Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the primary precept of yoga, so it might come as a shock to study that the tiger pores and skin was the yoga mat of alternative for historical yogis. It is slightly extra reassuring if you uncover that the skins they used have been these of tigers who died naturally, however nonetheless, using a tiger pores and skin as a yoga mat might be not advisable for in the present day’s Western yogi!
Other than having deep roots in Hindu mythology, tiger pores and skin yoga mats had all the properties yogis wanted in a mat. They have been giant sufficient for sensible utilization but simply transportable when rolled up. When the yogi wished to make use of his tiger pores and skin for the follow of hatha yoga, it naturally unrolled flat with out curling up on the ends. The fur supplied insulation and simply sufficient padding for cover with out being spongy and the leathery pores and skin aspect of the tiger pores and skin mat supplied an ideal non-slip floor. The yogi may get into and preserve even probably the most tough yoga postures (asanas) with out worry of his mat slipping out from beneath him.
All of those are perfect properties to search for in a yoga mat. When yoga first gained recognition within the West within the sixties, Western hatha yogis needed to improvise. Mexican cotton rugs and even carpet underlays have been used with numerous ranges of success and failure. A rising market and Western ingenuity addressed all the shortcomings of these early mats and in the present day there’s a giant vary of mats obtainable, all of which work splendidly.
Typically, yoga mats are rather less than 6 ft (1.Eight m) lengthy and about 2 ft (60 cm) vast – simply lengthy sufficient for the common individual and simply vast sufficient to supply safety when doing seated poses. Thicknesses range, however normally they’re fairly skinny – as little as 1/8″ or 5 mm. The thickest, most luxurious feeling mats will be greater than twice as thick with out feeling too spongy.
Once you’re purchasing for a yoga mat, there are some key components to search for. A mat that springs again shortly when pinched is more likely to serve you effectively. In case your finger leaves a melancholy, it is a certain signal that your again will, too and that the mat might be subsequent to ineffective in precise follow. If it is handed your first take a look at, then strive unfurling it. Does it curl up badly and refuse to stay to the ground or are you able to get it to lie flat simply? Whereas the gross sales workers might not approve of your doing a full yoga exercise on the store ground earlier than you make your buy, you possibly can no less than give the mat a superb push together with your arms to see how effectively it sticks to the ground. If you find yourself in your face when the mat slips throughout the ground, strive one other model!
Absolutely anything you see in a retailer might be obtainable on-line at websites like Amazon for a greater worth, and infrequently have free transport. The intensive critiques additionally provide the benefit of studying from the expertise of others who’ve purchased the product. Learn them rigorously.
Lastly, spare a thought for the atmosphere. Many yoga mats are additionally environmentally pleasant or impartial. It could value slightly extra, however a PVC-free yoga mat is as sensible as any and is in tune with the rules of ahimsa. Take the time to decide on your yoga mat rigorously and chances are you’ll discover that it turns into as particular to you because the tiger pores and skin mats that have been handed down from guru to disciple in historical India have been to them.