On the Matter of Mats
Are yoga mats and Pilates mats the same? Does it matter?
Yoga mats are thin and usually more sticky. Their main purpose is to provide grip, not to provide cushion.
A mat designed for Pilates is thicker and more dense. In the Pilates system, many exercises are on your back and stomach, which feels much better when you are cushioned and supported. And even more crucial with regard to the topic of cushion, the Pilates method includes many dynamic rolling exercises. Uhh... do you want to roll your spine along your hard floor? A yoga mat might provide some handy grip in a plank, but it isn’t going to do anything to help your body in a rolling exercise.
If investing in your Pilates practice is something you would like to do, there are options for where to source a mat specifically for Pilates -- from cheap but useful mats from Walmart or Winners, all the way up to the fancy wood framed, raised, vinyl mats designed for professional classical Pilate studios. (Yeah, you can have one of those in your home!) Feel free to comment or send us a message and we can recommend some mats to you.
If buying a squishier mat isn’t something you can/want to do right now, there are a few things you can consider.
⁃ Set up your mat on top of a carpet or rug (you get the grip of your mat with the squish of your carpet)
⁃ Fold up a blanket to cover most of your mat, or at least pull it out for rolling exercises.
⁃ Make a mat sandwich. Some people have a couple exercise or yoga mats around their house. Double up — or even better, set a mat down, then set a folded blanket down over it, and top it off with your second mat. Mat sandwich. Bon appétit!
Questions? Ask away!