Every yogi knows that yoga is not just a series of poses and breathing exercises; it is a path to holistic wellness, a journey that nurtures the mind, body, and soul. More and more parents are recognising the benefits of introducing their children to yoga at a young age, from increased focus and self-regulation to enhanced physical flexibility and strength. However, there’s an important part of the yoga practice that sometimes goes overlooked – the yoga mat.
The most important factor in selecting a yoga mat for your kid is durability and sustainability. The kids yoga mat should be friendly to your child, to the environment and serve as a sacred place to escape to
Just as a painter needs a canvas, a yogi needs a yoga mat. A yoga mat is not merely a prop but a personal space where your child will explore a new world, cultivate mindfulness, and grow in their practice. Choosing the right yoga mat for your child, therefore, is a vital step in kick-starting their yoga journey.
But how do you choose a yoga mat for a child? Should you opt for the colourful kids’ yoga mat with their favourite cartoon character, or should you invest in a regular, adult-size mat? And does the material of the mat matter? Since I get these questions very often from friends, family members or even neighbours, I decided to put my thoughts into this article and share them with a wider audience.
In this kids yoga mat guide, I will dive deep into this topic and a little more. I’ll explore how the right yoga mat can become a constant in your child’s ever-changing world, providing a familiar space for tranquillity, growth, and joy.
Ready to dive? If so, let’s take this journey together, one mindful step at a time.
Understanding the Importance of the Right Yoga Mat for Kids
Yoga, in its essence, is an invitation to explore one’s inner world while cultivating strength and peace. The yoga mat serves as the vessel for this exploration, a small patch of comfort where your child can feel safe, grounded, and connected.
Remember your favourite blanket or stuffed toy from childhood? It was more than just an object; it was a source of comfort, a sanctuary in an ever-changing environment. Similarly, a yoga mat can be more than a tool—it can be a personal island of tranquillity in the bustling ocean of life.
This concept finds roots in classical conditioning, where our mind associates certain places or objects with specific states or activities. Just as our minds signal us to wake up with the morning alarm or to relax with the evening sunset, a child’s mind can associate their yoga mat with calmness, peace, and relaxation. By consistently practising yoga on the same mat, it becomes a symbol, a cue for the body and mind to unwind and delve into the beautiful world of yoga.
Imagine your child, after a day of learning and play, rolling out their yoga mat. As soon as their little feet touch the mat, a sense of familiarity and peace washes over them. The mat, with its familiar texture and comforting smell, tells them it’s time to breathe, stretch, and reconnect with their inner selves. This mat will be their companion as they grow, serving as their very own tranquil space amid their adventures and challenges.
As parents and caretakers, choosing the right mat can nurture this precious bond between a child and their yoga practice. It’s not about finding the cutest or the most colourful mat; it’s about choosing a mat that will support and inspire your child’s yoga journey, from their first Downward Dog to their hundredth Tree Pose and beyond.
Comparing Kids Yoga Mats and Adult-size Yoga Mats
Just imagine this: you’ve just purchased an adorable, vibrant kids’ yoga mat for your child, embellished with cartoon characters or perhaps dazzling unicorns. You watch with delight as your child tries their first yoga poses on it. It’s a sight to behold, but how long will this picture-perfect scenario last?
Children grow. Like sunflowers turning towards the sun, they sprout up quickly, expanding in all dimensions. Soon, that delightful, petite mat that was just perfect for your little one begins to shrink in size, at least from their perspective. Their feet now touch the cold floor during a Downward Dog, and their little fingers graze the carpet during a Child’s Pose. The magic of the mat starts to fade.
Now, let’s consider an alternate scenario: you choose an adult-sized yoga mat for your child. At first, it may seem too big, perhaps even a bit intimidating. But just as a seedling eventually grows to fit its pot, your child will grow into their mat. It will continue to offer ample space for their practice as they bloom from a bud into a blossom.
Choosing an adult-sized mat for your child isn’t just about planning for their physical growth – it’s about creating a consistent space that adapts and evolves with them. It’s about maintaining a steady anchor amidst the rapid current of growth and change.
In addition to size, adult mats often triumph in terms of durability, comfort, and variety. Made with higher-quality materials, these mats can better withstand the rough and tumble of a child’s energetic practice. Plus, they offer a wider range of thicknesses and textures, so you can select the perfect one that cushions and supports your child’s journey.
The Benefits of Choosing an Adult Yoga Mat for Kids
Have you ever asked yourself the question what is the environmental impact of kids’ yoga mat? Does the choice of mat play a role in teaching your child about sustainability?
