Yoga originated in ancient India as a physical exercise combined with breathing techniques and meditation. The aim of yoga is to lead a healthy and stress free life. Yoga is practiced by millions of people all over the world and yoga mats are ubiquitous in yoga centers and homes of people actively into yoga.
Yoga mat was invented by a yoga teacher Angela Farmer in the year 1968 to enable her to practice yoga despite a medical condition. In the 1980s and 1990s, mass production of yoga mats of different designs and varieties commenced. Yoga mats are made of PVC, natural rubber, cotton, jute, PVC and thermoplastic elastomer.
These are some of the reasons which illustrate the importance of using yoga mats for yogic exercises.
Yoga involves stretching of the body in various directions. Maintaining grip on the surface is also important during yoga. On a bare surface, there is a huge risk of slipping and falling during the various asanas. Slipping can also cause muscle cramps and fatigue. A quality yoga mat provides a strong grip to the body and helps in keeping balance. This is a very important reason for using yoga mat.
Practicing yoga on a bare hard floor causes pain in the knees, hips, back of the skull and other parts of the body during the asanas. This ultimately results in serious injuries to the joints and other areas of the body. Thus, in order to prevent injuries, yoga mat is necessary to separate the body from the hard floor.
The floor is cold and causes a lot of discomfort to the body especially during the reclining and restful postures of yoga. Yoga mat acts an insulating barrier between the body and cold floor. There is no point in causing discomfort to the body when you can easily purchase a yoga mat.
Overcomes sweat problem
The sweat produced by hands, feet and other parts of the body during the strenuous yogic exercises fall on the bare floor and cause the person to slide. Yoga mat soaks up the sweat and prevents sliding.
Prevents loss of energy
Yoga is not a mere exercise. The breathing exercise and the yogic poses help in awakening the sources of energy in the body also known as kundalini shakti. The energy generated inside the body as a result of increased metabolic activity due to yoga is absorbed by the Earth if there is no barrier between the body and the ground. Thus, a yoga mat is also necessary to preserve the energy in the body.
Enables outdoor yoga
Yoga mat enables you to practice yoga outdoors. Many people like to do yoga in a natural environment such as besides lakes, under trees, in meadows, etc. Yoga mat protects you against stones, roots, grass and sand.