Guide to My Favorite Yoga Mats
Today, I'm going to let you all in on a topic I frequently get asked about: what's my favorite yoga mat?
Personally, I teach Buti yoga which is an unheated practice, but it works up a sweat that is very similar to that of a heated class. I also practice hot vinyasa and unheated restorative yoga in my home. I've used these mats for different purposes and have listed them in this post.
This topic honestly isn't a no-brainer. Every mat you'll find in this post has served me a purpose and has strengths and weaknesses. I've used all of them for enough time to really get to know them and fit them into my life in a way that works for me. I'd love to hear your suggestions and personal favorites in the comments!
LuLuLemon - This mat has proven to be by far my favorite mat when it comes to puddles of sweat. I'm talking I can be pouring sweat all over my mat, lay down in it, and still be able to jump back into a chaturanga without slipping. It doesn't slide, slip, or disappoint. I personally don't own one of these myself, but use them frequently at the studio I teach at.
Jade Yoga - This was my first ever yoga mat. My mom picked one up for me at a local studio back in Tyler and made sure to tell me that it was expensive, so be careful with it! I loved my Jade and practiced on it regularly for about four years. However, the heat of the classroom, and leaving it in my car really withered away the natural fibers of the mat. Towards the end, it was flaking off all over me and the studio during my practice. Not good. Granted, the brand does let you know that the mat needs to stay out of direct sunlight in order to stay in good shape. However, it just wasn't practical for me to carry my mat in everywhere I went. I love this mat and recommend it as a natural mat alternative.
Manduka - I was turned onto this brand back in Tyler by an instructor of mine. She biked frequently and invested in their eko Lite mat, which is almost paper thin. I though she must be onto something, and ordered one for myself. Upon opening, I realized this thing was WAY to thin for me, but decided to give it a go. Two years later, I still use this mat a few times a week. It does well in the heat and hasn't broken down whatsoever -- I've even left it in my car repeatedly. However, when I'm dripping sweat, it's best to have a towel nearby because I will slip all over the place. The bonus about this thin mat is that I can legitimately fold it up and keep it in my purse (which is basically a small tote bag).
Kulae Yoga - I was recently gifted one of these eco-friendly mats from the brand after reaching out to them personally. I was drawn to their small-business model and message, and was in the market for a new mat. Let me just say, this mat did not disappoint, and I've happily been using it everyday at home. I don't bring it to the studio, just because I know it's rather warm and humid there, resulting in maximum sweat. This mat isn't ridiculously slippery, but you're going to need a towel if you're sticking around for a 60+ minute class. However, they make a mat with a built-in towel which we sell at my studio, and everyone seems to love it! For a home practice, this mat is squishy and comfortable -- making for an excellent spot to do ab sequences!
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*title image courtesy of Manduka.com