The search for a hot yoga mat


#1

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone could help me, I am on the search for the right yoga mat.

I know I sound like a cliche and over all most long term yogist are not a fan of hot yoga but I have really found it beneficial for me. Over the years I struggled with finding a physical activity that gave me the health benefits I was search for without being to demanding or easy and would allow me could to continuesly grow within it. I started trying yoga about a year ago and liked it but didn’t find it was rewarding enough. Recently a hot yoga studio open in my area and I have come to really enjoy it. I practice 4 days a week and am starting to considering increasing my practice time.
This is where my problem lies I have spent endless time looking over review for a multitude of different companies, styles, and compositions of mats but I don’t know what would be best for crossing between hot yoga and just a regular type at home.
If anyone as any suggestion it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


#2

When I tried Bikram yoga a couple of times we used regular, fairly thin synthetic mats of a kind you will find with any company. On top of that we had an absorbant mat towel similar to the Manduka eQua towel which is a little slippery when dry but becomes grippy when it is wet. The combination worked really well. Since you start sweating almost immediately there is no risk that your mat towel will be too slippery.

As I arrived at the Bikram studio the first time, I had brought with me a traditional woven cotton mat, thinking that it would work. The instructor told me that this was not a good idea and that I should rent the studio mats instead. Now, I am not doing Bikram yoga but I am still thinking that the cotton mat would work. On the other hand it is a drag to clean the woven cotton mat, whereas the thinner mat towels are really easy to wash.


#3

Manduka -without doubt. Best mat I have ever used.


#4

I use a cheap but thick mat under a thin pilates mat.
The combo has last me years.


#5

I am a sweaty guy so this may be different for you. I practice hot yoga regularly. I have two mat reviews because I use them both. Please note when I say hot yoga I am referring to hot vinyassa yoga at around 90-95 degrees. If you are practicing bikram yoga I suggest the manduka pro or pro lite.

Manduka prolite: This mat has survived me for 3 years of almost daily use and looks almost exactly the same as when I bought it. This mat provides more support then almost any other mat on the market I have used(except manduka pro). The problem with this mat is that it is closed cell technology which means the water sits on top of the mat when you sweat. This is great because they are easy to clean but they are very slippery. I always have to use a mat towel when I practice with this mat any light perspiration makes me slip without one. I usually use a manduka towel with this mat because I have found the yogitoes towel not as effective on this mat. I prefer this mat because it provides the most support when doing arm balances, inversion, and any kneeling poses. This mat also has a lifetime guarantee if bought after 2008. Manduka has great customer support and will send you a new label for your mat if it begins to peal off for free. The manduka pro is the same as the pro lite just thicker.

Lululemon (the mat): I have been using this mat for about 4 months now. It has a closed cell technology on one side and an open cell surface on the other side. This mat provides less support then the manduka mat. The open cell side sucks up a ton of sweat when I use it to practice hot yoga. I am able to use the mat without a towel for any non heated practice as well as heated as long as the class is a 1.5 class. The mat is extremely sticky to the point you cannot slide your front foot forward in warrior 2 without rocking it from front to back. If your heels do not touch the ground in down dog this mat is great to get you there faster because of the stickiness. The mat also absorbs a ton of sweat and I find myself not slipping until the last ten minutes of a 1.5 class and can get away with not using a mat towel. When I attend a level 2 class I will will always have to use a mat towel as the mat can only hold so much sweat. Finally, this mat will not last forever. I have seen other people mats show serious signs of wear after prolonged use. I tend to use this mat for home practice or easier slower paced hot vinyassa classes. This mat will not work in a bikram class without a mat towel. You have to clean this mat more because of the open cell design to avoid it from smelling.

I do not own a jade yoga mat but I have practiced on one before. They provide great support and are pretty sticky. I cannot tell you how well it works in a heated practice.

Depending on how much you sweat and If you wear moisture wicking fabrics or pants that will soak up a lot of sweat will depend on what mat is right for you. Regardless of the mat you choose I suggest investing in some quality yoga towels from either manduka, or yogitoes depending on the mat you have.


#6

Hey Ravi which manduka is it that you like or use?


#7

I sweat like crazy in some hot yoga classes, puddles, pools, lakes etc so I know what you mean. Did a crazy 4 hour Power Yoga class a few months ago with Brian Kest and a few people ended up in the sun simply in the studio and were in literal lakes on their mat.

For most people (aka people who don’t end up in a lake) I think a mat like Lulu’s The Mat which has an absorbent and really really sticky top layer is probably the best bet. This mat is really really sticky and will absorb quite a bit of sweat before it gets overwhelmed. Personally, this mat lasts me about half of a hot class before I just get too sweaty (they start to not work so well with age as well… so unfortunately even though it’s an expensive mat they aren’t something you’ll keep around for years) and then although they are still pretty grippy I usually have to throw down a towel.

The natural rubber mats are awesome but same deal, since they don’t absorb anything you can overwhelm them with sweat pretty quickly.

I never understood yoga towels but then I started a custom yoga towel company (yes, this is in a way a commercial post…) and had to figure out how exactly all of my friends used their towels without them slipping. Now that I’ve kind of got it dialed I find a blend of towel plus sticky mat is AWESOME!!! I’ve got some notes below but also just look around in class at people who rock a yoga towel and see how they use it. I’ve seen one person (she was on the shorter side) who basically hacked down a mat by about 8" and then was able to tuck her towel under on both sides and ended up with a really awesome totally towel covered yoga mat and since the towel was tucked all over it never moved the entire class. Spraying the towels down before class helps a LOT as well.

-If you cover your entire mat with a towel and wet the towel down decently before you start you end up with a really nice grippy surface the entire class. It isn’t as grippy as a dry mat but when you average out the grippiness over an entire class I think it’s a better option than going without.

-I move my feet a lot in certain poses, roll over my toes and drag them a bit when performing certain moves and end up with a totally scrunched up towel down where my feet are in most of the poses. So what I do is that I tuck maybe 8" of the towel underneath the head of the matt. What this does is that by my hands where I tend to loose grip the fastest and also sweat the most I have tons of grip all the way through class. Down by my feet where I don’t actually drop as much sweat as generally when I’m standing I’m at the center or front of the mat, I just have bare sticky mat so when I roll my toes over or something there is no towel to scrunch up. I REALLY like this solution.

My next plan is to try and integrate velcro into the bottom of one of my towels (seriously) and see if that helps if I also mate velcro to a mat:)

btw, I can’t post my website url as I’m new but I have some really cool custom hot yoga towel designs:) custom yogi towls dot com


#9

:open_mouth: Its black 72 inches longs and 6 mm. Was a gift so no idea -it just says manduka on the label


#10

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