Not all yoga mats are created equal. Or so I quickly learnt after a particularly sweaty yoga sesh where I was slipping all over the place while downward dogging. Turns out you can get mats that are non-slip, natural, colourful, more padded, softer, firmer, heavy, or lighter, all depending on your personal preference (and how much you want to spend).
Who woulda thought there was a whole world of yoga mats out there? Not me, but Tammy Shemesh of Body Love Matters did, so I picked her very zen brain to find out which yoga mats are her faves. And which ones will stop me from feeling like I'm on some kind of yogic slip'n'slide.
Squeeeee! These yoga mats are so pretty! These digitally printed mats are produced right here in Sydney (don't worry guys, they're environmentally friendly, water-based inks). IMHO, it's way easier to get centered on some beautiful palm trees or an ocean sunset.
Jade Yoga Mats
Coming in a range of colours, these non-slip yoga mats are eco-friendly and super high quality—meaning you'll be chaturanga-ing on this one for a long time. What makes these mats even better is that folks at Jade yoga mats will plant a tree every time someone purchases a mat. How's that for good karma?
One of the newer kids on the yoga mat block, the Aussie team behind Unit Nine's seriously good looking mats know that it isn't just our active wear that's gone up a serious style notch or two. With a range of fun designs to choose from, these versatile mats work for both yoga and HIIT workouts, because let's be real, even the best yogis have been known to mix it up when it comes to working out.
Clean up your yogic footprint with LovEarth mats. They're light, fully biodegradable, and completely natural. Sure, there aren't any colours to choose from, but because they haven't been dyed it means no icky toxins. Also, if you trade in your old mat, they'll give you a YogaPass to use at one of 400 yoga studios around Australia.
This one shouldn't come as a huge surprise, considering we'll rock our Lulus pretty much, well, anywhere. Their mats are perfect for yoga (and strolling to brunch post yoga), and come in a range of reversible colours, meaning you can always match your workout to your outfit. C'mon guys, surely it's not just us who think about this sort of thing? Didn't think so.
These bad boys are great quality, non-slip (yay!), and made from natural tree rubber, jute, and cotton. They're reversible, which means one side is great for a sweaty vinyasa practice, while the softer side is for a more meditative one. Plus, they're completely sweatshop free so it's pretty much a big win right here. The only downside is that they are a little heavy, but let's just call that weight training.
Hugger Mugger's Ultimate Comfort Mat is the first yoga mat with memory foam—y'know, like mattresses! This super comfy mat is great for those yogis with tweaky knees. If that's not so much of an issue for you, the rest of the range of mats have different characteristics to suit your practice.
These are the pros of the yoga mat world. With dense cushioning, excellent grip, and a lifetime guarantee, Manduka mats may cost more than some of the others, but will last longer than staying in chair pose feels. The PRO mats are quite heavy, however the PROlite mats are much lighter which make them perfect for travel (hats off to those getting their yoga on at the airport).
Now that you're kitted out, let's get you in to a studio.
Hero image credit: Matthew Kane, Unsplash | Image credits: Unit 9; Jade Yoga; Manduka.