Once again, I am ashamed at how long it is taken me to get back to writing, but with a now not so new job and therefore a change in what I am around most of the day, this blog seemed to need such a shift in identity that it has slightly eluded me. None the less, I have been asked a lot about yoga mats recently, and which is best for this or that. So without further a do, here is my list of the best mats out there:
– the Beyonce of mats: the Lifeform mat… Ahhh how we all wish we had a Lifeform mat. Beautifully made, super, super grippy, and with lots of clever markings to perfect your alignement, whether you are a more seasoned yogi, or a more green toed yogi, this one is… fierce! It does come with a price tag (presumably, Beyonce would too), but it is worth the money. They have lots of new colours too – so if pink was not your thing, think again. The only problem with this bad gal’ is that it is extra wide, and extra long, and therefore extra heavy. Not ideal to carry to and from the studio, it won’t even fit into a standard yoga bag. In a busy studio, it is also a bit of a cheat on your fellow yogis, as you will need to take up more than one ‘spot’ to fit you mat. Ideal for a home practice. Price tag: £100… Ouch!
– Still up there in the luxury mat department, and definitely my favourite: the Jade yoga mat…. Jade and I have a lasting love story. I bought it before I went on some intense yoga training and I have not looked back. Jade is a hottie, and it always feel like an occasion when I roll her out to practice. She is super grippy (mega grip, even in humid Thai jungle weather), and she is rather thick, meaning no bruised knees and elbows. If you are a sweaty yogi (yes, like me), then this is the one for you. It is pretty heavy, so if you have to get the tube to your local studio, you will need some determination, but Jade also do a travel version of the same mat which is worth a try. Not only is Jade very faithful to your hands and feet, she is also eco-friendly. Every mat purchased = a tree planted, made from natural rubber in the US, with no PVC. Price tag: around £60 depending on point of purchase. You can also get an extra long version for a bit more money, if you are the added length kinda person.
– Similar to Jade, is the Manduka mat. Also eco-friendly, the Pro range starts around $85.
– If like me, you love a good grip on your mat, then you could also look at Lululemon. The Mat is a great, grippy basic with a good amount of padding. For a brand that does not specialise in mats, this is pretty damn good. Price tag: £63.00
I am also a big fan of their travel mat. Mega grippy, actually absorbs sweat; I brought it to a hot class the other day to try it without a towel, and it only became saturated and slippery after an hour of practice. Great result. The (un) Mat is really thin, so you can fold it, roll it, and squish it into your bag or suitcase. Ideal if you live in a busy city and just want something that is yours to roll over a studio mat as it is so light, and it really does not budge. Firm favourite in the travel section. Price tag: £42.00
If you’re a hot yoga bunny, the Hot (towel) Mat has the same advantages as the (un) Mat but has a grip towel glued onto it! No more rumpling of the towel as you jump back and forth, lots of grip, and you can chuck the whole thing into the washing machine when you get home… win! Good for about an hour of hot practice. Price tag: £52.00
– For the smaller budget, or if you are not yet committed to yoga for the long run, go to Yoga Matters. Their Classic mat is a really great buy at £28.00 and even their Sticky Yoga Mat is a good find at £17.00. Go for this instead of your TK Maxx mat which won’t offer nearly as much.
– If you are tall, or a man, or even a tall man, then you will want the extra length. Just like a bed, you don’t want your feet hanging off of the edge. Price tag: £39.50
– Finally, for the yogi who has everything, and is just after a bit of frivolity….I love this! Totally unecessary, and I have not tried it out, so I am afraid I cannot vouch for it, but it is so pretty. Magic Carpet mats start at $98.00… sigh at the prettiness.
You just have one thing left to do, get a mat, and get practising!