For a second, I would like to invite you to think of yoga as a tree, with its roots burrowed deep in the soil of tradition, its branches reaching out to the sky of progress. One of its core roots is the principle of Ahimsa or non-violence, a tenet that extends beyond our actions and seeps into our choices. Yes, even our choice of the yoga mat.
Choosing an adult-sized mat for your child can be seen as an act of Ahimsa toward our planet. How so? Well, many adult-sized mats are designed with eco-friendliness in mind, crafted from sustainable materials like natural rubber. Not only do these materials have excellent grip and durability, but they also whisper the story of a healthier, greener Earth to your child.
Now, let’s compare this to the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mats often found in kids’ designs. PVC is a type of plastic that doesn’t break down naturally, and its production process can release harmful toxins into the environment. By choosing a mat made from sustainable materials, we’re choosing to tread a path of mindfulness, respecting the earth that supports our yoga practice and our lives.
In this way, the yoga mat can become an embodiment of the lessons of yoga, a constant reminder of the interconnection between our actions and their impact. It’s a lesson that will grow with your child, a seed sown early that will blossom into a tree of conscious, mindful choices.
In addition to teaching eco-consciousness, adult-sized mats offer a consistent, comforting space for your child. Whether they’re trying a playful Crow pose at six or a contemplative Lotus pose at sixteen, their mat remains a familiar terrain, an island of tranquillity amid the rapids of growth.
What to Look for When Choosing a Yoga Mat for Your Child
In the journey of introducing your child to yoga, choosing the right yoga mat is akin to picking out a magical storybook, one that will unfold to accompany their dreams and growth over the years. It’s not just a product; it’s an investment in their journey of self-discovery and growth.
I’d like to share with you, dear reader, my personal experience. Many years ago, when my beautiful twin nieces turned five, I gifted them adult-sized natural rubber yoga mats with vibrant, colourful microfiber top (featured picture of this article). I remember their eyes lighting up at the sight of the colourful mats, their tiny hands eagerly touching the textures. Today, years later, they still unroll these very mats for their yoga practice. They’ve never once complained about the pattern or size; instead, their mats have become a cherished part of their yoga journey. It warms my heart to see their friendship with the adult-sized yoga mats.
So, what should you look for when you’re choosing this magical carpet for your child’s yoga adventure?
Material: As I mentioned earlier, I recommend aiming for eco-friendly materials like natural rubber, natural rubber with microfiber top, and avoiding PVC. These materials are not only sustainable but also often provide a solid grip and just the right cushioning. Every time your child steps onto their mat, they’ll be greeted with a gentle reminder of their connection to nature and their capacity to make conscious, caring choices.
Thickness: While yoga mats come in various thicknesses, for children, a mat that’s not too thick to compromise balance yet not too thin to scrape their knees would be ideal. Typically, mats between 3mm to 5mm strike a good balance.
Texture: Texture is another crucial factor. A good texture can prevent slipping and enhance your child’s grip during poses. You can find mats with organic textures (like jute) or mats with design-induced textures. It’s a matter of personal preference, so consider involving your child in this part of the selection process.
Size: This is, of course, a significant aspect, and as I have shared my opinion, an adult-sized mat can be an excellent choice for its longevity and versatility. It offers plenty of room for your child to stretch, sprawl, and grow.
Design: Leaning towards adult-sized yoga mats doesn’t mean you have to go for plain or monotonous designs. Many adult yoga mats come in a variety of wonderful colours and stunning patterns. Don’t hesitate to involve your child in choosing a design they love, a design that sparks joy and enthusiasm every time they unroll their mat.
Choosing a yoga mat together with your kid can be a fun, enriching experience for you and your little yogi, a chance to talk about yoga, sustainability, and personal preferences. By investing in a high-quality, adult-sized mat, you’re not just buying a product; you’re nurturing your child’s connection to yoga, to nature, and to their inner selves.
Closing thoughts: Rolling out the Mat for the Journey Ahead
In the end, when kids roll out a yoga mat, they are rolling out more than just a surface for them to stand or sit on. They are rolling out a personal sanctuary, a haven where they can explore and celebrate their beautiful, boundless potential. They are rolling out a vibrant canvas on which they can paint their yoga journey, stroke by stroke, pose by pose.
Choosing the right kids yoga mat – for example, an adult-sized, eco-friendly yoga mat – is like gifting them a key. A key that unlocks the door to a world of mindfulness, self-exploration, and respect for nature. A key that opens up a space for them to grow and bloom, from the seeds of their first Child’s pose to the blossoms of their hundredth Tree Pose.
A yoga mat is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a deeply personal companion on the journey of yoga. By choosing a mat that can grow with your child, you’re investing in their long-term relationship with yoga, nurturing a connection that can offer them comfort, strength, and inner peace as they navigate life’s adventures.