Table of Contents Hide
- Why Restorative Yoga?
- Why You Should Care About Picking the Right Mat
- What to Look for in a Yoga Mat for Restorative Yoga
- Our Top Picks for the Best Yoga Mat for Restorative Yoga
- Caring for Your Yoga Mat
Discover the ultimate guide to choosing the best yoga mat for restorative yoga. Learn about the important factors to consider and explore our top recommendations.
Are you an avid practitioner of restorative yoga or planning to dive into this gentle, nurturing form of yoga soon? One of the first things you’ll need is a yoga mat, but not just any mat will do. You’ll need the best yoga mat for restorative yoga. Now, you might wonder, ‘Isn’t a yoga mat just a yoga mat?’ Ah, my friend, that’s where you’re mistaken.
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In restorative yoga, you hold poses for a longer duration, usually around 5-20 minutes. This requires a mat that provides ample cushioning and support. So, the type of mat you use can have a significant impact on your practice.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of choosing the best yoga mat for restorative yoga, and we’ll even throw in some recommendations. Are you ready? Let’s roll out (pun intended)!
Why Restorative Yoga?
Life today is go, go, go. We rush from one task to the next, rarely taking a moment to breathe, let alone relax. And while traditional yoga practices can certainly help with stress and anxiety, restorative yoga takes it to a whole new level.
In restorative yoga, poses are held for extended periods, typically 5-20 minutes, and the focus is on relaxation and release. Unlike other types of yoga, restorative yoga uses props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks to fully support the body, allowing you to sink into the poses without any effort.
This style of yoga has numerous benefits, including:
- Stress Reduction: Restorative yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to lower stress levels.
- Improved Sleep: By calming the mind and body, restorative yoga can improve the quality of your sleep.
- Increased Flexibility: Although not the primary goal, the extended holds in restorative yoga can help to increase flexibility over time.
- Enhanced Mindfulness: The slow, mindful nature of restorative yoga encourages you to be present and aware of your thoughts and sensations.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? And it is. But to reap all these benefits, you need to be comfortable. And that’s where the best yoga mat for restorative yoga comes in.
Why You Should Care About Picking the Right Mat
“Is a mat really going to make a difference?”, you might ask, especially when Restorative Yoga is largely about surrendering into postures. Oh, you innocent yogi, you have no idea! This isn’t just about a piece of foam between you and the floor. The mat you choose is a catalyst for your relaxation journey; it’s the Aladdin’s magic carpet that will fly you to new, untapped realms of tranquility. According to a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, the right mat can actually improve your balance and stability during yoga by up to 20%.
What to Look for in a Yoga Mat for Restorative Yoga
Thickness Matters—Like a Lot
The best yoga mat for restorative yoga needs to offer a slice of cloud-like cushioning. That’s not just me saying it; it’s backed by science! A study in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that mats with a thickness of 5mm or more reduced joint discomfort by a whopping 56%. You heard it right, so aim for that depth to give your bony bits the love they deserve.
Material Girl—Choosing the Best Yoga Mat for Restorative Yoga Material
Once upon a time in a yoga class far, far away, you’ll hear people discuss mats like they’re talking about mystical, ancient artifacts. But hey, the devil is in the details, folks. From PVC to TPE, from natural rubber to cork, the range of yoga mat material is wider than the smile on your face after a good Savasana.
- Pros: Eco-friendly, great grip, and durability.
- Cons: Heavy and can be costly.
TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer)
- Pros: Lightweight, decent grip, and often budget-friendly.
- Cons: Not as durable as natural rubber or PVC.
So, are you ready to make a choice, or shall we make it more complicated? Just kidding, life’s too short for a mediocre yoga mat!
The texture of the mat affects its grip and how comfortable it feels against your skin. A mat with a slight texture will provide a good grip, while a mat with a smooth texture may be more comfortable but less grippy. It’s important to find a balance that suits your preference.
