Testing Out Yoga Mats
In addition to checking a yoga mats cushioning and traction and how it feels underfoot, consider that some styles of yoga, such as Bikram yoga, also dictate what type of yoga mat is most safe and effective. “Hot yoga entails a lot of sweating,” says Murty. “Therefore, cotton yoga rugs are generally used in place of the latex mats.”
Once you buy a yoga mat, the next test is to see if its a good fit for you. Sometimes thats a matter of trial and error since not all yoga mat materials have the same “feel.”
Why Get A Travel Yoga Mat
Having your travel yoga mat means you will be able to do your practice no matter where you are situated. Its also easy to pack and they usually weigh far less than your everyday yoga mat. If you know you travel a lot then for sure you should invest in a solid travel yoga mat that you can bring along when you travel.
Another cool thing about them is that you can roll out your travel mat even when you are back home. Nothing is stopping you from using them.
The Jadeyoga Travel Mat Comes From One Of The Most Reliable Brands On The Market Is 3mm Thick And Comes In Two Lengths To Accommodate Taller People
Pros: Natural materials, purchase benefits Trees for the Future, more cushioning
Cons: Heavier than many other travel mats, doesn’t pack down as small as others
Nearly all travel yoga mats are pretty thin, which is frustrating if you have knee of joint issues. This 3mm-thick mat from JadeYoga is the best you can get for a mat that’ll still roll up tight. What’s more, the JadeYoga Travel Mat is available in 68-inch and 74-inch lengths, which offers taller people adequate space on the mat.
JadeYoga puts special attention on sustainability, and its mats are made of natural rubber sourced from trees with no PVC or other synthetic materials added. For each one purchased, the brand ensures a new tree will be planted.
A no-slip, open-cell surface gives you a solid grip, and it features a much plusher cushioning compared to other travel mats. At approximately 3 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than others on this list, but that’s a small price for more support.
One downside is that, unlike most travel yoga mats, Jade’s rolls instead of folds, so it may be harder to fit in your luggage. On the other hand, the quality makes it a great multi-use pick for home practice as well as travel.
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Do You Really Need A Travel Yoga Mat
The simple answer is no. A travel yoga mat is not necessary but it can certainly encourage you to practice.
If youre a dedicated yogi who loves the comfort of practicing on a surface that is truly yours, a surface that you know how clean it is because you take care of it then adding a travelling yoga mat to your packing list is a no-brainer.
If youre someone who can practice yoga anywhere, on any surface, whether it be the grass, the sand, on cold tile or can simply throw down a sarong or towel and be content then perhaps you can skip on the travel yoga mat.
A yoga mat for travel is not just for using in your hotel room or on the beach though, it can also be used at studios you visit while abroad, giving you a bit of a sense of home and knowing that you can flow on a grippy surface that youre used to and comfortable.
Keep in mind that these mats are designed for travel so you will have to sacrifice little when it comes to space!
Yoga Mat Carry On Options
You can roll up your mat and bring it as your carry-on . This is the easiest way to travel with a mat and means you can even stop into airport yoga rooms while waiting for your flight. If you go this route, I recommend paying for a mat strap or sling. Its a cheap solution that keeps the mat neatly rolled up throughout your journey.
The problem with bringing a mat as your carry-on is it means you cant bring a suitcase onboardjust a small personal item for underneath the seat and the yoga mat in the overhead bin. That may or may not work for you.
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Does A Yoga Mat Count As Carry On
Airlines luggage policies differ from one to another .so your yoga mat will be counted as a personal item if it is within the airline personal item size. but If your yoga mat is above the allowed personal item size, it will be counted as your main carry on.
The smartest way to avoid any inconvenience while boarding the airplane also avoid been concerned if your yoga mat will be considered a personal item is to place mat in your suitcase and check that in.
Otherwise, if you are traveling with your yoga mat on hands that wont occur any issue.
How To Travel With A Yoga Mat
If you practice yoga once a week, you will change your mind. If you practice yoga twice a week, you will change your body. If you practice yoga daily, you will change your life.
Whether youre a traveling nomad like me or a yogi looking to continue practice on an extended vacation, learning how to travel with a yoga mat is a necessary skill for a consistent practice. Lets be real long flights, new environments, stressful travels these are the perfect conditions for a I need yoga right this minute meltdown.
