Staying Grounded

Recently, my Manduka ProLite  yoga mat has been failing on me. My hands and feet have been slipping while in downdog. It’s been hard to maintain my balance in Virabhadrasana II when I feel like I’m going to collapse. Granted, I know there are far worse struggles going on in the world, but if you don’t feel safe and balanced on your yoga mat, how can you expect to feel safe and balanced off the mat and in the world?

I turned to Facebook to see what types of mats my yoga teachers and friends were using. I found out some interesting things:

1) Most yogis have more than one yoga mat. Doh! This never, ever occurred to me. I love my purple Manduka so why on earth would I need/want others?

2) There seems to be a Jade vs Manduka thing going on. Some prefer the spongey feel of the Jade while others prefer the hardness of the Manduka. I have never practiced on a Jade mat before so I have not idea if I prefer spongey.

3) Most yogis are very passionate about their mats. I also posted this question on one of the lululemon Facebook boards. Everyone seemed to love The Mat.

So, I decided to give my Manduka a good scrubbing and will test to see if it’s stickier now. I’m also leaning towards purchasing a purple Jade.

What’s your favorite mat?


15 thoughts on “Staying Grounded

  1. I love my Manduka ProLite. I’d been practicing on $15 mats for over a decade and decided to upgrade. I researched pretty extensively and it came down to Manduka ProLite or Jade Harmony Professional.

    I briefly considered LuLuLemon’s The Mat, but the company ethics and culture at LL were so out of line with my own ethics and comfort level that I excluded The Mat from consideration regardless of the mat’s qualities.

    In the end, I chose Manduka because of the reputed durability. My sister swears by Jade – but she replaces her mat every year or so when it starts to fall apart. The Manduka ProLite comes with a lifetime guarantee.

    My Manduka started out a little slippery, but less so than the cheap mats I was accustomed to, and after several weeks of practice, it’s no longer slippery.

  2. Thank you for responding Carrie. I wanted to give my Manduka ProLite another try. I washed it but when I used it yesterday, my hands were slipping all over the place. I had to put my yogitowel over it.

    I’m considering the Manduka Pro and the Jade Fusion. I may get both and alternate between the two.

    How long have you had your Manduka ProLite? Mine is at least 2-3 years old.

  3. I’ve only had the Manduka a month or two. I actually do slip a little (but just a little) in down dog when my hands get sweaty. Not any worse than with the cheap mats, but I can’t say that it’s resolved completely.

    Last week, my instructor invited me to the front of the class to demo an asana. She has a Jade (I think it’s the Harmony Professional, but am not certain) and it was definitely less slippy than my Manduka.

    In reading reviews of the two, the consensus generally seems to be that you’ll slip less with the Jade, and the Manduka will last longer. I really deliberated, but decided that if I was going to spend more on a mat, I wanted it to last. I could have just as easily decided that I’d want to never slip.

  4. Thank you Carrie. One of my yoga friends told me she had the same problem with her Manduka ProLite; hers only lasted for about a year. Mine has lasted much longer.

    Enjoy your Manduka Carrie!

  5. After years of daily practice on a seemingly indestructible Gaiam mat, I have finally had it with the slippage issue and am ready to upgrade. I am currently going through the Manduka vs Jade debate and have looked at countless sites and reviews for each. I live just outside of NYC where nearly everyone is on board with Jade, but after years of a 1/4inch cushy mat (I have knee issues) I am concerned that they are too thin and will wear out too quickly since I practice 1-2 times daily in varying styles. While I was visiting Denver one of the instructors let me feel/lift her Manduka which satisfies my thickness requirements, but was a bit heavier than a girl traveling by bike or foot is keen on.

    I am having a seriously difficult time making the choice between the two and am keeping durability & stickiness in my top two priorities. I have heard nothing but mixed reviews for each. I am considering the Manduka Pro Black & Light ( but still haven’t made a purchase due to the constant complaints about needing to seasalt treat something that already costs $104 w/o shipping. Can you make a recommendation? Thank you!

  6. Ska Jenny, thank you so much for writing to my post. I ended up buying a Jade Fusion (, which is nice, thick and cushiony. I also purchased a Manduka Pro (, which is also thick. Both are on the heavy side but not terribly heavy. Since I’ve been rotating them, I have not yet broken them in and both are a bit slippy. I have to wash them.

    I used a Manduka Pro Lite for years but I have to say that I love the Jade Fusion. Since you’re concerned about the mat being too thin, I would suggest looking into the Fusion.

    Please let me know what you decide.



  7. Good afternoon, Judie!

    Thank you so much for your response and suggestion. I was able to borrow a few mats over the last week that were Jade and Manduka (and even looked at a Lululemon) and am still not sold on Jade products. They are sort of sharp textured which drove my arms and the tops of my feet nuts. I had a hard time focusing… however, the Manduka ProLite had me sold enough that I trusted it through the class and even forgot that it wasn’t my mat by the time I reached savasana. That alone sold me on the product. Now it’s the matter of choosing my color… and it’s price point is “low” enough (in comparison to the others) that I can get accessories for it without breaking my budget. Hopefully it will not be too difficult to break in! I guess we’ll have to see.

    Thank you again and I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day!

    Lots of warm wishes,

  8. I’ve been paying attention to this continued conversation. I bought my Manduka Prolite last winter after reading lots and lots of reviews. I excluded LuLuLemon’s mat because I strongly object to LuLu’s business philosophy/politics/ethics & I couldn’t support them. I was debating between Jade Harmony Pro & Manduka Prolite.

    The truth is, I never did anything to break in my Manduka, no washing, no salt, no laying in the sun. I just used it several times a week and it didn’t seem to me that it needed any breaking in. It was already so superior to my old cheap mats. Perhaps I slip just a little when my hands are really, really sweaty, but I almost can’t imagine them not slipping on anything when they’re that wet.

    We have yet to see about how durable it is, I’ve had it for only about 8 months, with use for about five classes a week, so far, it shows absolutely no wear, not even marks where my hands and feet go in down dog. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, so, if it should degrade, I very much hope that Manduka will honor the guarantee.

  9. Carrie, thank you for continuing this conversation. My Manduka Pro is still slippery. In fact, it’s so slippery that I only use it with a yogitoe towel over it. I use my Jade Fusion so much more. My Jade is not slippery at all, but it is very cushiony so when I do balancing poses, I have to get off the mat. I haven’t tried to break my Manduka in though. I did wash it once or twice but that’s been it. Perhaps I should use it more.

  10. Hi! It was nice bumping in to your blog while researching on which mat to get. I am planning to buy a new mat and my choices are down to Jade Harmony and Manduka Pro. I do a Hatha and Vinyasa type of yoga, do you have any tips or the biggest upside of a Jade or Manduka?

  11. Hi France! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your post. I have fallen in love with my Jade Fusion Mat. I haven’t had slip issues. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case with my Manduka Pro. I don’t know what it takes to break it in. I have basically given up on it and never use it.

    The downside to both these mats are their weight. They are on the heavier side than other mats.

    You may want to read the previous comments to hear what others have to say. I am a convert to the Jade Fusion (which seems to be a thicker version of a Jade mat).

    Please let me know which one you decide to purchase.

  12. Pingback: Back On My Mat….Again | JudiesJuice

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