One word which keeps cropping up whenever yoga mats are being discussed is sticky - this is the term which relates to how a mat rates when it comes to providing plenty of essential grip during your yoga routines.
A good grip on a slip-free surface is crucial if you are to be able practice your yoga safely and confidently - knowing you feet or hands won't slip on the mat's surface is essential for your peace of mind.
Therefore most yoga lovers are keen to buy a mat which is as sticky as possible, while still offers a degree of cushioning for comfort during poses. The amount of stickiness a mat can provide should always be factored in when you are deciding which one to buy.
The ideal mat will be durable, comfortable, offer the correct amount of support to avoid injury and provide sufficient grip - or stickiness - to reduce the risk of slipping. Mat thickness is also important - for example, you might require a thicker mat if you are older and wish to cushion and protect your joints with extra padding.
A sticky yoga mat will keep you from sliding all over the place during a workout and help you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another - especially when you are holding complicated poses for several seconds. Stickiness is essential in most types or yoga - for example, it's vital in Ashtanga yoga which is very fast-paced and challenging or for holding poses in place during Bikram hot yoga classes.
PVC foam yoga mats normally have a high stickiness rating - however, that these mats are only sticky when they are clean. Therefore, if you buy a PVC mat, it's advisable to wash it before using it for the first time, and again when you notice your hands sliding forward in the downward facing dog yoga position.
Sticky PVC yoga mats, however, are not the best choice when it comes to being eco-friendly. If you want a sticky mat that's made from biodegradable material then you might wish to consider a natural rubber mat - these are very durable and made from natural rubber from trees, but they are most expensive than PVC mats and sometimes have an unusual odour. Sticky rubber mats are environmentally sustainable, long-lasting, and come in a variety of thicknesses.
Gaiam is a brand name that rates highly when it comes to latex-free yoga mats with a great reputation for their stickiness. Gaiam mats are lightweight and durable and have a super grip texture for non-slip performance.
Choosing a sticky mat depends largely on each yoga student’s personal requirements and physique, as well as the type of yoga being practised. Thankfully there's an abundance of top quality sticky mats for sale these days, so most yoga enthusiasts will be able to find something that suits their needs and budget without too much trouble.