2018 is almost over and a new year is upon us. If a healthier lifestyle and more “me” time is on your New Year’s resolution list, then we recommend incorporating yoga into your workout routine. While this is a great way to stay fit and healthy, you will need to prepare and find the right equipment. Costs for yoga are relatively low, but it is important to invest in the materials you use. Among the workout clothing, classes and water bottles, is the yoga mat! Yoga mats are much more than a floor covering, they are an essential part of your daily practice. Beyond color and pattern, your yoga mat needs to keep you stable in all your poses — from warrior 1 to downward dog and everything in between. However, you also need to find the right yoga mat bag to store and transport your mat. Use this quick and simple guide to help you find the perfect yoga mat and bag. 1. The Right Size The first thing to consider when you are shopping for a yoga mat and bag is size. Mats come in a wide variety of sizes so finding the right length to accommodate your body won’t be a challenge. Just ensure that the mat you pick is not too short or else you will end up kissing the ground during your practice. Once you have found the perfect size mat, it is also important that you pick the right sized yoga mat bag. You want to make sure your bag can hold your mat, towel, and clothes. 2. Material The material that your yoga mat is made of not only dictates the texture but also stickiness, sponginess, durability, and eco-friendliness. Most standard mats are made of PVC, also known as vinyl, which will endure wear and tear for more than a decade. This option also yields the most to pressure. However, newer options include recycled rubber, jute, and organic or natural cotton. The same is true for your yoga mat bag. When shopping for a bag, it is important to choose a material that can stand the test of time. Both nylon and polyester are lightweight synthetic fabrics that are easy to care for, wrinkle resistant, stretch and shrink resistant, and fast drying. 3. Durability Regardless of how much time you want to devote to your practice, durability is an important factor to consider when shopping for a yoga mat and bag. Whether you are hitting the studio after work or practicing at home, you need to be sure the material you choose can withstand some wear and tear. The trick to finding the perfect mat and bag is to consider both thickness and material. Without the proper cushioning, your body will most likely sink to the floor and add to your discomfort. Of course, the same goes for your yoga mat bag! You want to find something that is both comfortable and durable. You don’t want your yoga mat slipping out of your bag and you want to avoid having to replace your bag after only a few months.