Following one of my friend's question, i thought it would be nice to share here the advice i gave her when it came to the (crucial! ha) decision to invest in a yoga mat. I say invest coz some can get up to 100euros+ !
First a yoga mat isn't any kind of mat. I like to see it as a physical limitation of my spiritual practice... I explain: once i get on this rectangular piece of fabric i step into my journey and what happens around stays around. Honestly, it might sounds a bit crazy, but i do really like to see it that way. What happens on the mat, stays on the mat. It is part of your spiritual journey. So naturally i would tend to invest time and maybe a bit of money on it so by cherishing this mat i also cherish my practice. Plus on a much more practical matter, i use my mat everyday and wanted to invest in something that would last and not peel off after one month (i am referring to my first yoga mat i took with me during my Yoga TTC and that was a disaster). I would literally leave trace of my presence after me... the shala was covered with my mats bits.
Anyhow, coming back to my friend here is what i basically advised her:
It is mainly depending on your NEEDS. Do you use it often ? Do you need to look after your knees, joints ? Do you travel often ? Do you need a good grip ? Do you need it to be cheap (so you can afford one more yoga retreat ? haha.) ? Do you want it to be on top eco friendly ?
Anyhow i try to make it simple:
- if you need to protect your knees, joints take a THICK mat (6mm thick minimum).Manduka does great ones. I would recommend the Pro Mat of Manduka (89EUR), that's the one i use everyday.
- if you need to travel with it, take a LIGHT mat. Lululemon and Manduka do a lite version of their mat. Lululemon does one called the Reversible (3mm) at 55EUR and Manduka the eKoLite (4mm) at 60EUR (plus their fabric is ecofriendly).
- if you sweat a lot, take it with a great GRIP fabric. I have heard great thing about the Life Form one. You see it everywhere on Insta. I tried it once (so not enough to really know if it is worth it), but it is widely used by teachers and i have heard so far only good things about it. BUT it is very expensive (118EUR). In my opinion, it is well worth taking another cheaper mat and add on top a towel. Coz ultimately ALL mat will be slippery. I have not found (yet) one mat that would satisfy any sweaty yogi ;). One of my yogini tested and approved this one found on Amazon for 13EUR. Link here !
- if you need a short term fix at minimal cost, get the CHEAP one. I found the one of Decathlon (6mm) to be totally fine for occasional practice. It is currently at 15EUR (instead of 25EUR).
Of course there are many more mats in this world... but i have not really tested them yet. Keep in mind what you really need and don't underestimate the cushioning of your joints... cause this isn't accessory ;)
Let me know if you fin any great ones !
I have been recommended this one by one of my dear friend Clare (@yogaforth), she is based in London and also is a yoga teacher. She said it combines the three magical features: GRIP, THICK (6mm) and CHEAP (46EUR) ! Link here !