Back On My Mat….Again

the mat

 

A few months ago, I wrote about renewing my love for yoga. After a while of not practicing, I felt great being back on my mat. I felt amazing. However, I spent most of my summer off the mat. I have my reasons, aka, excuses, of course. I gave tons of Reiki sessions. I started kickboxing. I did make it to a handful of classes. Some days I even managed a home practice.

But my heart wasn’t into it as it once was. I tried to be gentle and kind to myself. I knew this was only a phase. I knew it would pass. But it was still challenging for me. I didn’t feel like I was being who I was, if that makes any sense. I continually reminded myself that yoga is not just asana or yoga poses. I knew I would eventually find my way home again.

And I have. These past few weeks I’ve been taking more classes. I actually crave yoga. I think that is what was bothering me:  I was missing the desire for yoga. Without that desire, I felt off kilter. I did love kickboxing. I also love the other workout classes that I have been trying recently. The difference is that now I can’t wait to get back on my mat. I’m looking forward to practicing with my favorite teachers and practicing with new teachers and studios.

Speaking of mats, I also purchased a new mat. It’s called The Mat by lululemon. While I have heard great things about The Mat, I always shied away from it mainly because of the logo. I typically dress head to toe in lulu and I felt silly practicing with a lulu mat. Yet after reading rave review after rave review  (and seeing it released in the color Plum), I decided to purchase it.

I blogged about finding the perfect yoga mat over a year ago. That blog post is one of my most popular blog posts. Clearly there are many yogis in the same boat. Since writing that post, I have only been using my Jade Fusion mat. I find it cushiony and non-slippery. I either haven’t broken my Manduka Pro in or I have a defective one, but it’s so slippery. I just don’t reach for it since I hate slipping.

I’ve used The Mat at least three times. Pros: It’s very grippy and lighter weight than my Jade Fusion and Manduka Pro. Cons: It shows stains and it smells. When I first opened The Mat, I laid it out in my office with the windows open for a few days. My office still smells. The Mat still smells a tiny bit but it has gotten a lot better. The thing that bother me the most are the stains, aka, sweat. When I’m in child’s pose, my forehead leaves a stain on the mat. It does go away eventually, but it’s taking me some time to get used to seeing stains as I practice. That has never, ever happened to me in any of my years of owning a yoga mat.

I bet the black mat doesn’t show stains as much. If you know me, you know I love all things purple but I may get a black one next time. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my mat as much as possible, stains and all.

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4 thoughts on “Back On My Mat….Again

  1. i’ve been googling all over trying to decide on my mat upgrade. i can’t decide between the manduka prolite and the lululemon the mat – help!

    > manduka prolite: i enjoy hot yoga so i’m scared of the slippery claims, but at the same time i don’t feel like i sweat buckets and I’m happy to do the salt scrubs they recommend. i like that it sounds easy to clean
    > lululemon the mat: sounds amazingly grippy, which i like. do you think the sweat-absorption makes The Mat more difficult to clean? also all the reviews on lululemon keep talking about how the stink won’t go away.. so how long did that take to subside?

    i see people using both of these mats in my classes and now i can’t decide!

  2. Dee, I feel your pain! I wish I had the answer for you but…..

    I haven’t practiced hot yoga yet with the The Mat so I can’t comment on that. I usually put a yogitoes towel: http://yogitoes.com/shop-skidless over my mat when I go to hot yoga to help absorb the sweat. However, sometimes the towel gets in the way, gets scrunched when I move.

    My lulu mat stopped smelling as badly after I aired it out for a few days. It did have a slight smell when I finally practiced on it but it wasn’t bad at all. I’ve practiced it on a few times already and have been super happy, aside from the sweat marks!

    I will reveal a gross secret: I don’t often clean my yoga mat! I mean, I do wipe them off with a a yoga wipe (but I’ve run out) and one studio offers a mat cleaner spray (I haven’t tried it with The Mat yet though). I’ve read that Jade mats are “open celled” which makes they super grippy but hard to clean. I’ve read that some clean lulu mat by throwing it in the shower with them and then letting ii air dry. I have done that with my Manduka’s in the past. I also have a Manduka mat spray but I’m not sure if I can use it on lulu’s mat.

    I don’t know if I’ve helped at all, Dee. My current opinion is to go with The Mat by lululemon. Please let me know what you decide to buy.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and to post a comment! Namaste.

  3. hey there, thanks for replying. do you mind summarizing why you would recommend The Mat over Manduka’s PRO Lite? I’m leaning towards the Manduka even though I’m nervous about slippage and I definitely want to hear your arguments!
    > sounds like a good mat once film goes away
    > sounds easy to clean because of closed cell/non-absorbent – i would never go with jade’s open cell mat for that reason
    > Manduka seems to be known for their mats, vs. Lululemon whose primary competitive advantage is cute clothing? not sure if this is valid
    thanks!

  4. Dee, my main issue with the Manduka ProLite was the slippage issue. I purchased the Pro last year and despite my usage and attempts to clean, I still slip. I don’t use it anymore because of that reason. Perhaps I should contact them to see what they recommend since they have a lifetime guarantee. I liked my ProLite more than my Pro. I *think* my ProLite had less slippage than the Pro.

    I love the feel and cushion of my Jade Fusion AND it’s grippiness. It still looks clean after over one year of consistent usage. I have cleaned it with a mat wipe and the spray at one of my studios.

    The Mat feels lighter weight to me than all my other Mats and I love its grippiness. It’s not super cushiony so I’m easily able to maintain my balance during balancing asanas. Sometimes I step off my mat when I’m using my Jade Fusion due to the cushion. I don’t really know what it is, but I am really enjoying my lulu mat.

    Dee, it sounds as if you are leaning more towards the Maduka Pro. You should go for it. Listen to your gut. Also keep your eye on Groupon. Manduka offered a Groupon a few weeks ago. I just checked and it’s no longer valid. I did see this on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Manduka-Black-71-Inch-Yoga-Pilates/dp/B0000DZFXZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380884252&sr=8-1&keywords=manduka+mat+pro. But it’s for a black Pro, not a ProLite.

    I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions. I can’t wait to hear what you decide to buy :-) Namaste.

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