the thick mat, it will be bigger when rolled up, not by much, but if you plan to carry it around a lot then this is a consideration to be heeded. That said, it can be a great benefit to have a thick-yoga-mat as a traveller as it also doubles as a cushion or even a mattress for the brave. I keep one in the boot of my car at all times.
The type of yoga can also influence your needs analysis, the most common yoga named Ashtanga, works very well with thick-yoga-mats as extra cushioning of the body is given.
As we age, our bodies become more sensitive, so a thick-yoga-mat will help reduce this sensitivity a lot and enable one to focus on the yoga and less on discomfort or finding points of ease.
Now, while comfort is indeed primary, stability differs between thick and thin mats…. Thin mats offer greater stability, although this is marginal, it can be noticed by some. Try testing a thick and a thin yoga mat if you can, in a gym, or a shop, or a yoga studio, with the same posture (tree posture is simple and safe and effective) and see what feels right for you.
Also, it’s well worth remembering to avoid anything make from a product to which you might be allergic (for example latex).
As you can tell, I love the thick yoga mat, for comfort and durability, and I’m VERY happy with the investment I made in it, for the returns have been VERY worth it. Having a thick yoga mat guarantees a more comfortable, enduring and successful yoga session, and helps me emerge from the yoga class with a sense of achievement, of being nurtured, & less aches & pains than if I used a thin mat. And this then makes me long for the next class, which is very cool.
A thick yoga mat also offers the extra bonus of a cushion, blanket or even mattress for travellers, even if it be travelling to a local park or festival, a medmob meditation, an acroyoga class, or a bush picnic … the uses of a thick yoga mat is endless.