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What Is The Difference Between An Exercise Mat And Yoga Mat?

Posted by James Oakley on
Exercise mat VS Yoga mat

During your hunt for a yoga mat, you may have stumbled across exercise mats too which has left you confused about the choice you have to make. We often find ourselves getting bombarded with all the options on the market, so much so that we end up with the wrong product or give up on the search quest at all. If you’re on the hunt for a good mat, whether that’s for cardio workouts, ab workouts or yoga practices, we will help you to understand the differences between an exercise mat and yoga mat. See, it doesn’t have to be that difficult!

Visible differences between an exercise mat and yoga mat

There are a couple of visible differences that help you to easily make the distinction between an exercise mat and a yoga mat. Generally speaking, an exercise mat is made out of thin material, which means it’s usually very flat. Yoga mats on the other hand use thicker material and they’re usually bigger to allow movements on the mat. As yoga mats are thicker, this makes them more comfortable when performing yoga poses where your knees or elbows are placed on the ground. Besides the material of an exercise mat being thinner, it’s also a lot more slippery as it’s often made out of plastic. When practicing yoga, it’s important that you have good grip as you don’t want to risk falling over or your foot sliding during a difficult exercise. 

What mat is best during your yoga practice?

Whether you’re a new yogi or have been practicing yoga for years, a good yoga mat is a key element of improving your practice. With a poor mat, you won’t be able to fully perform more difficult poses in a safe way and that will withhold you from achieving your goals. Besides that, an exercise mat is often not sweat proof. Combine this with the plastic, slippery material and you’re just waiting for accidents to happen. Yogi Bare’s yoga mats are sweat proof, high quality and use anti-slip material. Fun fact, we even have yoga mats with ultra grip which protect you from slipping even more. The perfect yoga mat for a beginner yogi, we believe. 

Ultra grip yoga mat

Exercise and yoga mats and sustainability

Besides visual and practical differences between exercise mats and yoga mats, sustainability is another difference that should definitely be taken into consideration. Yoga mats are considerably more sustainable than exercise mats made out of plastic and thin material. Exercise mats are usually made out of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a synthetic plastic polymer which, has turned out, is extremely harmful to our environment. In fact, Greenpeace has described PVC as ‘the single most damaging type of plastic’. For Yogi Bare’s yoga mats, we use a material called Polyurethane (PU) which is a much greener alternative to PVC. Not only in production, but also in after-care as it is degradable over time. PU yoga mats are durable which makes them last for years and once the mat has come to the end of its life, you can recycle it. All in all, a lot better for the environment! 

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