In “How To Chose A Yoga Mat, Part 1: Tips To Consider” I covered some tips to consider when you’re ready to buy a yoga mat. In this post, I’ll review the 5 yoga mats provided by YogaOutlet.com for my students to test drive. Here are our thoughts!
I practice mostly on the extra thick Jade Fusion (not tested for this piece, but tested every day in my practice.) It is heavy and a bit cumbersome, but well worth it from where I sit–or stand–or lie–when I’m on my mat. Jade mats are made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, a renewable resource, and these mats contain no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber. Although 99% latex free, there may be trace amounts of latex according to the manufacturer. They provide great cushioning and great grip. Class members tested the Jade travel mat. It is attractive, provides a great grip, and is lightweight and portable. It is eco-friendly, but it may still cause a flare up of allergies in those allergic to rubber or latex. An aside for those who are environmentally conscious – Jade plants a tree for every mat sold (over 850,000 planted so far!) This Jade mat was a hit among my students. For more information can click on the name above to go to the manufacturer’s website.
Length: 68” or 74”
Weight: 5 pounds.
If you have been around yoga any amount of time you have to know about this mat. Manduka offers a “lifetime” guarantee and calls this mat the “Taj Mahal” of yoga mats. The pro-series mats are manufactured through a process that ensures no toxic emissions are released into the atmosphere, and they are latex free. This mat is extra thick which also means it is heavy and bulky. It offers cushion, support and joint protection. Some students found that for them this mat provided less of a “grip” than other mats tested. According to Manduka, this could be because the mat was new. It’s possible that over time and with use, the surface becomes more “sticky”. For more information can click on the name above to go to the manufacturer’s website.
Length: 71” and 85”
Weight: 7 pounds
This mat is extremely lightweight and easy to pack. I recently did just that, and packed it for a beach trip. After a morning of yoga on the beach, I headed back to the condo but left my mat on the top of the car. Once home I realized what I had done, and a jumped in the car to look for it. I located the mat in the middle of a busy road, in a pile with many greasy car tracks tattooed on the surface. I quickly rescued it and brought it home where I put it in the washing machine (front loading) after a scrub with an eco-friendly cleaner. (Just to note: this is NOT the recommended cleaning method, but given the circumstances I did what I had to do.) It came out looking like new. Therefore, I can attest to the hard core strength and resiliency of this mat! It has a great grip and “high tack” textured surface, and although that may not sound good, it actually feels great. Made of rubber, this mat also comes with a lifetime guarantee and contains no latex or PVC. For more information can click on the name above to go to the manufacturer’s website.
Price: $ 40
Weight: 1 pound, 12 ounces
Lightweight and packable, this mat is super-spongy. The cushioning acts very much like memory foam, with slight indentations left after you move your hands and feet that “bounce back” after a few moments. Softer than the other mats tested, it does provide a good grip. It is 100% PVC, so there is no rubbery smell. This mat also has an EPA approved anti-microbial agent that will last for the life of the mat, which keeps bacteria from making a home of your yoga mat. For more information can click on the name above to go to the manufacturer’s website.
Lengths: 68”, 74” and 80”
Weight: 2 pounds
This was the most “popular” mat we tested. Extra thick and heavy duty, this mat is also lightweight, latex free and had no discernible smell when opened. The surface was extremely slip resistant. Some of my students described it as a work of art. With a Navaho print and a quote by the poet Rumi, it was the first to go each time class began. For more information can click on the name above to go to the manufacturer’s website.
Weight: 3.6 pounds
Just like taking your time to get settled into savasana can make all the difference in the depth of relaxation achieved in this resting pose, taking the time to choose the yoga mat that is right mat for your needs can make all the difference in your practice. When you find the mat that works best for you, you can “become one” with your mat, which allows you to better focus on your practice.
I accepted this offer to “test drive” mats and to offer an unbiased review to better acquaint both me and my students with the different options available. If you have questions I would be happy to help you discover the mat that is just right for you!
About Hope Knosher, E-RYT500
Hope is a passionate yoga teacher, writer, breast cancer survivor, and healthy living coach who found her voice and her strength through her practice. Overcoming breast cancer over 7 years ago, Hope turned to yoga to help her heal. After her practice lifted her mentally, physically and emotionally she experienced a heartfelt calling to share the healing qualities of yoga with others. She founded Hope’s Yoga and began sharing her experiences and her passion for yoga and healthy living through teaching, writing and speaking. Hope loves inspiring and empowering others to live a more joyful and connected life and to be more of who they truly are. Through sharing the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and healthy living she helps others reduce chronic stress, increase awareness, compassion, and mindfulness; while strengthening body and mind. Hope’s writing is featured by MindBodyGreen, Lucy Activewear, Mantra Magazine, Natural Awakenings, The Wellness Universe, as well as her own blog. Hope’s Yoga has been named Best Of Atlanta by Atlanta Magazine and Hope has been named one of Atlanta’s Over 40 and Fabulous by Best Self Magazine. Connect with Hope at www.hopesyoga.com for more information including her full schedule, retreat calendar; or to schedule corporate or private classes and speaking engagements.