New year… new yoga mat? Finding the perfect mat is not an easy task, and a good mat can help perfect a steady and comfortable asana. There are so many things to look for – good grip, the right amount of thickness, eco-friendliness, and of course – style. If you have been practicing yoga for a while, your first yoga mat might have been cheap, and either purple or blue with bits of foam flaking off under your toes after just a few uses. No one wants to practice on a mat like that anymore, and certainly not take any anatomy defying Insta pics while on it. This is perfectly fine, because there is supply to match the demand. The challenge now is knowing which one to pick, as a mat is an investment and not just for Christmas. To help you with the search, I’ve tried a few of them out, and have some advice based on what I’ve found.
Yoloha Native Cork Yoga Mat $139 – $169
These mats are sturdy and eco-friendly, made of recycled cork and rubber. I did miss the bright funky designs of other more geometrically experimental yoga mats (Yoloha offers these but they are a bit more expensive). When you’re spending a lot of time in downward dog, it’s good to have an appealing pattern to look down at. In general, this mat is a good weight and the right level of thickness (no falling over in warrior III because it was too spongy) but I found I needed a little bit more padding on my knee in those low crescent lunges to be properly comfortable. If you have dry hands like me, there is less traction with this mat.
Liforme Yoga Mat $140
The Liforme mat is clean and professional with a sleek, no fuss design. It’s a popular one, with great non-slip (you pay for what you get!) It comes in pink, black, green and blue. I found that my mat kept its grip for a long time, but I had a friend who said it only lasted about two months – but then again, after only a few sun salutations he was already in a deep sweat. Again, designs are basic and if you want something that expresses the essence of your personal style (yoga is about connecting with your true self, after all) you may want to look around.
Manduka Pro Yoga Mat $110
This is a durable and quality mat made of safe PVC with excellent grip. It’s thick and offers good protection for all those tripod headstands, but the downside is that it is heavier than the average mat (7.5lbs) so you wouldn’t want to take it too far. This mat also comes in a range of colours, but without any cool designs.
If you are looking for something with an inspiring print, try YogaZeals Moon Phases yoga mat. It’s perfect for reconnecting you with your feminine energy. If you want something with the least slip when you’re working up a sweat perfecting your pincha mayurasana (forearm stand), this mat is a great option. It’s lightweight; so especially transportable, is reversible, and cleverly doubles as a towel as well. YogaZeal has a range of fun and creative designs, so if you are looking for something with a brighter explosion of colour, try their Low tide yoga mat or their cute Banana leaf yoga mat. It might just be a mat made in heaven.