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.