Monday, January 2, 2012

How to Choose a Yoga Mat + Manduka Giveaway

I've finally succumbed to the realization that my beloved yoga mat is no longer meeting my needs. The giant hole that made me so proud when I unrolled the mat at studios--it represents 6 years of daily practice!--was becoming a little bigger with every practice. Bits of purple rubber flaked off everywhere and stuck to my hands and feet. I found myself having to stop what I was doing to wipe off excess pieces of mat.

When your mat is becoming more of a distraction and a hindrance to your practice than a useful tool, it's time to move on. If I've learned nothing else from my yoga practice, it's how to let go of the things that are no longer serving it. It is time for a new mat.

Now, I'm kind of a yoga products whore. I love mats, props, clothes, books, magazines--anything that reinforces my dedication and love for this practice. That said, I take the task of choosing a new yoga mat seriously. A yoga student's relationship to her mat is surprisingly intimate--not only does she rely on it to provide support and keep her safe, there's a lot of energy moving around during a yoga session and a mat collects that energy.

What do I look for in a mat?

  • Good karma. I want to do as little harm as possible as I can to the world.
  • Durability. My last mat lasted me 6 years, which is a great run. I want my next mat to last even longer than that!
  • Thick and cushiony. I'm bony, so I want a mat that will be kind to my knees, wrists, ankles, and other bony parts when they're connecting with the ground.
  • Grippy (Not Slippery When Wet). Yoga turns me into a sweaty mess. I need a mat that will
  • Personality. Choosing a mat color is kind of a big commitment if you plan to use your mat every day for the next 10 years. I wanted a soothing color with some personality, too.
The kind folks at Manduka must have known it was time for a new mat. They were kind enough to send me an eKo  mat to try out--they have several new colors Azure, Smokey Quartz, Sage, Maize, Amore, Dublin. Poseidon, Sienna and Thunder and they all fit my criteria to a tee.

It's easy. Now that I have a new mat, I need some advice for what to do with my old one. Comment below and tell me the most creative way you've reused an old yoga mat. I'll choose the winner based on creativity and usefulness. I'll announce the winner here next Monday, January 9th and you'll have until the following week to email me to claim your prize. Sound good?

Thanks for all your great advice! So many great ideas here!

Steph R! Congratulations!

Email me at with your full name and address and I'll get a mat sent out to you!!