If you attend group fitness classes regularly, have you considered investing in a high-quality mat? The right exercise mat can enhance your practice, making the whole class experience more pleasant. If your hands slip forward in Downward Facing Dog (so distracting!), you’ll want a mat with a “grippier” surface. And if Rolling Like a Ball makes your vertebrae ache, a mat with more cushioning will take the “ouch” out of your practice.
Here are my top 3 favourite exercise mats, each of which I use daily
1. Gaiam Yoga Towel
For active sessions like Power and Hot Yoga or BodySculpt, I love my towel. It’s super lightweight and folds up small enough to fit into almost any bag. For reducing slipping, it’s the best I’ve ever used. Added bonus: you can throw it in the laundry – no more smelly mats!
The only downside to the towel is its complete lack of cushioning. For Hatha Yoga and Pilates, I place my towel on top of a studio mat for comfort.
2. Stott Pilates Express Mat
Pilates mats should be thicker than yoga mats, but should also be less bulky than gym mats. They need to provide spinal and pelvic support and padding while allowing you to feel the shape of your body on the floor. This mat is surprisingly light while thick enough to actually make rolling exercises fun.
This mat tends to slip a bit during standing exercises, so it’s less suitable for vigorous forms of yoga. But it’s lovely for super gentle Hatha or Yin classes.
3. Yoga Force A-Line Mat
If I could have only one mat it would be this one. It’s very easy to carry around and has a detachable pouch on the strap for your keys and wallet.
The A-line shape makes it the SmartCar of yoga mats: you can fit into even the most crowded class. It’s even recyclable! Great for yoga, Pilates or any mat exercises.
Why spend money on your own mat when the ones at the studio or gym are free? Because you’re worth it! Plus, no more sharing with your fellow sweaty gym members!