Yoga Mat Reviews and Recommendations


#1

Hello all,

I am in the market for a new mat and am having a terrible time deq good mat that is eco-friendly and of good quality? I have heard Barefoot Yoga’s Eco Mat to be good, but I am uncertain if I am willing to drop $72 for the mat. Any alternatives? Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Namaste,

Katie


#2

Jade Harmony is great, but falls in the same price range. Manduka Eco, also same price range.


#3

I think it’s lovely that we as yoga students want to do our part to have a small carbon footprint. If you can find a mat that works for you AND it’s from an environmentally sustainable material that’s great.

However I’d like to point out that falling and damaging your knee on a mat that does NOT work for you though is sustainable may not be the higher choice in mats (for yoga). So by “work” I mean one that provides both traction and movement when needed AND facilitates bringing more light into your practice and thus your life.

Take good care of your mat and it will take good care of you. When it’s finished its life as a full length mat, cut it up into remnants and use those in your practice or donate them to a studio that uses props.

Frankly it is far more significant to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store (bringing your own bag each time) or eliminating your consumption of bottled water (plastics) then buying an eco mat. Of course everyone sees your eco mat while few notice your bag at the co-op.

I’ll also mention that some mats off-gas and smell yucky. Seeing as how I’m face down on the thing quite a bit I’d rather have a mat that doesn’t particularly smell. Likewise some Eco mats fall apart very quickly. So over the course of a year you’re using twice or three times as many mats as other users. Not very eco friendly.

Personally, I was gifted a PER mat (from barefoot) about three years ago. It is sturdy, fresh, easily cleaned, and provides me the safety I need in my practice. However I wish it were a little bit longer. A typical male perspective, I admit.


#4

[B]Recommend though have’nt tried other eco mats[/B] to compare with

I recently acquired the mat you refer to, a couple of months ago.

Though only used not more than a handful of times , if that , for exploratory asana practice the past 2-3 months , i can vouch it is a good mat. It replaces the pvc one, my first( so icannot compare this withother eco mats though ii had first looked at the harmony jade i don’t regret buying this one, my eventual choice); i always intuited one would [B]feel more grounded and connected with the earth [/B]with an eco mat, my motivation for buying one may not be therfore arguably purely ecological. Though Nicer to practice on with a more natural material i feel.

This one has a jute weave enmeshed and woven into the top of a rubber under-side.I don’t think you should be dissapointed with this mat, as long as you don’t mind the lack of uniformity in the weave which gives the mat character.

I have increasingly felt the pvc mats yucky or even cringe-worthy to practice on.There’s something not right, like practicing yoga in shoes.I’ve been thinking perhaps teleuric energy( something a tantra teacher dropped a casual referenceto during asana) or energy of some kind ( perhaps prana)does’nt flow so freely.Like for e.g when you do your surya namskara and you say start off say in prayer-pose you’'re grounding yourself with the subtle energies to get more connected with the earth( it’s gravitational pull) and thus the universe, to get more energised.This is just a feeling i’ve got but another reviewer of eco mats (his maybe a per)echoed this same sentiment.This one is even i think a few inches longer, than old pvc one, at 72" i believe, and even gripppier if that is a plus.

If you practice asana everyday or spend alot of tiime doing so this eco mat is very nice and worth it. I spent maybe 32-34pound perhpas (made in the uk). Surpassed expectations when arrived in post.
A Joy to have. I don’t practice asana much as it does’nt always agree with me, i rarely roll this mat out,but this mat Is nice to look at :slight_smile: I have been exploring/experimenting some gentle yoga more appropriate for me right now however, aside from a more normal dynamic asana practice,whatever that might be.( the least i could do witha rehabilitative practice was cultivate some kind on a nice mat i felt no qualms being on)
i would go for this one.they even look natural, not garish colours.It was a toss between the green and the cream colours, i settled for the cream or natural.

Hope this helps .


#5

[quote=InnerAthlete;15980]I think it’s lovely that we as yoga students want to do our part to have a small carbon footprint. If you can find a mat that works for you AND it’s from an environmentally sustainable material that’s great.

However I’d like to point out that falling and damaging your knee on a mat that does NOT work for you though is sustainable may not be the higher choice in mats (for yoga). So by “work” I mean one that provides both traction and movement when needed AND facilitates bringing more light into your practice and thus your life.

Take good care of your mat and it will take good care of you. When it’s finished its life as a full length mat, cut it up into remnants and use those in your practice or donate them to a studio that uses props.

Frankly it is far more significant to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store (bringing your own bag each time) or eliminating your consumption of bottled water (plastics) then buying an eco mat. Of course everyone sees your eco mat while few notice your bag at the co-op.

I’ll also mention that some mats off-gas and smell yucky. Seeing as how I’m face down on the thing quite a bit I’d rather have a mat that doesn’t particularly smell. Likewise some Eco mats fall apart very quickly. So over the course of a year you’re using twice or three times as many mats as other users. Not very eco friendly.

