To prevent hands and feet slipping during asana practice, yoga mats are used as a kind of aid. These mats are also known as non slip mats,non skit mats or sticky mats. In the ancient time yoga practice in India was done on grass or on the hard earth without any cover or on the rugs of dear or tiger. With yoga introduction in west, people used towels or cotton mats on wooden floors but they got failed because they slip off on the wooden floors. Rubber mats were started using as an intermediate, used instead of cottons to prevent that slipping. After all these things sticky mats were manufactured for yoga purpose.
The first yoga mat was invented and sold by Hugger Mugger Yoga Products in the 1990s. In 2002, the very first eco friendly yoga mat was introduced by EcoYoga and sold in Britain. Using yoga mats increasingly fulfilled the purpose of reducing injury risk. It is a commercial product and in starting it was made up of PVC, after that the eco friendly sticky mats were made from natural jute and rubber.To make it more harmless alternatively, yoga mats are made from Thermoplastic elastomer. TPE are deemed as more environment friendly as compare to PVC. Some of the eco conscious yoga mats are also made up of jute intermixed with a thin rubber layer for floor grip, some of the outdoor mats are also made from bamboo.
Yoga mats are available in various colors, patterns and dimensions. Some companies print custom image on mats. The dimensions of an ideal yoga mat is 72”/182cm long and a width of 24”/60cm. Some of the practitioners prefer wide mats for perform some asanas like Suryanamaskar or hand balancing. The thickness of the mats also vary according to the weight of the mats like 2mm thickness is better for light weight mats whereas 4-5mm of thickness is considered in standard or classic mats and a thickness of up to 7mm for either high performance mats or soft mats providing extra cushioning during yoga therapy.
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