I’ve been cheating. There, I said it. We were together almost every day. We shared some intimate moments: blissing out, sweating, sometimes even crying. One day I glanced over during a particularly sweaty yoga class and couldn’t help but wonder if the mat next door had better traction. So, I set out to evaluate six new yoga mats. My experience helped me realize each mat has its own great features and benefits. If you know which key points you are looking for, the process of choosing a new mat will be easier. I practice in varying levels of heat – hot, hotter, and super hot. For me, it is important that a yoga mat keeps me from slipping in my own sweat.
A few of these mats performed extremely well in wet conditions. The mats I evaluated from Kharma Khare and Lululemon were obviously designed to keep you from slipping in even the hottest class. Use one of these if you’re a sweater like me. The Jade and Lyke products also performed nicely under extreme conditions. I really enjoyed most everything about Kulae’s mat. It is lightweight, comfortable, and eco-friendly using 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable materials. I did however experience some slipping during a particularly hot class. Lyke mats are made using natural rubber from organic trees. This local Orange County company also donates a portion of their proceeds to a worthy charity. Kharma Khare, who makes their mats from recycled tires, will accept their old mat in exchange for 50% towards the cost of a new one. Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat they sell. Lululemon didn’t say anything specific about their mat’s green factor, although their website has a page covering “sustainability.” Use the information in the comparison grid as a guide, and be sure to check out all the information provided by the manufacturer. Remember that natural rubber in yoga mats will break down if left out in direct sunlight. Also, if there is a strong smell from your new mat, it usually fades within a few uses.
Sometimes we find the one we’re meant to be with right away. Other times it takes a while to figure it out. In the end, I came back to my trusty old Jade mat. I feel it blends the best elements of all the categories I evaluated. You never know until you try… or at least until you read a few reviews.