30 Oct Yoga Mat Review
Over time I’ve purchased four different yoga mats. The main reason I’ve tried new mats is because of grip. As I’ve gone to more rigorous, physical, classes it seems once I get even a few drops of sweat on my hands it makes for slippery situations. With that I thought I’d share my experience with the mats I own.
Starting from right to left (I should’ve thought the setup through before taking the picture):
This was my first real yoga mat. Before I had this thick cushion thing from a big box store that I don’t even think was bought, or designed for yoga. Probably for just laying down on. Overall I was very pleased with my Gaiam though once I started doing down dog more often I noticed a need to be very exact in my positioning. Otherwise I would slip a bit. I think I may have very smooth palms or something, because I don’t notice other people having the same issues I do in down dog. For a lower priced mat I’d definitely recommend it, especially for those newer to yoga who aren’t certain how often they’ll practice. Anyone who needs a little more padding might want to get the next thickness up.
This brought me to the Aurorae mat. A fellow student in teacher training had one and swore by it. It seemed really nice when I tried her’s out briefly, so I took the plunge. Overall I really like the mat but then I started attending classes that were slightly heated and any amount of sweat between the mat and my hands would cause slipping and a regular need to reposition my hands. I think part of my problem is my fairly tight hamstrings which cause the need to be exacting in my positioning for down dog. The continued slipping caused me to research online and ask some other people for their recommendation. Which brought me to the
Very nice yet heavy mat. Lighter than their original mat, it’s still heavier than the previous two mats. Overall it worked better for keeping a grip. The trade off of course was difficulty in sliding heels out for poses such as parighasana (gate), but that’s easier to deal with than going into down dog for the umpteenth time and having to shift hands and overexert to stay up. It wasn’t perfect though and I still found that it didn’t take much sweat to cause me to slide, though not as much as I would with the Gaiam or Aurorae mats. So I decided to splurge and get the other mat that was highly recommended when I researched and purchased the Manduka.
This has been my go-to mat. Again you’re trading off the ability to smoothly slide for moving into other poses, but it’s worth it for me to have the traction and not have to really flex to stay up.
The Gaiam and Aurorae mats are more sticky mat with fairly smooth textures. The Jade mat is very textured, almost like a sand texture. The Manduka is somewhere in between the two.
Price wise the Gaiam is the least expensive, very affordable. Then comes the Aurorae, Jade, and Manduka as the most expensive. I haven’t looked at other higher end (read more expensive) mats that are supposed to provide more grip, but from other reviews I’ve seen the Jade and Manduka are the top dogs in non-slip mats.