One of my favorite parts of carrying a yoga mat and practice around the world is how simple it is to stop, drop, and yoga. In the middle of the airport, in the tiniest of hotel rooms, or even on a bus aisle, you can throw out your mat and have yourself a badass yoga practice. Anywhere. Anytime.
However, you gotta have a mat!
I get asked about my advice on traveling with a mat all of the time. My biggest piece of advice for travelers, and honestly all of my students, is to choose a mat unique to your needs. Everyone is different and we are blessed to be living in a day and age with plenty of yoga mat choices.
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Advantages Of A Travel Yoga Mat
They are lighter.
Backpacking yogis now the inconvenience of carrying around a heavy yoga mat. If youre constantly walking around with your items and dont want to be burdened, get a travel yoga mat. They are generally lighter and easier to carry around.
They are easier to pack.
Yoga mats arent the smallest items in the roster of a travelers accessories. The best travel yoga mat takes less space and is quicker to pack. They both come in foldable and rollable versions as well.
They help you save money.
Okay, the best travel yoga mat may be a couple of dollars more expensive than a regular yoga mat, but think about the long-term savings.
Regular yoga mats wont fit in your backpack, so youll have to carry them separately or affix them to your luggage. This counts as extra baggage for some airlines. Think about how much youll save in the long run!
Clean Your Yoga Mat As You Go
One of the most important things you can learn to help enhance your yoga experience is how to clean yoga mats regularly. You can use a homemade solution or a commercial cleaning product â depending on the type of yoga mat you have, dishwashing liquid may be able to help clean stains and smells. Remember â always read the directions on the label of your yoga mat first, as some materials may have specific cleaning requirements. Also, make sure you read the directions on the label of your chosen cleaning product, and test any product on a small area first. If you clean your yoga mat after each use, this way it will stay fresher for longer. This way, you should be able to extend the length of time between each thorough, intense clean.
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How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat
Choosing a perfect yoga mat can be tricky. Regardless of whether you are new to yoga or whether you have been practicing for a while, the yoga mat you use can make or break your session. A yoga mat is a yogis private space the place where you find peace, mindfulness and zen. In other words you want the flow. The last thing you need from your yoga mat is to mess up your flow. No one wants to be slipping or sliding, and one definitely does not need bruised knees or a painful spine after practice. You want to maintain focus and avoid injury. So if you are a regular yoga enthusiast, invest in your own mat.
Liforme Travel Yoga Mat
This mat is ideal if youre focused on improving your alignment.
Liformes AlignForMe markers will remove any doubt on proper hand and foot placement.
The Liforme Yoga Travel Mat is thicker, wider, and longer than most travel mats. Consequentially, its the least compact mat on this list.
Its not foldable , so it wont pack into smaller luggage easily.
Its also heavier than the other mats here at nearly 4 pounds.
I find the Liforme mats to be very soft. The surface is smooth but has a good grip and its a high-quality yoga mat.
If you dont mind the weight and prefer a thicker mat with more cushion, then this is the mat for you.
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Ways To Clean Your Travel Yoga Mat
There is more than one way of cleaning your yoga mat. Dont worry about being always on the go you can still clean your yoga mat. For a quick clean after your session, here are some tips:
Using Vinegar and Water
I usually make a mixture consisting of equal parts of water and white vinegar. This is usually my go-to homemade cleaning solution. You can add some essential oils to your solution for that pleasant aroma.
Simply spritz some of the solution to your yoga mat and wipe it down with a clean cloth or sponge. Never use any rough material like steel wool as this can easily damage your mat surface. Once done, allow your mat to dry outside or inside if you have a well-ventilated room.
Using Soap and Water
Cleaning with a mix of mild ecological dish soap and water is another method of cleaning your yoga mat. Make sure not to use too much soap in your mixture. During rinsing, run water on each side of your mat to remove any residue.
If you have either of the abovementioned cleaning solutions, you can carry it around and use it to lightly spray and wipe down your mat after a sweaty session.
Best Travel Mat Accessories
You may not want add any more to your travel checklist but a simple yoga accessory can make a world of difference on your mat and during your practice.
The only travel accessory Ill recommend is a yoga mat towel. I travel with mine all the time because I love the added softness and I practice a lot in open-air studios in Bali so Im always building up a sweat!
Even if I dont bring my yoga mat, I like to have a towel, knowing that I can clean it and use it on top of mats that I may be using at the studio.
