When it comes to yoga mats, Manduka is hands down my absolute favorite brand, and I never practice without my Black Mat PRO. It's durable, thick, and firm, and still looks exactly the same as the day I bought it. It's heavy, though, weighing in at seven pounds, and doesn't come cheap at the steep price of $85 (although it's worth every penny).
If you're looking for a thinner, lighter, and less-expensive mat, then you'll love its new eKO Lite Mat ($42). It weighs 3.5 pounds, so it travels easily, but the best part is that it's environmentally friendly. This Manduka mat is made from non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber. It contains no PVC or toxic plasticizers, and will leave no footprint in landfills. This mat has a wonderfully grippy surface and doesn't lose its stickiness even when I sweat. Plus, the material won't flake or disintegrate with use, so you'll have this mat for years to come. I think the mat's endurance makes it environmentally friendly as well.
There's something even more special about this green eKO Lite Mat. To find out the details
When you purchase this green eKO Lite mat ($42), part of the proceeds will be donated to Off the Mat, Into the World. It's an organization cosponsored by Seane Corn, dedicated to inspiring yogis to take the insight, self-knowledge, inspiration, and activation that they get in practice out into their community. It helps people understand their connection with the world, and shows them how to initiate service projects in their neighborhood that can help make a difference. Check out the video below to learn more about this organization. You can order a green eKO Lite mat from Manduka, and not only will you be helping this great cause, but the planet will benefit as well.
Here's more information on Off the Mat, Into the World.