Here are my four favorite mats… Plus, one my favorite yoga teachers choses hers!
Traveling rivals yoga as my favorite pastime; and, that is why I LOVE the Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Mat! The eKO SuperLite is only 2 lbs, it is foldable, and affordable ($39). I’ve brought this mat to Spain and Kenya… On my trip to Kenya, I was only allowed to pack carry-ons and I had no problem fitting it in my luggage! In Spain, the studio I visited was pretty warm and I only slipped a bit when I was sweaty. My friend Cameron borrowed the mat for her trip to Thailand and the Philippines and she loved it! Only downfall is its’ lack of padding; but, for a travel mat, I have yet to find something better!
Gaiam’s Yoga Essentials Mat, my first mat ever (sigh). After my first yoga class, I went out and bought a Gaiam yoga kit; complete with a mat, strap, blocks, and DVD. This was my main mat for the first three years I practiced! For the price, less than $25, this is a good starter mat. While I would not suggest this mat for a heated class (unless you were to use a towel); this mat works well in room temperature and is easy to carry.
My last birthday gift, the Manduka PROlite Mat. This mat is wonderful for yin-style classes; yet, in hot classes this mat is disastrous without a towel. I use this mat for my home, floor-based practice and love it; but, I struggled to maintain any sort of grip in a heated vinyasa flow. At $84 it is a bit pricey; but, it does come with a lifetime warranty!
Over the last two years, I have mainly practiced heated vinyasa yoga. Practicing with “The Mat” from lululemon has been amazing. Before I got “The Mat”, I used my Gaima mat. After becoming frustrated with yoga towels and the constant laundry, I knew I needed to find a new mat. I asked around and almost every person I spoke to suggested this mat. I am now on my second mat; my first held up for two years with a 5-6 day week practice and my yoga teacher training.
“The Mat” is $68 dollars and worth every penny. The only downside is its’ weight, 5.5 lbs is a lot to carry. However, I also own lululemon’s “The Un Mat” ($48), which is a lighter versions of “The Mat”. It is great for hot classes at studios with padded floors; but, it is extremely thin and is not comfortable on hardwood floors. Overall, “The Mat” is the best I’ve used.
Thankfully, I asked one of my favorite yoga teachers, Diana May Oppenheim, her favorite mat and she chose the Jade Harmony Mat. I have yet to try a Jade mat; so, I was happy the brand was able to be included in this post! The next time I am on the market for a new mat, I am going to buy a Jade. Jade plants a tree for every mat purchased and produces the mats with environmentally friendly practices!
Diana said, “I use the Jade Harmony Mat. I love that it is extra grippy, and that it is a bit on the softer side. The extra cushion helps me in poses like Dhanurasana and anything supine!”
I love Diana’s classes because they are both calming and challenging. Diana teaches at Core Power Yoga Chicago and Tula Yoga studio. She is also the beautiful yogi in the featured image of this post! Thanks Diana!