Whether you are starting yoga or are already an experienced, practicing yogi, you probably are aware of the importance of finding the right yoga mat. Besides the obvious considerations of cost, brand, and size, the single most important difference is the thickness of your mat and this is also the most important consideration in terms of comfort, stability, and safety.
The Yoga Mat in Practice
The yoga mat forms the connection between your body and the ground which in a spiritual sense, is also one of the core principles guiding the yoga practice. Your connection with the earth is a necessary component to ground oneself while at the same time transcend the limitations of the mind and the physical realms, through the guided practice of various poses that stretch and expand your spiritual, physical and mental states. The yoga mat, therefore, is the foundation for your connection to the solid and static ground and has significance to your aim of finding yourself, stretching your body’s limitations and achieving a satisfying and awakening experience.
The Thickness of Your Yoga Mat
Putting the other considerations aside and focusing on the thickness of the yoga mat you choose can help to narrow down the numerous options and should give you a good sense of what will be best to help you achieve the goals of your yoga practice. Yoga mats should be thin enough to maintain a core connection with the earth but at the same time should be thick enough to give you a better ability to balance, eliminate discomfort, and prevent any possible injury. Standard yoga mats are available in a range of thicknesses but the most common and generally recommended boils down to one of two thicknesses: either a 3mm or 5mm mat thickness. It may not seem like much of a difference but the following is a breakdown of some of the main features of the 3mm and the 5mm mat.
1. The 3mm Mat
The 3mm mat is a very lightweight option and is very easy to carry around so is a good choice if you travel or attend yoga classes in a studio outside of your home. They come in various materials and typically have some kind of slip resistant coating to prevent sliding on the floor which is usually more common with thinner mats as opposed to thicker ones. The traction coatings also help to keep your body from slipping if you sweat or perspire during your session. The 3mm thickness is on the thinner side which will give you a solid connection to your base which can be good for maintaining balance and providing a fixed ground however, if you have sensitive joints or have had any kind of injury to your bones, this may not be the best option since you will be in closer contact with the ground and the 3mm mat does not provide too much cushion or absorbency from impact.
2. The 5mm Mat
The 5mm mat, in contrast, is considerably more cushiony even though a 2mm difference might not seem like a lot. The 5mm also comes in a variety of materials but thicker mats have less likelihood of sliding on the floor since the heavier weight means that it won’t move too much. Most mats have some sort of grip or traction though, which you will find is very useful if you sweat, but with the thicker 5mm mat, you may discover that it is quite a bit heavier if you will be carrying it around. Then 5mm should be a better option for anyone who experiences discomfort in their bones or joints because it will provide much more absorbency from impact and also will cushion your movements more during pose transitions. With the thicker mat, the reduced contact with the ground may make your solid connectionless pronounced but if comfort is a major consideration, then you might find the 5mm to be the most suitable for you.
As you can see, the thickness of your yoga mat is an important element in your yoga practice so it is essential to choose one that will suit your body, its needs, the style of yoga you will practice, the frequency of your yoga practice, and your specific comfort levels. Once you find the mat that is best for you, you will be in the right position to enjoy the many benefits of this inspirational and restorative discipline.
- Yoga Mat Lululemon Review: 3mm vs 5mm
It is quite impossible to have a professional massage every day. Unless you own your own spa, with a professional specialist, it will also cost you a ridiculous amount of money.
That’s why foam rollers are just great because you can effectively use them to relieve the pain and the soreness by using them at the gym, the office or at your home.
You will achieve the same benefits of a professional massage by applying the right amount of pressure exactly where the pain is.
But not knowing what to do or how to do it can cause serious problems. In best case scenario, it won’t help the pain go away and it can also lead to further pain and serious injuries.
So what is the best way to achieve trigger points release using a foam roller?
1. Use the foam roller until you hit a hot spot:
This is called a trigger point. When you reach a trigger point you should stop foam rolling and simply rest on the foam roller.
With foam rollers, more benefits come from the pressure than from the movement.
2. Avoid applying pressure to the joints:
To achieve trigger points release benefits, you should apply pressure only on the muscles.
Applying pressure on the joints or the bones can cause pain and discomfort and can lead to further injuries.
3. Avoid spending too much time on trigger points:
These are already inflamed spots. So applying more pressure on them is not going to make the pain go away.
In fact, it is better to apply the pressure for just 10 seconds and then rest. Then you can repeat the foam rolling exercise a few more times.
You have to repeat this exercise pre and post work out. Over time you will release the tension in the trigger points.
4. Be alert to the type of pain you feel:
When you press trigger points, it is normal to feel some pain. This is some sort of good pain that feels satisfying and relieving.
But if you start feeling an enormous amount of pain or start gritting your teeth then you are probably applying too much pressure.
The pressure should be gentle and targeted around the trigger point, only focusing on it for a few seconds.
5. Pay attention to how it feels afterward:
After trigger points release you should be feeling a little relief in painful areas. If you, however, start feeling any negative actions then you were probably doing something wrong.
Just take it easy. Your tissue will usually adapt to heavy pressure after a few times.
But at the beginning apply only a little pressure, especially if you don’t feel better after the treatment.
If you don’t feel any better even after applying a little pressure, then you must have thought wrong. Either this point isn’t really a trigger point, or the case is worse than what you thought it is.
Massaging your trigger points has great benefits. It will be the best way to relieve your constant pain and tension.
If you are looking for a foam roller to help releasing the trigger point, make sure you don’t miss out this grid foam roller review