Manduka is a recognized name in the world of yoga but I had never seen one of their mats or know anyone who has used one and so, we were curious. It turns out that their Manduka PRO Limited Edition is one MONSTER mat so we couldn’t resist giving it a try. If you are after comfort, comfort, comfort, this is the mat for you. This very dense thick yoga mat has a boat load of extra cushioning and comes in two different sizes: 71 inches long and 26 inches wide and a quarter inch thick and the larger one at 85 inches long, 26 inches wide and a quarter inch thick, but the latter weighs in at around 9 pounds.
Bear in mind that with the extra thickness comes extra weight and also the need for a larger yoga bag. That said, the extra comfort will spoil you so that you never want to use a regular sized yoga mat again. It’s great for hot yoga because of its traction and of course, it’s size. Its slip resistant, non-sticky material makes it a fabulous choice for longer sessions as well. They have a lifetime guarantee as well which is a nice added benefit and makes it worth the $124 price point.
If you have knee or joint issues, this is also a great choice for you. Also sweet is that this mat is incredibly versatile on any surface, whether you’re practicing on carpet, cement or hardwood floors. It has a closed-cell surface to keep out moisture (sweat) from seeping into the mat and breeding bacteria and a proprietary Dot-Pattern Bottom to resist sliding, another godsend when you’re sweating quite a bit.
So many mats peel, flake and fade quickly, but the PRO mat is designed for sustainability and longevity in mind, hence the lifetime guarantee against wear and tear. After three uses, I started to get spoiled from this mat’s extra cushioning, although there are times when you want to use a regular sized, lighter mat, most notably at a busier class or if you’re walking or cycling to a class and need to carry it for a distance.
Manduka has plenty of options, including standard mats as well as light mats, even in the PRO version. We also tested the PROlite yoga mat (formerly known as the PurpleLite Travel Mat), which is a nice alternative for people who need a lighter, zero-waste mat with superior quality and comfort. Like its big brother the Black Mat PRO or the PRO Limited Edition pictured above, the PROlite is focused on performance and is apparently a favorite among Hot Yoga and Vinyasa Flow enthusiasts.
I typically practice Hatha or Vinyasa Flow and am not a huge fan of Hot Yoga, yet I found this mat to be a great choice and was equally thrilled with its performance after several classes. Since we LOVE fun colors here, we were thrilled to see that their mats are available in five passion-inspiring colors. The mats are two-tone which I particularly love and include a mixture of greens, turquoise, purple, and there’s even an orange combo. I went for the blue/purple choice below — FUN!
We really like their yoga bag collection as well, specifically The Local, which comes in a rich soft blue and a jade/olive green color. Like their mats, the bag is incredibly durable including its carrying strap, which is so often not the case with other bags we’ve tried out. What I have found myself doing is using this bag to carry two thin lighter mags and doubling them up during a class. Because of the super comfy carrying strap and spacious dual-zippered compartment, you can carry quite a bit in the bag and there are two separate sections, which is nice.
The Local will accommodate and protect mats up to 85 inches including room for your yoga gear and personal essentials. We also love that they’re travel-ready and are made from really durable, 100% natural cotton canvas material. Oh yeah, and they’re stylish to boot — two thumbs up! More details at: www.manduka.com.