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Yoga Mat Versus Yoga Towel

author image Ellen Lambert
Ellen Lambert has been a corporate writer and professional trainer since 1985, working with Fortune 500 companies in Los Angeles and Dallas. Her work has been published in the "Health Journal "and "Whole Life Times." Lambert is passionate about health and a successful BHQC, bad habit quitting coach.
Yoga Mat Versus Yoga Towel
A woman is training on a yoga mat. Photo Credit dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

Ready to give yoga a try? Excellent idea. But before you rush off and invest a lot of money on props and accessories, wait up. There are only two primary pieces of equipment you really need: the yoga mat and the yoga towel. When you are just starting out, you need to invest in only one, the yoga mat. Once you discover how enjoyable and beneficial yoga is, you can add the special yoga towel and other yoga equipment.

First Things First: The Yoga Mat

While yoga can be performed on the sands of the desert or the beach, it is usually performed in a studio indoors on hard flooring. One of the primary purposes of the yoga mat is to provide protection from the floor. At the same time, It serves as cushioning and support for your body as you move through the various yoga poses. The mat also provides a flexible surface to help facilitate movement and balance.

All Yoga Mats Are Not Created Equal

You can purchase a new yoga mat through an online retailer for between $15 and $100. You can find some that offer extra thickness for more cushioning and protection, while others are quite thin for greater ease of movement. Some are washable, some are more durable. Getting started, a 1/4- to 1/2-inch mat should provide all the basic protection and comfort you will need. At the time of publication, mats like these are available in almost any color for under $20.

Terry Will Do: Just Bring a Towel

You can expect to sweat when practicing yoga, and you will need a towel handy to mop up your perspiration and provide a sanitary barrier between you and the mat. This is particularly important when you are using a community mat provided by your gym or exercise class. While yoga towels are specifically sized to fit a yoga mat and are often made of more absorbent microfiber, they are not a necessity. An ordinary terrycloth beach towel is all you need to get the job done.

Get the Yoga Mat; the Towel Can Wait

Just remember, folks have been practicing yoga for centuries without any equipment at all. Start slowly. Invest your dollars in a yoga class with a trained instructor to make sure you are doing the poses correctly. Concentrate on perfecting your technique, balance, flexibility and breathing. Once you begin enjoying the benefits of a regular yoga practice, you can add equipment, upgrading your yoga mat and implementing a yoga towel. As with any new fitness program, check with your health-care professional to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise.

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