Non-skid sticky yoga mats are mostly recommended for Yoga Exercises as they provide some padding and are anti-slippery.
They are made of plastic/petroleum rubber unless they are ecological. When buying one ensure that it is free of substances harmful to the skin.
With regards to style some of them are: textured, double-sided and with rounded edges, designs and patterns. These are all commercial features and most yoga practitioners stick to the plain and simple versions.
Most people beginning yoga start with a standard one. A basic kit for yoga beginners contains a standard yoga mat and a pair of standard blocks.
Yoga mats dimensions:
Standard: 3mm or 4mm thick – 60 cm (width) x 183 cm (length)
Light-weight: less than 3 mm thick
Thick: more than 4.5mm thick
Wide: more than 65 cm wide
Long: more than 183 cm long
The wider, the thicker and the longer the mat is, the heavier, the less portable and more expensive it is.
Eco-friendly or ecological mats are normally made of natural rubber rather than plastic/ petroleum. They are PVC and Latex Free and recycle, degradable and machine washable.
Cotton rugs are made of natural material, but do not provide much padding, and are not sticky. It is not suitable for flow type of yoga.
Travel versions are a more recent addition and are for occasional use. They are very thin and foldable, but do not provide any padding. They are generally made of a combination of cotton and plastic so they are non-skid.
A sheep skin is used in some yoga traditions as it is said not to interfere with the electromagnetic field. It is normally smaller than a standard mat and suitable for seated yoga exercises but not for vinyasa yoga
Yoga bricks & blocks
Yoga bricks and blocks are very useful. They provide support, lift and padding when practicing static and restorative asanas.
Blocks are made of high density foam or chip foam. They normally come in 2 sizes – half block or the standard full block – and are normally sold in pairs – one for each hand. The standard size is approx: 305mm x 205mm x 50mm.
The half block is less used as it is often replaced by a folded blanket.
Bricks are made of foam, bamboo, wood or cork. They are normally sold in pairs – one for each hand.
The standard size is 220mm x 110mm x 70mm.