Are You Using the Wrong Yoga Mat?

You invest a lot of energy and concentration into perfecting your form during sun salutations or in tree pose. But what if it’s not your body or your mind that’s standing in the way of a better yoga practice? Using the wrong yoga mat can lead to poor form, slipping, and even injury.

One of the most common problems people report with their yoga mats is that they’re not sticky enough. Your feet might slip on the mat, especially during high-tension poses such as downward-facing dog. Or the mat might actually slip on the floor. Either way, you’ll find yourself overcompensating to try to keep the mat still — and your form will suffer as a result.

On the other hand, for those who enjoy flow-based yoga, some mats may be too sticky. Some mats might make it hard to pick up or slide your hands or feet in these cases. If this describes your experience, consider having a separate mat for flow-based yoga classes.

If you’re feeling joint pain, this may be a sign you don’t have enough padding. On the other hand, heavily padded mats might be so hard to carry that you’re not going to yoga as much as you should. Try to find a happy medium here. And along the way, make sure to know what materials your mat is made of, and avoid those containing substances that may cause cancer.

If you’re using the wrong mat, you may be missing out on a key way to improve your practice.

Check out the infographic to the right to learn if your yoga mat is right for you. Or just skip on over to our ranking of the best the yoga mats to feel confident you’re getting the most out of your yoga practice.