Yoga mats can be huge, bulky and unmanageable. In fact, the more durable your yoga mat is, the heavier it is. But even a lightweight mat also needs to be tightly secured just in case it unravels as you carry the rest of your stuff with you during and after yoga class. Fortunately, you can make carrying your yoga mat a much more comfortable and convenient experience by getting yoga bags.
Yoga mat bags make it possible for you to keep a hand free as you sling your mat across your shoulder. Yoga mats may come with basic rope straps that allow you to carry them; but some of these straps aren’t strong enough and sometimes break. Yoga bags are definitely a good investment, whether or not you’re practicing yoga for the long haul. But there are a couple of things you might want to take into consideration before you decide to purchase your own mat bag. Check them out below.
Size is Important
Yoga mat sizes matter. For those who are new to yoga, getting a yoga bag may seem as easy as getting one from the store or ordering one online. But here’s the thing—most new yoga practitioners and even some old-time yogis have no idea that the standard yoga mat bags sold in sporting goods stores can only store thin PVC-type mats. If you take your yoga practice seriously, then it’s more than likely that you own a thicker and wider yoga mat. For this reason, you also need a good quality yoga bag that is not only bigger but durable as well. Don’t just choose a bag that does the bare minimum. Know what size your yoga mat is and use that as the basis in choosing your bag. If possible, you can also bring your mat with you while shopping so you can see whether the bag is a good fit for it or not.
Are They a Good Match?
Most yoga practitioners, or yogis, prefer eco-friendly mats that are made of natural materials. This is because it goes along with the theme of total mind and body peace. Not all yogis do this, but if you do then you know yoga mats of such materials need to “breathe” because they’re prone to bacterial growth. For this reason, your yoga bag should have air holes, as these will allow your mat to air out. This is so that even when you just finished a yoga session but have to put your yoga mat right away to go to another important appointment, your mat can still air out. If you don’t feel like getting a bag with air holes, then get one made of “breathable” materials. Another option would be to get a mat that uses some sort of netting. This will let your mat air out even after a very physically challenging session.
What Material Is It Made From?
Not all yoga bags are created the same—they are made of different materials. If you want something that will keep bacteria and germs from growing in your mat, then it would be wise to get a yoga bag that’s made of cotton, nylon, or linen. Canvas bags are also great since you can just throw it into the laundry when it gets dirty. These materials are great especially since they’re known to be durable and last a long time. When you get a yoga bag made from those materials, you not only guarantee that your mat is perfectly secured and protected, but you’ll get one that lasts you a very long time (hopefully it can exceed your expectations with regards to longevity too).
How Functional Is It?
Most of the times, especially for girls, they get tempted to purchase a bag simply based on how it looks. Their general though process when shopping for yoga bags are “oh, it comes in my favorite color so I’ll buy it” or perhaps “I’ll get it because the anime design on it looks very cute.” However, choosing a yoga bag isn’t as simple as you think it is. In fact, it will need a lot deeper consideration than that. You may think that a certain yoga bag looks cute while it hangs on your shoulder, but if it does not perform just as it should, which is to keep your mat protected, then what’s the point of getting it then? You not only waste money, but you’ll also get frustrated because it’s useless.
They say the perfect bag is not just pleasing to look at but is also highly functional. Before you buy a bag, ask yourself how much you bring with you every time you attend a yoga session. You’re not only going to bring a mat with you, you’ll also bring towels, water bottles, a change of clothes, your keys, your phone or electronic devices, or maybe even a book. Consider this when shopping for yoga bags. Think of just how many things you bring with you to a yoga session and if you could fit them in a bag as much as possible.
What Is Your Type?
Just like normal, everyday bags, yoga bags are also sold in different types. When shopping for one, do consider your personal type. Do you prefer long-tube yoga mat bags that you can simply sling over your shoulder, or do you prefer a tote bag that you can easily carry by hand? There are some bags that are equipped with special straps, and some even have pockets and compartments that let you store essential items such as face towels, bath towels, change of clothes, and the like. There are bags that are simple and there are those that are highly functional. In other words, there is a bag for every need and preference, you just got to figure out what really works for you.
To sum it up, there is no perfect yoga mat bag—only a bag that’s perfect for you. If you take time to consider all the tips provided in this article, then your search for the perfect yoga bag will definitely be easy peasy.