i’ve been doing yoga pretty regularly for about 7 years. for the past couple years, i do yoga almost every day, with the average time i’m on the mat about 20 minutes (that’s the sweet spot for me). sometimes i do yoga for 10 mins, sometimes an hour. but most of the time it’s 20 minutes.
and you know what? that’s a lot of time with a piece of pvc separating me from the floor. like most people, i purchase yoga mats at a price point of less than $20. unfortunately, that’s the price point of a crappy pvc yoga mat.
over the years, i’ve had probably 5 mats. up until a week ago, i had four mats resting in the corner. one is sort of a memory foam; another is a longer mat than average (average is 68″, one inch shorter than i am tall); one is a stiff, hard mat with an odd texture that i bought based solely on color; and the last is a plain, average length, not very thick mat.
because of my hardwood floors, i have been doing yoga on two mats, with the long mat on top.
but the problem with pvc mats is that they start to fall apart.
which, on top of looking bad and creating less of a mat as time goes on, is no good for the environment!
so i started doing research on the best mat for everyday yoga use and for the environment. i wasn’t surprised that i would need to spend more than $20 on this mat.
i looked at manduka mats, which are regarded as one of the best high-end mats. their pro mat runs at $120 and 6mm thick, but is still pvc. they have a rubber mat in their eko line, but they’re not quite as thick and color selection was not that great.
i was also looking at hugger mugger but i couldn’t find anything that was what i was looking for.
then i ran across b-mat. it’s 6mm thick, 70″ long, and 26″ wide (standard is 24″). natural rubber, and a ton of color selections. i’d been pining after a green yoga mat for quite some time, so i chose the green (i was also eye an orangey-red one, but decided to go for calm over invigorating). it was $96 but i had a 15% off coupon, so do the math.
the green is more of a forest green than i was hoping for, but i do like color rather than a grey or black mat. (although my go-to mat up to now was purple.)
i’m still trying to figure out if i want to keep this one or try a manduka.
- it’s SUPER sticky. every pvc mat i’ve had is relatively ok when my hand and feet are apart. i’m always about 90% confident that i’m going to slip when i’m in wide-legged forward fold (Prasarita Padottanasana). on this mat, i am SOLID. i am not moving. and i realized tonight that that means i’ll have less stress on my wrists because i feel more confidents in moving weight to other parts of my hands because i’m not going to slip.
- is it TOO sticky? tonight i was doing a little bit faster flow, and moving my foot from up front to back to plank, it got a bit stuck. but if the edge of my foot getting held up a bit means less stress on my wrists and less worry about slipping, maybe that’s ok.
- it gets dirty. fast. and it’s hard to get clean. cat fur gets stuck to it and i can’t wipe it off. i think i need to get one of those small bristle brooms to clean off my mat. the instructions for the mat say that it should get less dirty as time goes by. fair.
- i can’t feel the floor. on my pvc mats, i stand and my feet can feel the floor through the mat. i feel nothing but rubber on this one.
- but i’m not sure how i feel about knee support yet. i sometimes put a block under my knees and i’ve used extra mats under the knees too. but i need another go at some low lunges to see how that goes.
i can see why people spend money on mats. it’s like spending money on shoes and mattresses – things that separate you from the floor. i’m going to use this one for another week or so and see if it is what i’m looking for! i actually could go for a mat that’s extra long at this point. i like the width on this one, but even the extra 3″ is good, but may not be quite enough.
if i get another mat, i’ll be leaving another review! so far, i do know that my next mat definitely will not be pvc.