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I practice Bikram and have been using a 3 mm mat which is now well due for replacement.

I am wondering if it makes sense to aspire for an even thinner mat, i.e. if it is better for you to practice on a skinny mat, i.e. go for 2 mm or even less.

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What's good and what's bad about a skinnier mat? – Kate Jan 1 '13 at 23:41
that was my question, @Kate – amphibient Jan 1 '13 at 23:55
Okay, cool :) I suggested an edit to your title, then. That should help get you better answers. – Kate Jan 2 '13 at 0:14
Related (not duplicate though): What should I look for in a fitness exercise mat? – Baarn Jan 2 '13 at 9:41
I removed the shopping request as shopping questions are off topic on the site (check the faq). If you are unhappy with the changes, feel free to revert them or edit again. – Baarn Jan 2 '13 at 10:11
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Purely a 'by experience' answer here, having tried both:

Advantages of a thinner mat:

  • More sturdy foundation for balancing
  • Far less bulky when rolled up for transport/storage
  • Dries quicker from sweat/moisture (especially important in Bikram)

Advantages of a thicker mat:

  • Knee cushioning when kneeling
  • Tops of the feet cushioning when sitting on your heels
  • Head cushioning when doing headstands
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The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is — too thin, and your knee may get banged up during crescent lunge. The tradeoff is that thick yoga mats (some as thick as 1/4 inch) can make it harder for you to feel a strong connection to the floor, making you more wobbly. Otherwise, it really just depends on whether you want a bulky mat to be carrying around.

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