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  • Writer's pictureYOGKUtīR by NJ

Does yoga mat has any role in your asana practice?

Updated: Jul 7, 2023




Have you ever experienced your palms slipping on the mat, or your wrists feeling a lot of pressure and pain when doing Adhomukha swanasana (downward facing dog)?


Or, your knee (the one placed on the mat) feeling discomfort when performing Anjaneyasana (low lunge/crescent moon pose)?


Or, your foot (the one in contact with the mat) feeling slightly wobbly, and your balance is unstable while doing Vrikshasana (Tree pose)?


Downward facing dog pose (Adhomukha swanasana)
Downward facing dog (Adhomukha swanasana)


Low lunge pose (Anjaneyasana)
Low lunge pose (Anjaneyasana)


Tree pose (Vrikshasana)
Tree pose (Vrikshasana)

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In the Chapter 2 : Sutra 46 of Yoga Sutra (the collection of Sanskrit sutras [aphorisms] on the theory and practice of yoga), sage Patanjali has mentioned:


Sthira sukham asanam

Asana (physical yoga postures) should be steady and comfortable.


The two keywords in this sutra are: steady and comfortable.

This is a common observation we all might have experienced one or the other time during our asana practice. And such an experience is neither stable nor comfortable.


Ever wondered why could this be happening?


One of the reasons could be that the practitioner may not be distributing the pressure on these body parts in the right way.


But, as per our experience with several yoga participants from our classes, we have found that the use of an improper mat contributes to some or all of these problems. How and why, you may be asking.


We will assess this problem by first assuming that the practitioner is using a flat and hard surface like the ones we have at in the apartments (like marble, granite flooring or vitrified tiles). Let us understand the different parameters to evaluate a mat.


Thickness

Material

Texture

Guide lines


The 30 second test: Is this the right yoga mat?

There are so many yoga mat brands in the market and the experience for same material may differ across brands, hence I would advise you to check the mat physically on above mentioned factors before purchasing.


Before buying a yoga mat try out the three asanas mentioned above for 30-45 seconds each: Adhomukha swanasana, Anjaneyasana and Vrikshasana. If your poses are comfortable and steady with a good grip, then the mat is good for you.

Some sports goods stores in India allow you to try out the mats. You can also check with your yoga trainer, or check out the mats other participants in the class are using.

I would recommend to avoid investing in a mat just because of lower cost because your practice will require a good quality mat.

 

Want actionable & useful yoga knowledge that you will not get anywhere else? Follow our Facebook page. Our gratitude to you for following, liking & sharing our content.

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