The Yoga Mat Less Traveled

What kind of surface do you roll your yoga mat onto each day? Did you know that can make a difference in your practice? The foundation of just about anything is crucial for its development and longevity, and that’s definitely the case with your yoga practice. You don’t practice in a suit and tie or in heels and a coat; you don’t practice a Crow without considerable upper body strength; and you don’t practice in a loud, crowded room full of people doing other things. All these elements are part of the foundations of yoga: being ready for the practice, starting with basics, and practicing when it’s appropriate. The same is true for the surface on which you practice. 

Yoga mats do their job when they’re on a hard surface. It might seem funny that you need to find a hard surface and then put some padding down. Why not just practice directly on the hard surface? Hello! Ever fall out of Crow? ‘Nuff said. But the reality is that in order to achieve the balance required for poses like Crow, you need that secure foundation, one that provides stability and support. But your bod also craves protection, so padding is a must. It really is. If you are constantly struggling with discomfort during your yoga practice, you’re not focused on the practice, you’re focused on discomfort – and that is the antithesis of a good yoga practice.

If you’ve been struggling with your yoga practice, it might be that you need to rethink the surface on which you’re practicing, or even consider a new yoga mat. If you have a yoga mat with ample padding and use it on a hard surface, you’ll find that perfect balance between stability and comfort, support and cushioning, challenge and mastery. Don’t overlook your foundation, in yoga or anything else. It sets the stage for the rest of your yoga mat life and can make all the difference.