Yoga mats are one of the more versatile pieces of workout equipment out there! But have you heard of a smart yoga mat? Can a smart yoga mat improve your exercise?
If you are looking to be technically correct or get your heart rate up during a yoga flow, a smart yoga mat may be a great tool to help. If you are not using yoga for the technical and muscle-strengthening aspects of it, a smart yoga mat may not be very helpful.
There are a lot of reasons why a smart yoga mat may be a great addition to your yoga routine. We will outline some of the benefits and the idea behind a yoga mat and what they are capable of doing, as well as when they might not work out.
How a Smart Yoga Mat Improves Your Exercise
A smart yoga mat has sensors all over it that track your movements as you go through a yoga flow. The mat is often connected to an app that will alert you if your pose has poor posture or if you are doing the wrong pose. If you choose to use the app on an Apple Watch it can also alert you of your heart rate and fill out your circles.
By tracking the intensity of your yoga session and correcting your posture and poses, the mat gives you an improved yoga session. Ideally, having your poses corrected means that your poses will be strengthening and stretching. Being aware of your heart rate is helpful to know you have hit your goals.
Smart yoga mats may also offer an app with flows, routines, and goals on it. You can keep track of these while using the mat, and reach goals such as doing yoga for a certain time every day or precision in your poses. This can be a great way to motivate you to keep going.
Meditative Yoga on a Smart Yoga Mat
Most yoga mats do not advertise assistance for meditation or using your yoga routine as a way of calming down. Their focus tends to be on accuracy, technique, and yoga as an aerobic exercise. If you intend to just move your body and relax, having an app reminding you if your shoulders are out of place may not be very helpful.
Some mats simply have lights to remind you where your hands and other body parts should be as part of the pose, which may be a more supportive option if you intend to do meditative yoga.
Take an Instructor with You Everywhere!
One of the best things about your smart yoga mat is that it offers instructions no matter where you go. You can do your yoga at the park and practice there or in the late hours of the night. In the long run, it may be more cost-effective than paying studio fees to have an instructor and a class.
Smart yoga mats rely on Bluetooth technology, and most of them can run without Wi-Fi. The apps will either use data or Wi-Fi to run. If you do want to take your mat to the park, be sure to check that the mat and the app do not require wifi.
Just like a regular yoga mat, smart yoga mats can be rolled up and carried. They are only slightly heavier than a regular yoga mat. This means that they are great for camping as long as you have cell service. If you decide to go somewhere deep in the mountains they can also work as a regular yoga mat and you can practice all that you have learned.
Using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with Your Yoga Mat
If you do not like taking your phone with you or you are not tech-savvy, this may be a difficult tool to use during your yoga exercises. It may be hard to find online instructions on how to set it up if you lose the instructions it comes with, and finding troubleshooting instructions if something goes wrong may be difficult.
Some reviews claimed that the mats also had a hard time remaining connected via Bluetooth to your phone. If you are nervous about setting up new technology, be sure to get one of the mats that have clear instructions, or stick with a normal (and instructionless) yoga mat.
The Cost of Smart Yoga Mats
Smart yoga mats cost significantly more than normal yoga mats.
The average yoga mat without any technological features is about $50 dollars on Amazon right now, but you can spend anywhere between $10 and $200 dollars on yoga mats. Smart yoga mats, not including any shipping costs, are in the $200 to $300 dollar range currently, with the large ones being more expensive.
If you decide to use the smart mat instead of yoga classes, depending on how much your yoga classes are, you can make up for the classes relatively quickly. This is a bit more of an investment if you are not switching over from your yoga classes, but is likely worthwhile if you are seeking to improve your technique.
A Not-So-Smart Smart Yoga Mat
There are also smart yoga mats that are not technologically based yoga mats, that have poses and flows printed directly on them. They are much less corrective than the app-connected yoga mats, but if you need a go-to beginning flow those are also a less expensive option.
Where to Find Smart Yoga Mats
Smart yoga mats are a relatively new invention, which means they are most likely to be found and available for purchase on the Internet. If you’re in the market to purchase one, e-retailers like Amazon will be your best bet.
Yoga mats with printed flows are an older invention and can be found in many sporting goods stores, in addition to websites.
Considering Purchasing One?
If you are a yoga geek looking to take the technical aspects of your flows to the next level, this is a great option for you. It will improve your poses which in turn improves your stretches and strength training over time.
They cost a bit more than the regular mat, but given their versatility of location and personalized feedback, the mat could be a fun change from consistent yoga classes.