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After your first, second, or third class, you decide you like yoga!
Sure you’re still learning about the poses (asanas) and are also learning how to synch your breath to your movements. However, you are on your way to feeling like a yogi, right?
You’ll probably start to pay closer attention to your gear as you deepen your commitment to the yoga practice. In this case, "gear" does not mean the latest threads from Lululemon. Gear refers to the mat and the other accessories that help you focus on your practice.
Here are three things you'll notice (and appreciate) about your yoga gear.
1. Yoga Mats Come in Different Lengths
The length of a standard mat is 68 inches, which is suitable for someone that is 5 feet 8 inches or smaller. However, what if you are taller than 5 feet 8 inches?
Fortunately brands such as Lululemon, Manduka, and Jade Yoga have you in mind. Their standard mat size is 71 inches, which is suitable for someone as tall as 5 feet 11 inches.
For those 6 feet and taller, Jade Yoga has the 74 inch and 80 inch options, which are perfect for the 6 feet 2 inch and 6 feet 8 inch individual, respectively. Manduka’s Eko mat has the 79 inch length option and their PRO has an 85 inch option. Lululemon’s reversible (Big) mat is 84 inches long.
Finally Yoloha, a brand that makes its eco-friendly mats out of cork, has mats as long as 86 inches! Now even a 7 foot tall yogi can find a mat! How cool is it that there is a mat for everyone?
2. You'll Prefer a Mat with an Anti-Slip Surface
Have you ever practiced on a slippery mat? I have, and it was difficult to focus on my practice because I was too busy trying to not fall! I’ll never forget the time I was in downward facing dog and my feet slipped backwards, causing me to belly flop on the mat.
Fortunately many of the same yoga brands (Lululemon, Gaiam, Jade Yoga, Manduka, and more) mentioned above pride themselves on creating mats with anti-slip surfaces. Yoloha maintains that its mats have grip even when completely submerged in water (see photo).
There are other less popular mat brands with super grippy, non-slip surfaces, and Amazon is a great place to find them, in my opinion.
If you’d prefer to try a mat before you buy, more and more yoga studios and gyms are starting to have non-slip mats, from the popular brands, available for use.
3. The Yoga Towel is the Robin to Your Mat, who is Batman
I sweat during my practice. And if the studio is heated, I sweat a lot more! Because I sweat there is often a certain point, during the practice, when my "non-slip" mat becomes as slick as ice. Maybe this happens to you? For that reason I use a yoga towel.
A yoga towel replaces the grip on your mat that disappears during sweaty practice sessions. The length of most towels is 68 inches, the length of a standard mat. Manduka is the only brand I have found that carries yoga towels in longer lengths. Manduka's Yogitoes come in lengths up to 80 inches while their thicker mat towel (Equa Hot) has a 79 inch option.
To use, simply place the towel on top of your mat and keep flowing. And don't worry about sweating too much. Moisture enhances to grip of the towel.
Yoga towels can easily be found in many locations such as Amazon, sporting goods stores, and yoga studios.
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