Personally, I was gifted a PER mat (from barefoot) about three years ago. It is sturdy, fresh, easily cleaned, and provides me the safety I need in my practice. However I wish it were a little bit longer. A typical male perspective, I admit.[/quote]You’re so right about the eco mats falling apart quickly. My Jade (travel size) lasted barely a year of a heavy vinyasa and ashtanga practice. I bought the Manduka Black Mat afterwards and it only gets better with age. I’ve had it a bit over a year and I know it will last me years! Plus, it’s super wide and longer than the standard mat.


#6

But black as night, right?


#7

Yes…hahahaha…it’s black, but I prefer a black mat. I can’t have a yoga mat that doesn’t match all my cute yoga outfits.

LOL


#8

this is totally helping me in my mat selection.coz ive been having trouble also finding the right mat for my routine.ive been uncomfortable several times due to my mat.thanks guys.and yes,i am also particular with the color haahahhha.everything should match :slight_smile:


#9

Yea for the black mat! I have had mine for over 3 years and it still looks brand new!

I think the black mat provides a better eco solution as they last forever and that cuts down on the manufacturing process!

I had the agoy mat and it disintegrated under my feet in about 3 months. :frowning:

My only issue with them is that they all look alike!
Check out…mattags.com


#10

Used to be all the eco-friendly mats were all up there in price but there are certainly less expensive options now (including from barefoot) so if that’s an important criteria keep looking.

But there’s several aspects to eco-friendly. One is whether the mat is good for you (PVC contains chemicals that are now widely considered to be bad for you.) Then there is how friendly the manufacturing process and material is to the environment. And durability matters, the mats made of natural materials from most accounts don’t last as long, so you’ll eventually buy more mats, not so eco friendly even if you find a reuse for the old one.

I have a Manduka black mat which is great. It’s not advertised as an eco mat but I think I read someplace they are mostly polyester and little PVC so maybe not too bad for you if that’s true. While it’s a man-made material they claim the manufacturing is relatively eco-friendly. And they are so durable they last practically forever and won’t wind up in the landfill anytime soon, so that’s good (and cheaper in the long term even though it’s another expensive mat.)

I also have a Manduka Eko Mat, which is pretty nice but I can already see it will wear out at some point, long before the black mat ever would. So eco-friendly in some ways but not necessarily all.

Every mat I’ve had has smelled somehow at first, but with a cleaning and airing it has always gone away after awhile. Actually I have an inexpensive PVC mat too that was a gift, it never smelled like my more expensive mats did when new.


#11

I love my Jade Harmony fusion mat. A bit stickier than others, but I don’t move very quickly between poses, so it works well for me. No lingering rubber smell either.


#12

Last year I purchased Hugger Mugger Earth Elements mats for my office, and for a few of my clients, and they have worn very poorly. I don’t recommend these particular mats, even their thicker Earth Elements at 10MM.

Thank you for the recommendations and feedback on the other eco mats.

Namaste,
Nichole


#13

As far as eco-friendly yoga mats go, I recommend the Jade Harmony Professional. I love it! It’s thick and sturdy enough so it doesn’t slide or roll up around the edges, and I never slip at all.


#14

I just wanted to follow up that I purchased the Manduka black mat and am ever-so grateful for it. I have been using it for a few months now and I would have nothing else. :slight_smile:


#15

This morning, in a high spirit of exploration, I did my practice on carpeted floor without a mat. What a difference! I had to recruit muscles to keep my feet pressed into the mat, and my dog and warrior poses were shorter because I was working with less friction. I think I’ll keep doing this a couple times a month at least because there seemed to be something important for me to learn here.


#16

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing “eco-friendly” mats. Unless the material is produced right next to the factory and the factory is right next to your house, they are NOT eco-friendly. They have oodles of embodied energy and you’re being sold a marketing ploy.

“But at least it’s made from biodegradable material. It’s a step in the right direction.”

No. It’s just a smaller step in the wrong direction.


#17

[quote=David;23320]One thing to keep in mind when purchasing “eco-friendly” mats. Unless the material is produced right next to the factory and the factory is right next to your house, they are NOT eco-friendly. They have oodles of embodied energy and you’re being sold a marketing ploy.

“But at least it’s made from biodegradable material. It’s a step in the right direction.”

No. It’s just a smaller step in the wrong direction.[/quote]

these types of conversations sure do benefit from both expanding and focusing–my thanks to david and techne for delivering some of the focus.

*nichole


#18

You can check out more reviews of yoga mats (and add your own) at www.YogaConsumerReports.com.


#19

I found a great small company out of Mass. called Lotuspadyoga. Totally eco-friendly made of TPE and very reasonable. $35 - $70


#20

I know they are pricy but Manduka mats are so so great! They stick, they are eco-friendly and they last so long! You will pay more but it will alst longer!

Namaste
Jenn- Yoga in Montreal