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Get in Gear: Mat Stats

Before buying a Yoga mat, you've got to know what kind of a yogi you are first. Try out some different kinds of Yoga to see which one speaks to you. You can borrow the studio or gym mats for your first few classes, but if the smell alone doesn't drive you to buy one, then thinking about how many thousands of bodies have sweat on them will. Ewww.

Here are my picks:

  • Are you a sensitive yogi, one that needs extra cushioning? Try a Manduka mat. It's dangerously slippery though if you're a sweater. Watch out.
  • If you are a sweaty yogi, or like practicing Bikram or Ashtanga, get a rug to put over your sticky mat. It'll absorb your sweat, but make sure to wash it often. They get really stinky.
  • If those mats aren't for you then,

  • Are you an environmental yogi, wanting a mat that's good for both you & Mother Earth? Try a rubber mat. They're bio-degradable.
  • Are you a tall yogi & need a longer mat?
  • Are you a travelling yogi and need a lightweight mat? Try this mat from Hugger Mugger.

See you on the mat...

Fitness Fitness 10 years
Hey there Redsugar. Yes - the key to using a rug is airing it out after each practice. If you dont, it never really dries and then it's starts to smell like mold. Yuck. What kind of yoga do you do?
redsugar redsugar 10 years
My rug has never stunk. I wash it once a week and let it air dry. Never use fabric softners on yga rugs. You'll slip all over the place.
bpjedi bpjedi 10 years
Hopefully I won't have to get another mat for a while. The mat I have now (made out tpe) seems pretty sturdy so far, but I haven't had it for even a year yet. People are pretty picky about mats, though; everyone wants something different, I guess.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Yeah, I've tried those rubber/jute mats and they have an amazingly strong odor that gave me a huge headache. They also break down real easily and I found little bits of mat all over my clothes after class. I want a mat to last, so I don't have to keep buying new mats every 3 months, ya know. That seems like more of a waste than just buying one that'll last forever. The Manduka mats are the most durable. I'll never have to buy another mat, unless of course I lose mine. You've got to find the mat that works for you though. Let me know what you think of the jute and rubber ones.
bpjedi bpjedi 10 years
The Hugger Mugger earth elements mat isn't made out of pvc, like their other mats, however. I find that the material in that mat isn't as slippery as the pvc mats, and, unlike the Manduka Mat, is biodegradable. I decided to only use biodegradable mats a couple of years ago. In that vein, I've heard good things about ecomats, which use jute and rubber, as well, but I've never tried one.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Hugger Mugger does make great mats, but I found that if they get one little nick in them, they start to pill and fall apart too. My favorite still, hands down, is the black Manduka Mat. It's more expensive and noticeably heavier than any other mat, but I've had it for 5 years and it looks just like the day I bought it. The texture is the same as the Hugger Mugger ones. It's totally worth it.
bpjedi bpjedi 10 years
I've used the rubber mat--it stars to fall apart pretty quickly. Still wanting a biodegradable mat, I went for the Hugger Mugger "Earth Elements" mat, and I really like it. They're also extra long, and have great texture. I love mine.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
ewww I can only imagine the smell. I remember in high school doing P.E in the wrestling room and the mat would smell soooo bad :SICK:
nycgirl nycgirl 10 years
I have the Stella McCartney adidas mat, but I found that doing 1 hr of pilates at my gym on hardwood flooring bruised my lower back (ouch!). So I get one of their nasty communal mats and put mine over it :) No back bruise AND I don't feel icky!
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