Even before Corona hit my yogis and friends have frequently asked me about one topic: MATS. But with the closure of studios and the rise of home practice, reasons to own a mat instead of just using studio mats have significantly increased. This post (which is not sponsored in any way!!!) introduces some mats that I have either practiced on or owned.
If you are looking to buy a mat, this post might help you to navigate the endless choices, or, at least point out some criterions that you should pay attention to.
Currently my favorite mat is from a Canadian brand called B Mat. Their mats are made of synthetic and natural rubber, but unlike other mats they do not smell like it all (which is a big plus for me). The real reason why I love my B Mat is, however, that it is super sticky: There is no sliding forward of the hands during down-dog or other postures. This is comes in especially handy for more dynamic types of yoga.
The B Mat comes in different versions. I own their super thin Traveller mat. It is only 2mm and I often carry it around with me. That being said, I often put it on top of another mat to have more cushioning for my knees. So if you don’t have access to a second mat, consider their thicker options, e.g. Everyday (4mm) or Strong (6mm).
Prices range from 55€ for the Traveller Mat to 90€ for the Strong Mat.
Before I switched to B-Mat, I practiced for more than five years on an eKO Superlite mat from the brand Manduka. Manduka is known to be particularly eco-friendly: the mats from their eKO series mats are responsibly sourced, all-natural rubber. (When my mat was brand new I could smell the rubber, but after a couple of weeks the smell was gone). Over five years this mat was a faithful companion to me and when folded it fit in almost any backpack. Though perhaps not as sticky as the B Mat, it still has really good grip and I have used it for different types of yoga (vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, hot yoga) in the park, studio, at home etc. Like the B Mat it comes in different options – in the eKO series you can decide between 1,5mm up to 6mm mats.
Prices for the eKO mats range from 45€ for the Superlite mat to 90€ for thicker versions.
The Bodhi EcoPro 4mm is the mat provided for students in the studio where I teach – and it is a true multi-talent. It has good grip, sufficient padding for the joints and is 100% natural rubber (no smell from my experience, but it might also just have worn of quickly because of frequent studio use). The mat is heavier than the mats that I own but if you don’t want to carry it around much and just use it at home or in your regular studio it is a perfect fit.
Price for the Bodhi EcoPro 4mm is 50€.
Other mats that I have come across and liked, but did not practice on enough to recommend wholeheartedly include Jade Yoga mats (https://www.jadeyoga.eu/jade-yoga-matten/) and Hejhej mats (https://www.hejhej-mats.com/).