Thinner mats can help increase the stability of yoga styles with more active postures or balanced postures and focus. Look for mats with textured surfaces to maintain a better grip when postures become more strenuous. Thicker mats provide additional cushioning and are best for more therapeutic practices. When you're looking for a mat, you'll want to find one that's just the right thickness.
A thicker mat will be softer on your joints, especially during a practice where you spend a lot of time on the mat. For people with injuries, a thicker mat will help cushion sore areas so you don't put too much pressure on them. Plus, thicker mats are better for when you're lying down at the end of practice. Many classes end with a meditation where you're lying on your mat, and you can imagine that it wouldn't be very comfortable to lie on a thin mat for a long period of time.
You'll be able to feel the ground beneath you and this is much harder on your joints. Students may feel like they're doing something wrong when, in reality, it could be the mat they're using. It's important to keep in mind that you don't need to buy a more expensive yoga mat to get a good mat. There are more limited options when it comes to rugs made from materials that are more respectful to the body and the environment.
Type of practice: Depending on the type of yoga you're practicing, you can change the type of mat you're looking for. The rubber on the bottom of the mat will also help keep it heavy so that, when unrolled, it stays in place and maintains the shape you want. Think about how uncomfortable it would be every time you took a pose on the mat and the amount of stress your joints would withstand. But which one is right for you? There are so many different types of yoga mats on the market that it can be overwhelming trying to find the right one.
A harder, slippery floor will need a thicker mat to protect it from the feel of the floor and also one that has a good grip so it doesn't slip. Travel yoga mats tend to be mostly paper-thin, about 2 mm thick for most of them. Ask your yoga teacher or even your doctor to make sure, especially if you're practicing with swollen ankles, sensitive joints, or if you have certain pain points you're trying to protect while you're exercising. As for the comfort you'll get with a 6mm (or thicker) yoga mat, any yoga mat of this type tends to become too padded over time.
At the end of the day, yoga is there to make us feel grounded, which can be quite difficult to achieve when there is an excessive barrier between the body and the ground itself. Fold the mat to fit in your suitcase if you want to stay in shape during the holidays, or take it from home, to the office, to the local study and back home without any problems.