In the world of physical fitness and well-being, the importance of a good mat is often underestimated. While it might appear to be just a surface to exercise on, a proper mat can make a significant difference in your practice. This is especially true for Pilates, a technique that focuses heavily on core strength, posture, balance, and flexibility.
As someone who has spent decades in the Pilates industry, I've come across a variety of mats, and I'd like to share some insights on why it's crucial to invest in the right one.
The Difference Between Yoga and Pilates Mats
First, let's dispel the myth that all exercise mats are identical. It's crucial to recognise that yoga mats and Pilates mats are designed with different activities in mind. Yoga mats are generally thinner because yoga primarily involves standing poses. They offer enough cushioning to provide grip and maintain balance, but they are usually not padded enough to provide optimal support for the spine during the various reclined exercises we perform in Pilates. Pilates mats, on the other hand, need to be thicker. The thickness is essential for providing the necessary cushioning for the spine, especially when doing exercises that require lying down, rolling, or other movements that put pressure on the back. In Pilates, we're not looking for a surface to stand on (the floor or a yoga mat are designed for that); we need a mat that fully supports the body through a comprehensive range of movements.
Why Airex Mats Shine
If you're in the market for a high-quality Pilates mat, Airex mats are an excellent choice.
Variety of Options: Airex offers mats in different lengths and thicknesses, allowing you to choose a mat that best suits your needs.
Durability: These mats are designed to last, made from materials that can withstand the wear and tear of daily Pilates practice.
Comfort: With a focus on cushioning, Airex mats are designed to be spine-friendly, making your Pilates experience more comfortable and beneficial. But at the same time, they provide a firm cushioning.
Portability: Despite their thickness, Airex mats are relatively lightweight and easy to carry. That is a practical feature for Pilates teachers and practitioners alike.
Choosing the right mat is a critical component of your Pilates practice. While yoga mats may be more common and easier to find, they are not the ideal choice for Pilates due to their lack of adequate cushioning for the spine. On the other hand, Airex mats, with their variety of options and focus on comfort and durability, stand out as an excellent choice for anyone serious about Pilates. Remember, your mat is more than just an accessory; it's a tool that aids in your overall Pilates experience, contributing to the effectiveness of your practice.
So invest wisely, because a good mat doesn't just set the foundation for your practice; it elevates it. Please note that we are in no way sponsored by Airex, but we have used their product for many years and I have had the same mat for over 15 years.
Here is a link to the mats we use, https://amzn.to/3rrRMYc