A Bikram yoga mat works with your body to provide proper balance and posture. This mat may be the only piece of equipment required for Bikram yoga, but it is essential. This variation of yoga is usually performed in an intensely heated room, sometimes as hot as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it is commonly referred to as 'hot' yoga. There are multiple advantages of the Bikram yoga mat for your body and its balance throughout this activity.
Helps Reduce Slippage
Possibly the most important function that a Bikram yoga mat has is the prevention of slippage. Bikram yoga is done in intense heat to encourage profuse sweating, which prompts the body to rid itself of harmful toxins. As such, the sweat coming from your body will drip onto your mat, which would make any other regular exercise mat wet and slippery. The Bikram yoga mat is designed to absorb this moisture and maintain its stickiness, which prevents any slippage or movement on the mat. This promotes both safety and proper balance for the participant. A mat that allows your hands and feet to slip and slide is basically useless. With the Bikram yoga mat, this problem is virtually non-existent.
Provides Friction and Traction
Holding static poses during Bikram yoga involves palms and feet planted firmly on the ground. Without this surefootedness, the pose becomes unstable and ineffective. The Bikram yoga mat provides friction and traction to allow the participant to hold the pose firmly, with little chance of injury.
Provides More Surface Area
Many Bikram yoga mats tend to be wider than most other types of mats. This provides more stability, and allows the participants to transition from one position to another in a smooth fashion, without having to readjust the positioning of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. This makes Bikram yoga more enjoyable and effective. For those that are very tall, the wide Bikram yoga mat can accommodate their long limbs without having to compromise their poses.
Provides Cushioning and Comfort
Your body will appreciate the comfort that comes with the extra cushioning of a Bikram yoga mat. This extra cushioning is not only more comfortable than a thin exercise mat, but it also minimizes possible pain on joints and other areas of the body. The padding and cushioning on the Bikram yoga mat is not too thick, however, which is important for the participant to be able to maintain balance during poses. If the mat is too thick, it can actually impede on a person's balance during Bikram yoga.
Made from Environmentally-Friendly Materials
Bikram yoga mats tend to be fabricated from natural materials that are completely biodegradable. Using an eco-friendly Bikram yoga mat encourages the participant to stay in harmony with their personal values - including spiritual, physical and environmental well-being - which is really what yoga embraces.