It’s safe to say that I spend a disproportional amount of my time on a yoga mat. I practice on my mat (obviously), I teach from my mat and sometimes I just sit on it, its pretty comfortable and familiar. With the countless amount of hours spent on my mat, It probably won’t come as I big surprise that I take buying a new mat very seriously.
I usually have two main mats I use, one more for practice and the other I keep in the studio for occasional practice but mainly for teaching. It saves me dragging a mat around and lets face it, it’s always good to have a back up. I recently looked into replacing my practice mat and I ended up spending a fair amount of time researching all the options before making my final decision. Yoga mat preferences are very individual and depends on your likes and practices.
There are a few things I keep in mind when looking for a new mat. I thought I would share with you some of the things I am looking for in a mat to hopefully help you when it become time to replace your beloved mat.
It’s all about the Grip
Im a bit of a sweaty betty, I’m not embarrassed by my sweatiness because it is just want it is. The only issue I have surrounding sweat is how it affects the grip on my mat. Due to my damp hands I have to always make sure I have a mat that absorbs sweat to stop me sliding around like Bambi on ice! I would love to say that sustainability and fair-trade were at the top of my criteria list but they are not, grip is. Slippery mats make for an unpleasant class and can lead to injury so I avoid them like the plague.
The material the mat is made from is important to me. After grip, this comes next. I like my mat to be produced from natural materials, preferably suitably sourced. Natural rubber is usually what I go for as it provides the grip, comfort and the sustainable element I like. Not all rubber mats are suitably sourced so it is worth checking but I avoid PVC mats as I find I slip and they don’t last as long as I would like. I have begun to notice that there are lots of new materials being used now for yoga mat and this is very exciting. I have noticed materials such as cork, canvas, sheep skins (not for me) and carpet being used as a rubber alternative. haven’t had the chance to test many of these so if you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments.
Carrying around your mat
The weight of the mat has become important to me in recent years as I travel a lot more overseas to practice and teach. my original yoga mat weighed over kg’s which made it very comfortable but very difficult to transport. These days I need something a little less than the kg’s but I can’t be practicing on a travel mat long-term so I had to go for something in between. Travel mats are incredible as an extra mat but don’t make good primary mats I’m afraid ( see link to my post of travel mats).
A colour for you
This is a point that shouldn’t really matter but some how it does. As yoga practitioners we spend a lot of time looking at our mats or at least having our mats in our peripheral vision there for I don’t think its unfair to think about the colour when dropping a lot of cash on a mat that will be with you for years. Colour is a very personal thing, so finding a mat that comes in the shades you like is on the list.
Breaking the bank
We all have different budgets and priorities so I can only talk about this from where I stand. As I have said, I spend a lot of time on my mat and its apart of what I do. I like to think of this as an investment just like buying a new coffee machine for the office. When you think this way then the price point doesn’t matter too much if the product is good. This is purely my opinion and I know it is not shared by all. If you are only jumping on your mat once a week then I probably wouldn’t recommend splurging on a mat. Equally if your budget is on the lower end then its just not possible to spend large sums of money. There are also mat alternatives such as towels that can be placed on studio mats when budget are lower.
Taking all my personal criteria into account I finally decided on Liforme for my new mat of choice. The grip is really second to none when it comes to mats designed for the sweaty practitioner. I have tried a few and had a Lululemon mat for years but both Manduka now GRP mat and the Lululemon The Mat fall a little short in comparison. The Liforme mat not unlike the Lululemon works by absorbing the seat leaving a dry surface to practice on. The beauty of this mat is that it has awesome grip when your hands and wet or dry!
Liforme mats are PVC free, biodegradable in 1-5 years in normal landfill conditions and made using high quality non-toxic materials. They use naturally sourced sustainable rubber and even use heat-bonding process to eliminate the need for toxic glues. All this helps me feel a little more conscious about my new mat purchase.
weighing in at 2.5kg I have to admit she is a little on the heavy size but I really didn’t want a paper-thin product for my primary mat. I also think this a big improvement from kg mat. The weight is the price to pay for a little extra thickness and it is needed if you a practicing daily. There are curtain postures that are just not pleasant to do on a super hard surface.
With all this mat fabulous going on you probably won’t be surprised to hear that these mats ain’t cheap! They go for anything between 129 Euros up to 150 Euros depending on style and where you buy them. Yep, the price tag is up their but if it helps, they do come with their very own mat bag which can set you back around 60 euros if you were to buy it separately. All in all, I think the mat is well worth the price tag when you look at the overall product. My only Nah thing to say about the Liforme mats are colour related. They really do NOT have a great selection or range. They offer four regular colours which are slight odd shades of green, blue, pink and grey as well as two special edition which are sadly more expensive. I’m not sure why Liforme market their mats as natural whilst selling very unnatural shades ( the green mats looks a lot like a fluorescent edamame) but you can argue how much this really matters.
I have had a new mat now for over a month and I can very happily and openly say that I made the right choice. I’m loving the mat as much as I thought I would and have absolutely no complaints what so ever. I am using my mat for every practice and if you don’t believe me, here is my new mat in one of my latest YouTube videos!
Thank you very much for ready and see you next time xxx