When I first started going to yoga regularly, five years ago, I had a Nike mat that looked something like this. It came for free with my Nike Yoga bag. It was nicer than the rental mats so I thought I was doing pretty well. I was also doing Bikram five times a week so my mat was always covered with a towel. I had no idea how slippery it was or wasn’t. I finally got rid of it when it smelled like a dead cat.
My second mat was from Athleta and looked something like this. It was OK at first but got slippery fast. And then it started to peel at the edges, which really annoyed me because it wasn’t cheap. But it was leaps and bounds better than my third mat.
Purchased on a whim from Reebok, it was inexpensive (well, compared to the one from Athleta) and thankfully so. It started off slippery and still is. It has a cute little message on it – Do things that are + (positive), which people always like. But it is now the mat I use exclusively for Bikram, with towels on top, or I will slip all over the place.
All this to say that I have finally invested in a Lululemon mat and you should too. I went with the 3mm mat because I am often carrying it along with my kids and my purse and coffee and a doughnut but the original is lovely and if you can do it, you should go with the thicker version. I almost feel like I am cheating with this mat. It is just thick enough that it feels super nice when I am laying in Shavasana. It is sticky enough that I can get super deep in to the Warrior Postures and anything that requires a wide legged stance. It wipes down easily and doesn’t smell (my Athleta one did for a long time). I will never go back to another mat – I am 100% hooked.
I have no problem paying upwards of $50 for yoga pants which I wear once a week for an hour at a time but for some reason I was scoffing at the idea of spending money on a good mat. The mind is a strange thing.
I have also heard great things about the Liforme mat but I’m not quite at a place where I want to spend $140 on a mat. That said, it is apparently even stickier than the Lululemon Mat and has markings on it to help with proper alignment. All the yogis I follow on Instagram swear by it. Maybe if I ever become Instafamous, I’ll get one too.
There is a small studio I have visited in Manhattan called Atmananda who makes their own mat – again with markings on it to help with alignment. Currently on sale for $75 down from $97! I have rented it in class but don’t know that I would want to use it in any other studio.
Do you have a “fancy” mat? Do you think it was worth the price?
*I am not an ambassador for any of these brands but would be. Wink, wink.