The standard size of a yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. However, if you are taller than average or prefer more space, you may want to consider a mat that is wider or longer.
Now that you know what to look for in a yoga mat for restorative yoga, let’s dive into some recommendations.
Staying Put—The Importance of Grip in Restorative Yoga
Do you want to slip and slide while attempting a relaxed Child’s Pose? I didn’t think so. A good grip is not just essential for sweaty Vinyasa flows but also for the stillness of Restorative Yoga. Even when you’re largely immobile, subtle shifts can cause your mat to bunch up, disturbing your inner Zen garden.
Our Top Picks for the Best Yoga Mat for Restorative Yoga
Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm Yoga Mat
This mat is not only aesthetically pleasing with its beautiful mandala design but also provides great cushioning with its 6mm thickness. It is made of PVC, which means it is durable but not biodegradable. However, Gaiam does have a recycling program for their mats.
Manduka Pro Premium Yoga Mat 6mm
This mat is a favorite among yoga enthusiasts and for good reason. It is made of PVC but is OEKO-TEX certified, meaning it is free of harmful substances. It also provides excellent cushioning with its 6mm thickness and has a closed-cell surface to prevent sweat and bacteria from seeping into the mat.
Yogamatters Eco Rise Yoga Mat
This mat is made of TPE, making it an eco-friendly option. It has a thickness of 6mm, providing good cushioning for your joints. It also has a textured surface for a better grip.
Caring for Your Yoga Mat
Once you’ve invested in the best yoga mat for restorative yoga, you’ll want to take good care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for keeping your mat in tip-top shape:
- Clean Regularly: After each practice, wipe your mat down with a damp cloth or a yoga mat cleaner. This will remove any sweat, dirt, or oils that have accumulated on the surface.
- Dry Thoroughly: Before rolling your mat up, make sure it is completely dry. This will prevent any mold or mildew from forming.
- Store Properly: Roll your mat up with the top side facing out. This will help to maintain its shape and prevent any creases from forming.
- Use a Yoga Towel: If you tend to sweat a lot during your practice, consider using a yoga towel on top of your mat. This will help to absorb any excess moisture and keep your mat clean.
Choosing the best yoga mat for restorative yoga is crucial for a comfortable and supportive practice. It’s important to consider the thickness, material, texture, and size of the mat. Our top picks for the best yoga mat for restorative yoga are the Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm Yoga Mat, the Manduka Pro Premium Yoga Mat 6mm, and the Yogamatters Eco Rise Yoga Mat. However, the best mat for you ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Q1. What is the best thickness for a yoga mat for restorative yoga?
For restorative yoga, a mat that is at least 1/4 inch (6mm) thick is recommended. This provides enough cushioning for your joints without compromising your stability.
Q2. What is the best material for a yoga mat for restorative yoga?
PVC, TPE, natural rubber, and cork are all suitable materials for a yoga mat for restorative yoga. PVC and TPE mats provide good cushioning, while natural rubber and cork mats are eco-friendly options. Ultimately, the best material depends on your preferences and priorities.
Q3. How do I clean and maintain my yoga mat?
To clean your yoga mat, you can use a mixture of water and mild soap or a specialized yoga mat cleaner. Spray the mixture or cleaner onto the mat and wipe it down with a clean cloth. Make sure to dry your mat thoroughly before rolling it up. To maintain your mat, it’s important to clean it regularly and store it in a cool, dry place.
Q4. Can I use a regular exercise mat for restorative yoga?
While you can use a regular exercise mat for restorative yoga, it may not provide the same level of cushioning and support as a specialized yoga mat. Exercise mats are often thinner and may not provide enough cushioning for your joints during prolonged poses.
Q5. How often should I replace my yoga mat?
The lifespan of a yoga mat depends on its material, quality, and how often it is used. Generally, a yoga mat should be replaced every 1-2 years. However, if you notice that your mat is losing its grip, cushioning, or is showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to replace it.