Development of Yoga Mats
Development of Yoga Mats
The yoga mat is a kind of mat design for Yoga practice. It provides a non-slip and cushion surface to help yogis performs yoga poses safely and comfortably.
In the very beginning, when yoga was originated, Yogis practice yoga on the grass, then on the skin of animals, such as deer or tigers. The animal skins protect sensitive skin and are more comfortable than the grass ground. On the other hand, practicing on animal skins are more sanitary than directly touching the ground.
However, cleaning the "furry mat" became a hurdle for yogi far from 50 years ago. The furry mat takes a long time to dry, has high-weighted problems, requests complicated maintenance, moreover it's not nature friendly. Then the voice of improving the mat materials came out and has been taken into consideration by developers.
Hence natural rubber mats are coming into being for yogis. This material has many advantages, says eco-friendly, durable, and high-elastic. Rubber mats are popular with yoga participants. However, it's expensive and high-weighted.
Some yogis find it difficult to pick it out for the workout. So, new material mats are launched to accommodate the market needs. PVC mats are welcome in the past decade, because of their light-weighted, non-slip, and affordable price. With the environmental protection concept promoted around the world. More and more people ask for a substitution of PVC mats. As a result, TPE mats have become the trend of yoga mats and stand for affordable, durable, non-slip & comfortable. Many yogis are willing to have hot yoga as another workout challenge nowadays. A yoga mat that has high water absorption is required. PU mat that is similar to authentic leather has high absorption and is eco-friendly. This mat supports hot yoga well when sweating, and it's easy to clean and maintain. Today, rubber mats, TPE mats & PU mats are major kinds in the markets for diversified purposes. And base on environmental concerns, PVC mats are restricted in Europe.
The mats keep on developing to meet yogis needs, the professional grids or alignment lines are printed on mats to support yoga workouts. With the alignment lines, yogis can balance the body easily.
Some of the beginners may have a question that a yoga mat is a must for yoga practice? Of course, you can have your yoga class in a studio by renting a mat. But a personal mat means your private place for yoga practice in a studio. You can practice in private area without interruption. Besides, you can practice your yoga pose under a tree, on the grass, or even on the rock without a mat. However, a mat can protect you to get hurt from the root, the bias, and the bare ground. In this situation, a mat performs more in protection than a yoga tool.
Yoga mat or not yoga mat? It comes down to freedom. Freedom here means awareness of options and the power to make your own decisions. So this is not about using mats or not using mats. It’s about evaluating the decisions we are making, and sometimes that means being aware of the assumptions we bring to the practice. Are we assuming that we need a mat to practice yoga? What are the benefits and drawbacks of that assumption? The more conscious we make our assumptions, the more our yoga practice can become a mindful practice of freedom.