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Your yoga mat represents your personal space, a place where you can go to meditate, exercise and find balance in your life. To help you stay balanced as you practice, most yoga mats have a level of "stickiness" to them that keeps the mat from slipping. When selecting your yoga mat, color, size, texture and stickiness should all be considered to determine which mat is right for you. Careful placement of the mat will ensure that you get your peaceful, uninterrupted time of yoga practice.
Yoga mats come in different thicknesses and textures and can be made of different types of materials. The most common material used to make yoga sticky mats is PVC, or vinyl, but other options are available as well. PVC mats are generally the "stickiest" and are very durable, with a lot of cushion and give. Cotton and jute mats have less cushion. If you are allergic to latex, avoid mats made with rubber products.
Examine your mat carefully to determine which side goes up. Some mats are reversible and will have the same texture and stickiness on both sides. In this case, either side can face down. If your mat has a raised or textured sticky side, that side goes up to keep your hands and feet from slipping.
With time and use, your mat can begin to lose its stickiness, due to the amount of wear and the oils or lotion on your skin. If you notice your mat slipping a bit, it may be time to give it a bath. Wash it with water in the bathtub, applying a gentle soap to both sides. After rinsing thoroughly, dry the mat before use.
The eco-friendly mat is becoming more popular with yoga practitioners. Eco-friendly mats are made with natural materials from plants, such as cork, bamboo or rubber. These mats can vary in their stickiness. While PVC mats are the original "sticky" mats, you have other alternatives if you are concerned about the environment.