A Bikram yoga mat has many benefits for the hot yoga practitioner. Bikram yoga - sometimes referred to as hot yoga - involves yoga poses conducted in an intensely heated room, to promote profuse sweating to rid the body of toxins. The Bikram yoga mat is basically the only piece of equipment that is required of this activity, which provides for a much more comfortable and proper workout.
1. Prevents Slipping
Perhaps the most important function that the Bikram mat has is the prevention of slipping from sweat and moisture. Since Bikram yoga is performed in intense heat, sweating is inevitable. This sweat will most likely make its way to the mat on which you're exercising, which can make it slippery. A sweaty mat can make a person unstable during many poses, which makes the yoga moves both ineffective and potentially dangerous. A regular yoga mat would become slippery in this case, but the special Bikram yoga mat maintains some stickiness to prevent your palms and feet from slipping and sliding. This is essential to holding the yoga poses.
2. Moisture Absorbent
The moisture absorbency of a Bikram yoga mat reinforces its ability to prevent slippage. The mat's ability to absorb excess moisture also reduces sogginess, which can interfere with stability and maintaining balance during a variety of poses.
3. Wider than Regular Yoga Mats
A Bikram yoga mat is usually wider than most regular yoga mats, to allow the person to smoothly transition into different poses without having to adjust his or her position on the mat. The extra width of the Bikram yoga mat also provides more stability than a regular yoga mat would. This can be even more advantageous for those who are very tall and easily cover the entire width and length of the mat.
4. Extra Cushioning
The Bikram yoga mat is generally thicker than regular mats to allow for more comfort. Sitting on a hard surface - or a very thin mat - can be both uncomfortable and slightly painful, especially to the tail bone. Bikram yoga mats are specially designed and fabricated to provide extra padding for the hot yoga participant. The manufacturers of these mats are careful not to make them overly padded and thick, as this can become more of a hindrance. A mat that is too thick can interfere with the balance required during yoga poses.
5. Made from Natural Materials
Most Bikram yoga mats are made out of natural, bio-degradable materials that are not harmful to the environment when discarded. Not only are you ridding your body of toxins through the practice of Bikram yoga, but you are contributing to a healthy environment as well!