Holy hiatus! I had some trouble posting this last night because I couldn’t connect to the server. So I’m a little behind! But I’m back tonight and ready to tell you about my search for a yoga mat!
I recently set out on a mission to buy a new yoga mat. I did some (quick) research online to find a yoga mat that was recommended by other yogis. For a (really) long time I have been using Gaiam mats. I most recently have used this pink one but before that I had a similar Gaiam one in orange and pink (note the color theme).
What I love about the Gaiam mats is they are inexpensive (usually no more than $30 and often you can find them under $20) yet they are durable. As I mentioned, I have had this pink one for quite literally years. The only reason I decided to get a new one was because I thought this one had gotten a bit grungy and no amount of cleaning, at least not the kind I am willing to do, would make it less grungy. So I have converted it to my workout mat, i.e., a mat I can wear sneakers on and not worry about. Although I have had good experiences with the Gaiam mats, I decided to get something different this time around for my yoga practice. The thing about the Gaiam mats is that they are very thin and I often need to use a towel or cushion for certain poses because the hard wood would irritate my knees, ankles, bunions, elbows, etc.
So I was in a search for a new yoga mat. I read a lot of good things about the Manduka mat. It sounds great but at $90 a pop I thought this was just too much. I mean, it’s a MAT. So I settled on “The Mat” from Lululemon. Here is what I like about it so far:
* It is much thicker than the Gaiam mats and provides extra cushioning for my boney parts
* It is reversible! There is softer side and harder side for different types of practices.
* It is super absorbent. I think that I might even be able to get through a sweaty vinyasa class and maybe even a hot yoga class without a grippy towel.
* It is durable. This is probably not going to be a mat that gets shredded up by my feet!
* It is a pretty pink color.
And this is what I don’t love…
* It is kind of smelly. The mat is made of polyurtherane so there is rubbery smell to it. It is supposed to fade overtime however.
* Its a lot more expensive. The cost is a whopping $69. A lot more than my traditional Gaiam mat.
* The super absorbency means that the pink/hard side of the mat really absorbs body oil and sweat so you kind of end up with marks on the mat. Luckily they went away when I wiped the mat down. I was so freaked out that I had ruined the mat when I first wiped it down because there were these large wet spots but they eventually went away. No harm, no foul.
* Its super heavy. But I knew this when I bought it and I mostly do yoga at home so I am not too worried about it.
So overall I have to say I really like the mat so far! I am looking forward to using it more.
I love my Gaiam mat – I’ve had it for at least 4-5 years. I ordered a Manduka last year to replace it but sent it back – way too heavy and super slippery. I usually use Jade mats because Pure Yoga preps all the rooms with mats, so need to bring my own. Now I use the Gaiam at home when I do decide to practice at home (but I used to take it with me when I went to bring-your-own-mat studios – I only just joined Pure in June).
I haven’t tried the Lululemon one but it looks nice!
I just purchased “the mat”. It just got delivered. I unrolled and dropped into down dog immediately and didn’t budge…on the flat side, tried it on the other side and was happy with that too. My old mat was a yoga zone mat someone gave me as a gift a decade ago. I am so looking forward to using this mat and even though it weighs, I think not sliding all over the floor anymore will be worth it 🙂
The website only had two colors of The Mat but several for the Un Mat..is it a country issue or what not? Also, several reviews say there is a slippage issue if you dont have any problems with sweaty palms..now I am having second thoughts getting The Mat since my palms do not get sweaty. Any thoughts?
Hi Mary. I don’t really know about the colors. I got mine last year so it was awhile ago now. I also bought mine in store-sometimes they have more colors than online. I haven’t had any problems with slipping even when my palms are not sweaty. It’s reversible so you can use the colored side or the black side. They have different textures. I really love it!
Oh wow thanks..it is THE MAT model tho,right? There are also reviews that say staining is a major issue..did you guys encounter any of these problems? I just want to be sure before I make the leap lol..thanks, any advice I can get is very much appreciated 🙂