Other than a yoga towel, if your mat is not foldable or if you opt to roll it and travel with it rolled then I highly recommend a yoga bag, not just a strap. Airports and planes are dirty places, a bag will help stop your mat from picking up dirt, bacteria and other things you prefer not to be on your mat.
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What If You Practice At A Studio And Use Their Mats
Rest assured that yoga studios should regularly clean their mats. However, may not be able to do it after every single use. This means that you can still get exposed to someone elses sweat and bacteria.
Heres what you can do to avoid that:
How Do You Pack A Yoga Mat In Luggage
Attach a yoga mat to backpack:
Choosing the right Yoga mat is critical when packing for your flight a light and sturdy backpack can carry your travel yoga mat perfectly if your mat is rolled tightly so that it fits within the walking pole or tent straps on the outside of your backpack.
Place it in your carry on bag:
If you are traveling with a standard carry on bag, turn your Yoga mat to a rectangle shaped mass that is small enough to be placed into your carry-on luggage bag.
It may take some space on your carry on bag, but with this way you wont have to pack it on your checked bag.
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Why I Practice Yoga While Traveling
Long ago, I discovered that yoga made me feel good but it took awhile to realize that it extended to travel. Yoga is both a physical workout and a meditation, two things that are great for you no matter where you are. I started doing yoga while traveling on a business trip it wasnt vacation so I wanted to stick to my healthy routine and stay somewhat fit. When I realized what a help it was both physically and mentally, I added it to my leisure travel, too.
Yoga helps me sleep better, clear my head, and physically stretch my body after a cramped flight or a long day of walking. I do energizing practices when Im fighting jetlag to stay awake and restorative practives when Im too excited to end my day. Many days, 15 minutes is enough, though other days Ill practice for a full hour so I have plenty of opportunity to stretch, focus on my breathing, and quiet my mind.
Joining local classes and special events can also be a ton of fun. Why limit yourself to traditional tourist activities when you can add in yoga at rooftops, breweries, museums, and other fun spaces?
Some people build time into their vacations to read a book or sleep in past breakfast. My husband likes time for guilty pleasures like watching a movie. I just happen to carve out some time for yoga.
The Cleverly Named Reversible Mat From Lululemon Is Like Having Two Lightweight Yoga Mats For The Price Of One
Pros: Reversible with a grippier side for when you sweat, very thin and light, antimicrobial
Cons: Not much cushion
One of the downsides of taking your yoga practice on the road is decreased access to the props and extras that make classes and at-home vinyasa sessions more enjoyable.
The Reversible Mat from Lululemon helps solve that problem with a moisture-absorbing polyurethane-coated layer on one side, and natural rubber on the other. If you get super sweaty during a vigorous practice, use the grippier side to keep yourself from slip-sliding off the mat. For more chill sessions, you can use the rubberized side. The mat also has an antimicrobial additive to help prevent mold and mildew, which makes for more peace of mind while traveling.
This mat is a bit thinner than our other picks at 1.5 mm, so if you like mats with ample cushion, you may need to look elsewhere.
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Jade Voyager Yoga Mat
In constructing the mats and through a partnership with Trees for the Future, Jade Yoga pays special attention to sustainability. The mats are made entirely of natural rubber sourced from trees, with no added PVC or synthetic materials. The brand guarantees that for every one purchased, a new tree will be planted.
A non-slip, open-cell, which is a more absorbent surface, provides a secure grip, and the cushioning is much plusher than other travel mats. Its a little heavier than others at about 3 pounds, but thats a small price to pay for more support.
Bringing A Yoga Mat In Your Checked Luggage
If your rolled-up yoga mat is too tall to meet the carry-on item dimension restrictions and too thick to be folded up into your carry-on luggage, your last option is to pack your yoga mat into a larger checked luggage bag.
To do this successfully, you will want to make sure your checked bag is large enough to fit your rolled up yoga mat diagonally across the bag. Remember the Pythagorean Theorem from school? This is one of the few times in your life where you might actually use it! You can use the length & width of the internal compartment dimensions to determine if your bag will bag large enough to fit your rolled-up yoga mat inside. Larger luggage bags may even be tall enough to fit your rolled-up mat lengthwise inside.
Beyond just the dimensions, it is also worth mentioning that all airlines have checked luggage weight restrictions. While your yoga mat probably isnt very heavy, do not forget to factor in its weight to ensure that you dont end up paying overweight checked baggage fees when you get to the airport.
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