How To Choose a Mat for Yoga or Pilates

Class participants often ask me to recommend a yoga mat.  I can only share my experience with the few brands that I've used, though there are hundreds out there online and in stores.  First, you need to decide what you'll be using the mat for, either Yoga or Pilates. Why? Well, a hot yoga class requires a specific style of mat than a traditional yoga class due to the sweat aspect of the practice. Also, Pilates tends to require a thicker mat 5mm as opposed to a 3mm (yoga style) to comfort your spine during the roll up and down motion. If you have a preference in material, you may want to find a mat that is made of organic materials or consider one made of recyclable materials. For Yoga, you will want a sticky mat to avoid stretching or slipping while in standing Warrior poses. In additionl to those I've mentioned below, friends have told me that Jade and lululemon are nice, though both are pricey. Like a car, many of the high-end brands have several different models, so you'll want to know the details before ordering online (ie: Amazon or YogaOutlet).