I hate to admit it, but I spend approximately 70 percent of my yoga practice staring at my feet, wondering why there are so many random hairs on them and whether or not I’ll ever be responsible enough to remember to get regular pedicures. And frankly, I find the non-stop stream of foot-related thoughts to be incredibly distracting—because how am I supposed to find my zen in a full forward-fold when all I can think about is how weird my toes look?
Upon a very unscientific poll (I asked three of my coworkers, one of whom copped to staring at other people’s feet during class in addition to her own), I found that I’m not the only one who spends time on the mat contemplating the meaning of toe hair when she should be focusing on her ujjayi breath. And my theory on the best way to fix it? Invest in a museum-worthy mat to stare at instead.
These days, yoga mats have hit their peak. Not only can you get ultra high-tech options that are made out of cork or roll up on their own (yes—those are as amazing as they sound), but the market has also gotten a whole lot more aesthetically pleasing. While popping into down dog on a tasteful yoga mat probably won’t make your practice any better or bendier, it will give you something pretty to look at while you’re staring at the ground—and what’s not to love about that?
A few other things worth keeping in mind when matching yourself with a mat: Be sure to look for the right type of support for the practice you’re partaking in (for example, hot yoga goers can benefit from no-slip technology, and restorative classes require something thick to help you hold poses for extended stints), and as with any workout, your best bet is finding something that works for you.
With that in mind, here are 8 yoga mats that will look extra artsy in your next headstand Instagram shot.
Museum-worthy yoga mats
For some added mat motivation, here are our 5 favorite yoga Youtube videos (…because navigating all 254 million of them is overwhelming AF). And if you’ve ever gotten dizzy during yoga, this could be why.
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