The five best yoga mats

The five best yoga mats

A yoga mat is an investment that will be used often and for many years. I have shared many challenging, intense and emotional moments with my beloved yoga mat. When students ask me for recommendations, I suggest these few.

The Harmony Yoga Mat is the most popular.  Photo from JadeYoga.com

The Harmony Yoga Mat is the most popular. Photo from JadeYoga.com

JadeYoga has an interesting back-story. The family originally created rug pads (they claim as the first-known yoga mat used by BKS Iyengar). JadeYoga used its rug pad knowledge to make a non-slippery, natural rubber yoga mat. I see these mats often in yoga classes and like that they are lightweight to transport and very sticky.

I suggest the Elephant Reversible Yoga Mat.  It is colorful and less than $40.

I suggest the Elephant Reversible Yoga Mat. It is colorful and less than $40. Photo from gaiaim.com.

Gaiam offers over 50 different types of mats via their website and are also available at Target and other big box stores. I suggest these mats for new yogis, as they are affordable and provide a nice cushion.

The Black Mat PRO is Maduka's best-selling mat and what I mainly practice on.

The Black Mat PRO is Maduka's best-selling mat and what I mainly practice on. Photo found on manduka.com.

Manduka's mission includes uniting all, nurturing our planet and love. Their mats are very thick and heavy and help to reduce knee pain when kneeling. This is the mat that I mainly use and I do love it. It does takes time to wear it in and requires a few practices and wipes down until truly creates traction.

The Reversible Mat 5MM is a favorite by many yogis. Photo from lululemon.com.

The Reversible Mat 5MM is a favorite by many yogis. Photo from lululemon.com.

Lululemon's popular mat is ultra absorbent and good for sweaty classes. These mats are easy to clean and many rave about the good grip once you are warmed up.

The Liforme Yoga Mat received much buzz from International Press. Photo from liforme.com.

The Liforme Yoga Mat received much buzz from International Press. Photo from liforme.com.

Liforme was recommended to us by one of our readers who loves its density and stickiness. This mat is unique as it includes markers on it as visual reference points for physical alignment on the practicing surface.  The mat is priced at over $100, but does include a mat bag.

What kind of mat do you use?  I love to try out new yoga mats and look forward to hearing what you practice on.

You may also enjoy reading: Why kids need yoga, The best yoga pants for real bodies and What is AcroYoga? 

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