July 9, 2009

The Love of a Good Mat

About a year ago I was very casual about my yoga practice. I did the occasional video at home or sometimes a group class but it wasn't a regular part of my fitness routine. I picked up my yoga mat like you would a pack of gum. It had a pretty color and was right there on the end of the aisle at Target.

Then I began working with an instructor. I learned about yoga beyond asanas (poses) and it's now a part of my life, not merely for fitness but for my spiritual and mental health. Naturally the more I practiced the more my sassy hot pink yoga mat began to fail me becoming sparse in areas and the cats new favorite scratching toy.

Around the time I began looking for a new yoga mat I was blessed with the PrAna Natural Sticky Mat. What I noticed immediately is how much heft the mat had. Unlike my other mats of the past this mat feels serious. The mat, made of rubber, provides enough cushioning for me to easily work on my concrete balcony with comfort and stability. The smooth texture of the mat is a nice feature as well. Compared to other mats with a basket-weave type texture this feels smooth and doesn't leave weird imprints on my skin after certain poses.

In addition to the cushion-factor I really like the level of stickiness the mat has. I feel I can move fluidly while still able to stick in poses. This confidence helps me focus on my breath and body rather than wondering if I am going to slip.

Another aspect I love about the mat is it's biodegradeable nature. While I have no plans to part with it any time soon I like that it won't live for centuries in a land fill after I am gone. I try to support companies who support my beliefs. PrAna not only matches my lifestyle but cares for the environment and that is important to me.

The mat retails for $68.00 which is a bit more than mats you will find at the sporting goods store or Target. I think that it's worth every penny. Just like a gym membership if you don't use it you won't get a return on your investment but if yoga is a regular part of your life I recommend you give the mat a try. It's really become a partner for me. Allowing me to move my solo practice forward with confidence.


Caleb said...

Your description of the mat sounds just like the one I have, only it's green and I only paid $15. I think I found it at Ross. It pails in comparison to other mats I have seen. I will have to look at the brand later and let you know what it is.

Angela said...

Aw I really want to get in to Yoga but classes are always booked up straight away. :o(
I've tried it a few time and I find the breathing part really difficult. Does it get easier? please tell me it does!

Tali said...

Angela, I think it definitely gets easier. There is a point where it all just clicks. Just keep trying and explore different styles. It didn't really click for me until I found a style I liked :) Best of luck!

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...

Wew! My girls take yoga class each week. I spent $30 on their mats at Whole Foods. I can't imagine paying so much!!!!!!

I will have to see your mat and feel it and put my children on it before I invest.

Tali said...

Anna, this review wasn't really written with children in mind. I don't know if I would recommend such an investment for children, merely because they change their mind on what they enjoy doing so frequently.