Friday, February 27, 2015

Adventures in Yoga Matting

In running, it's said the only gear you need is shoes.

A person can buy a pair of "running" shoes anywhere, right? That's what we all used to think.

We all started with a pair of shoes we thought we could run with. The same pair of shoes we went to the gym in, or maybe the same pair we mow the grass in.

For most of us, that one pair end-all-be-all solution didn't last long. Our achy feet and knees told us it was time to step up and in to a real running shoe. We traded in a Kohl's purchase for a specialty running shoe store purchase. We no longer pick shoes by color or price, but by feel and experience.

Much the same can be said for the yoga mat.

My yoga practice started about ten years ago at Lifetime Fitness. Back then, I used the exercise mats the gym had. There were a few problems with the mats - They were too cushy for balance poses, the smelled horrible and they were too short.

That Christmas, I asked for a tall person yoga mat. Santa brought me one which met exceeded my needs and had none of the Lifetime mat's shortcomings. A year later, I moved and shelved yoga for years.

Two and a half years ago, that old yoga mat came back out as Sara and I toured yoga studios in the city looking for the right place. I first talked about my yoga mat evolution at that time here, which lead me to purchasing The Mat by Lululemon.

The Mat is an amazing upgrade for anyone who sweats during practice. And for those of us who pour buckets in class, well, you love The Mat even more.

As months went by, the only problem I had with The Mat is there wasn't enough of it. As in, it's 72" length wasn't enough for my 74" tall body. Not to mention the shifting through poses in class which would position me far off the front or back end of the mat.

Santa answered my yoga wishes once again and brought me The (Big) Mat by Lululemon. Not only is it longer than a standard mat (84" long) but it's also wider (29").

The Big Mat (at 8 1/4 pounds) stays at the studio and my original The Mat usually lives at home or sometimes travels with me. That is, until last week when I decided it was time to wash the studio mat. I brought the regular mat to the studio and have been using it for the past week.

After using the standard length mat for a few sessions, I'm reminded what a difference that extra space makes on the longer mat! If you're tall (or find yourself in need of more mat space one way or the other), look into a bigger mat. It really makes a difference!

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