Why You Need Your Own Yoga Mat
Posted on October 14 2020
How having your own yoga mat can have an actual physical effect on your practice, as well as setting up your mindset ...
There is no more powerful a symbol for a modern Yoga practice than the yoga mat. It's a tangible space upon which we might regularly experience momentary relief from the stress-filled fast-past unpredictability of life.
There's something to be said about the association of your mat; that little human-sized rectangle of space that becomes your sanctuary for the hour or so you're in class. It's your sacred, personal space. The space that holds you, quite literally physically holds you if it's a high quality mat, allowing you to melt away into your own little cocoon of calm.
For many practitioners it's a safety blanket, a crutch; but is it worth having your own mat, investing in a high quality mat that does all the stuff it's supposed to (grip, cushion, resist sliding)?
Kin founder Laura says it's not only worth it, but it will change your Yoga practice forever. Here's why in her own words...
"There are so many reasons why I've always wanted my own Yoga mat, from the pragmatic point of view there's hygiene, people sweat alot in Yoga, people touch the mat with all sorts of different body parts (particularly in the more scantily clad classes...) including your face.
Stinky studio Yoga mats have long been a bane of mine, and I don't think I could go back to using studio mats for that reason alone, I feel much more relaxed not having to worry about resting my forehead where someone stranger's body sweat and god knows what else has landed an hour before...
Another more potent reason to invest in a high quality grippy mat is that it actually changes the quality of your muscle contraction.
Take the classic Kin mat's high grip surface - it stops your feet slipping apart in lunge & warrior poses. For many of these poses you need to activate your abductors and glutes which is done through the feeling of "tearing your mat in half" with your two feet. It's a common cue you may have heard your Yoga teacher use. This activation keeps the hips stable and safe, and means you can maintain control moving into other shapes; twists, leans, one legged poses etc.
Without the grippines of the mat, when you try to 'tear your mat', your feet simply keep sliding and the engagement never lands.
In my practice I need the kind of grip you get from the classic Kin mat. Sticky rubber, cork, and stretchy PVC mats just don't offer that kind of grip (there are high friction rubber mats that grip well but uncomfortably).
Balance poses are another reason for investing in the perfect mat - if you don't have the right cushioning in headstand it really hurts, but too much 'foamyness' means you'll sink in and displace the mat, causing you to wobble and never find a firm grounding. I believe in the classic Kin mat we have found the PERFECT ratio for firmness (tensile strength that helps you find a firm rooting down) and padding (no more sore wrists, or top of head in headstand!)".
If you have any questions about the technology of the Kin mat, or any questions at all about how to pick the right mat for you, leave a comment and a friendly member of the Kin team will get back to you. Contact Us.