Yoga is now practiced by an estimated 16 million Americans. It has become popular because it is a low-impact exercise that can be performed at the pace of the individual. It can improve flexibility, reduce pain in the muscles and joints and help to relieve stress among many other health benefits. Unlike other forms of exercise that often require expensive equipment and a lot of room, yoga can be performed in a small space with only a minimal investment.
Two items that all participants should consider purchasing is a yoga mat and a mat towel. The type of clothing that is worn or taking a class are optional, but a mat and a towel are a necessity. Yoga requires the participant to hold their balance in a variety of positions and a mat and towel will protect against slipping and losing balance. The towel will also absorb moisture so the skin stays more comfortable.
A yoga mat is not the same as a traditional gym mat. A mat designed for yoga is thinner and longer than regular exercise mats. With a thick mat it is difficult to not sink in and lose balance. Because of the wide stances and stretches in yoga, a longer surface space will prevent sliding or stepping off the mat accidentally.
A bath towel or beach towel are not good substitutes for yoga mat towels. They will not provide the security of a yoga skidless mat towel. They shift, wrinkle and may stick to the skin once perspiration begins. When made specifically for yoga, the materials are designed to absorb moisture to prevent the surface from becoming damp and uncomfortable.
Making the investment in a good quality mat and towel will make each session easier and more comfortable. A lightweight yoga mat towel is easy to clean and portable, so it can be carried to the gym, for yoga on the beach or wherever else it may be needed. When purchasing a yoga mat towel shoppers should look for one that is soft and absorbent, does not shed and the colors are guaranteed not to bleed. It should be washed prior to use to be certain its colorfast guarantee is accurate.