Congratulations! The very fact you are concerned about your Yoga mat tells me that you are serious about your yoga practice! Choosing your own Yoga mat is a big step toward making real progress in Yoga.
A Yoga mat is a very personal item that should meet your individual demands. There is a huge variety of manufacturers offering mats and the range of prices is as broad as the styles available.
I can’t tell you what is the best mat for you will be as this differs from Yogi to Yogi but I will share with you which mats I currently use for my practices and why.
At home and mostly in the studio, I practice on a blue Lululemon mat or on a dusty pink Jade mat. But, when I’m traveling, or sometimes when I’m simply not sure if I will make it to a studio that day, I always have my turquoise Manduka travel mat with me.
So why did I decide for these mats? Good question!
In general, it is very important that the mat provides me with a very good grip, is foot-sure, does not stretch, and not slippery when it gets sweaty. This is especially important for poses where you need lots of stability such as the wheel pose. A good mat is like knowing you have a friend holding you in position – very reassuring.
A very “grippy” choice is the Jade Yoga mat, available at Amazon.com. Jade mats are made from natural rubber which makes them a little heavier than the others. They’re available in many colors and as a 5mm version as well as a 3mm travel version.
Jade are a very ethical company and I think it is worth to support their mission, which is stated as follows: “Jade is committed to making the world’s best performing, most environmentally friendly, yoga products and giving back to the earth with every product sold.” I practice on the 3mm mat and I’m very happy with it. Available at Amazon.com.
My Jade Harmony Pro Yoga Mat Pictures
The colorful variety of mats from the US based company Manduka, available at Amazon.com, is also a good choice. I love my turquoise EKO Superlite. It weighs virtually nothing and folds up just like a towel. It is perfect for traveling and will even squeeze into your hand luggage – great for when you are flying but want to avoid excess baggage.
As it is very thin, this is not my favorite mat for serious practices as it is just not that comfortable – especially for kneeling positions or lying backbends. But, it’s fine for most standing poses and, when you want to use it in a studio, simply put another mat underneath and then it works perfectly.
I often have this mat in my bag just in case I get the opportunity to spontaneously drop into a studio class or for practice when I am travelling light. Available at Amazon.com.
My Manduka Yoga Mat Pictures
Yoga Mats Tips
As Yoga often is a sweaty business, you should clean your mat regularly. Some mats can be washed in the washing machine so long as you don’t wash them too often and use the hand wash cycle set to cold. Add a few drops of mild washing agent to preserve the stickiness of the mat. I have washed all my Yoga mats a few times – it helps keep them fresh and pleasant to use.
As a quick in between-practice treatment, you can use any mat refresh spray, often available in different fragrances. Or, if you prefer, you can make your own by mixing water, a few drops of vinegar and a couple of drops of essential oil such as lavender. Spray it on the mat and softly swipe it off.
I wish you very happy mat hunting!
More Yoga – Days to Yoga Bliss
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