Yoga is a great, versatile form of exercise. It requires very little equipment, coordination, or experience. It can be done at home, at a gym, or at a yoga studio. When participating in a yoga session there are just a few things you’ll need to have with you before you’re ready to start: 1) towel, 2) bottle of water, 3) any props or blocks you might need, 4) a yoga mat.
As I found out early on in my yoga ventures, a yoga mat is essential. Try doing the downward dog with bare or socked feet on carpet. Okay, if you’re really flexible and can plant your feet flat on the ground while doing it, you just might be okay. If you’re like me…well, as you hold your position you’re going to find that your downward dog becomes droopier, and droopier as your feet slowly slide further and further out from under your body.
When shopping for a yoga mat there are several things to consider—I know, you’re wondering how many things there could be to consider about a rectangular piece of foam. Though yoga mats may all look very similar there are several variations in size, stickiness, and thickness. It is also important to consider the materials used to make the mat.
I received the Gaiam Premium Be Inspired Yoga Mat to review. It is 4 mm thick and is right in the middle of the scale as far as thickness goes. Both sides of the mat are textured to provide a non-slip surface—perfect for your downward dogs.
One side includes the inspirational words “good deeds, kind words, happy thoughts, everyone smiles in the same language”.
I mentioned that materials used to make the mat is an important consideration. Some mats may contain phthalates, and mats made of PVC may contain lead and cadmium. Gaiam Yoga Mats are non-PVC and are free of the top six most harmful phthalates.
Because both my husband and I work out at home we’ve only tried the Gaiam Be Inspired Yoga Mat at home on carpet. The thickness is just fine as we’re not really looking for cushion so much as we are stability. You notice I’m saying “we”. Yes, though The Husband doesn’t do yoga he has found out that this is a great mat for his pushups and sit ups! Even if you’re not into yoga a Gaiam Yoga mat makes a great exercise mat.
Gaiam Yoga mats can be purchased from the Gaiam Shop with prices starting at under $20.
Disclosure: I was provided with the above-mentioned product, at no cost to myself, in order to facilitate a review. All opinions expressed are honest and are entirely my own.