What type of yoga mat should I get?

What type of yoga mat should I get?

One of our favorite frequently asked questions (FFAQ): What kind of yoga mat should I get?

You could ask a room of 30 yogis this question and you’ll get 30 different answers 😅

When deciding what type of yoga mat you should get, keep these principles in mind:

  • There are many different types of yoga, and certain mats are better for certain styles of yoga. A mat that is great for a “Hot 26” class might not be great for a Power Vinyasa class.
  • You get what you pay for
  • Your ability to enter a state of flow will be hindered if you are constantly sliding around or having to adjust your mat
  • A yoga mat is pretty much the only equipment you really need as a yogi, like a good pair of running shoes, you want to invest where it matters.

Now let’s compare some types of mats:


While these mats might be great for the budget, you will find that it isn’t very grippy (especially once the sweat starts pouring off your body), it slides around on the floor, and after a couple of uses, they will start to shed little rubber flakes everywhere. Resist the temptation to save a buck and pass on these.


You’ll find some durable, plush, stickier mats when you increase your budget. This is where I would suggest you begin your yoga journey. Depending on usage, you may get a few years out of it. You may need a yoga towel to help with the sweat, and you’ll know it’s time to upgrade when it starts to shed.


This is one of the two types of yoga mats we sell at our yoga studio because they are great for a heated power vinyasa practice. They are super grippy right out of the packaging and they soak up sweat immediately so you don’t spend the whole class sliding around. The price point is tolerable but be warned: These mats lose their stickiness over time and will need to be replaced every 1-3 years depending on how they are used. By the way, do not wipe these mats down with your lavender towel after class: The oil in the towel will break down the special surface on the mat and it will lose its grippiness faster.


The other type of mat we carry, and my personal fav (Cat), the Manduka is the priciest for a reason. They have a lifetime warranty and they only get better with age. My first Manduka ProLite is still kicking after 12 years of heavy use! The downside is that they take a while to break in (they are pretty slick when brand new), and for a really sweaty class, a mat towel may be needed, and some people don’t like having to deal with a towel. By the way, we carry these mats in extra long for our tall friends!


As mentioned above, a yoga mat towel can be helpful if:

your mat is lower quality and feels pretty slippery

you identify as a heavy sweater, and/or

the class you’re taking is extra hot.

These towels are yoga mat sized and lay directly on top of your mat, and they are specially formulated to actually be grippy when wet. I’m going to say that again, louder for the people in the back: These towels get grippy when wet. When they are dry, they slip and slide worse than a wet mat! If you use a mat towel to accompany your practice, I recommend keeping it folded at the top of your mat until the moisture from your hands/body makes you slip and slide. Or, drizzle some of the water from your water bottle onto the top and back of the mat (think where your hands and feet would go in downward-facing dog).

Still not sure?

Clear as mud, right? When in doubt, give a mat a test run. We offer Manduka mats, lululemon mats, and mat towels as rentals ($3 each) so you can give them each a try at the studio.

What type of yoga mat do you prefer for a heated vinyasa flow yoga class? Tell us why you love it in the comments below!

Where Should I Put My Mat? A Yoga Studio Geography Lesson

Where Should I Put My Mat? A Yoga Studio Geography Lesson

Where Should I Put My Mat? A Yoga Studio Geography Lesson

By Becca Washer

It can seem like a silly question but every time you walk into the studio, mat rolled under your arm, balancing a block, towel, water bottle, and an eagerness to practice, you are faced with the decision, where should I put my mat? I’ve traveled my way around the room of 502PY and can tell you the ins and outs, tips and tricks, air flow pattern, etc of almost every spot. Here is my personal, in no way professional, view of the best spots in the room depending on your needs.

1. Your first class

It may be your first instinct to go in the back row, but I disagree. There will be times when you are facing the back of the room and it is helpful to have people behind you in case something is called you are not familiar with. The transition from Down-Dog to Flip-Dog comes to mind here. The fourth row in a full class is the best (or the second to last row if it is not a full class).

2. When you’re finding your own practice

After a while, you will get the hang of Journey Into Power (the sequence taught in all 502PY classes), and you will start to find what works for you. Breaking out from the back can be a challenge, but I promise, the front row is perfect for this. Take time with no distraction of people in front of you. When you can’t see what other people are doing you start to find things out for yourself. New transitions present themselves, challenging poses stop being a competition, you become very familiar with the Om painting on the front wall, and you find your flow.

3. When you get stuck

When only staring at the wall in front of you becomes stagnant, and you are ready to be inspired by your fellow yogis, place your mat in the center of the room. Connect your breath with everyone around you. Feed off the energy of your neighbors and let it fuel your practice. 502PY has a contagious vitality and the best way to reap its benefits is by immersing yourself in the middle of it. Start by literally being in the middle of the room and then expand that into joining conversations, coffee dates, events, and all the other aspects of the 502PY community.

4. When you’re working on a new pose

The walls offer great support when you are working on a new pose or modification and that goes for so much more than inversions. Try dropping back and walking up the wall for wheel pose. Float your hand while balancing on the wall in half moon. Press your hand into the wall to reach your foot higher in dancer. Yes, over time the wall can become a crutch, but it can also show you what is possible.

5. When you just want to be where it’s the coolest

From only my own perspective, the front row can tend to feel the steamiest especially in fuller classes where there is not much space between the front of your mat and the wall. Also, the corners offer less air flow and can feel a touch hotter. In the morning, avoid the center of the first two rows where the sun glares in through the windows (aka the death ray) or take on the challenge of a little extra heat. Take all this worth a grain of salt though (like the kind you’ll be sweating out) because the room is 90 degrees and that is hot no matter where you are.

The single most important thing I can tell you about where to put your mat is that there is magic inside those studio walls. All you have to do to be a part of this community is show up. Wherever you are in your practice, and wherever you are in the room is going to be just perfect; you can plant yourself in the same spot or move every day. As long as you’re unrolling your mat you are setting yourself up for taking your day to the edge.