MY FIRST MAT WAS A WATSON'S MAT!
I bought my first yoga mat in 2011 from Watson's, which cost around sgd12.90.
It was not "sticky" at all!
Note that being ‘sticky’ doesn't mean that the mat has some kind of glue. The stickiness is the grip ie how well your hands or feet can grip the mat, without slipping off.
It's the worst kind of feeling when you are sliding in your downward dog, especially when you are already struggling holding the pose.
It's quite thick at 8mm and it's“foamy” so I don't get a lot of support for my wrist as the base of the wrist tend to sink into the mat. And if you have wrist issues, you know what I mean.
Foamy mats are more suited for pilates, gym work or napping, but not really nice for vinyasa yoga as we're on our hands a lot.
Then I decided to invest in a Manduka Pro mat, which was 6mm thick. Most yoga studios in Singapore use Manduka. It's firm and not so squishy so it supports your wrist safely. My only feedback is that it wasn't very "sticky" in the beginning of practice, but it is grippier halfway through when my palms got a bit sweaty. Initially I had to use a towel to minimise the slippery hands, though with time, the mat did get stickier. Overall I love it for the sturdiness and comfort.
I AM BIASED BUT...
...... my favourite mat of all times is the Jade Mat. I was looking for a travel mat and after much research, I purchased the Jade travel mat. It's awesomely grippy and has supported my downward dogs, and I like the feeling on my feet as if I’m standing on bare ground.
Note that travel mats are thin - this mat is at 3mm. I support my sensitive knees or elbows with a folded towel underneath.
So far it has gone on 4 teacher trainings and 3 retreats, and still held its shape. It's light and easy to bring around as it can be folded into my bag, instead of rolled. Cleaning is as simple as throwing it in the washing machine when it gets grimy.
should i buy a mat?
Most studios in Singapore provide mats for their students.
But if you are looking to buy your own personal yoga mat for training or for whatever purpose, invest in a good quality yoga mat. Cheap mats will wear out quickly. A good mat makes a lot difference for your practice! It'll support your practice in the and help prevent injury in the long run.
What you should look for:
- Grip (If you have sweaty hands, I'd highly recommend Jade or Lululemon mats)
- Support (4-6mm)
- Purpose (Outdoor/Travel)
- Maintenance (ease of cleaning)
- Budget (Cotton On has good quality and affordable ones, which I use for my outdoor yoga classes)
Below is a shortlist of yoga mats, price ranges between SGD24.90 to SGD168, where either myself or my students have tried, and the feedback was favourable.
There are more out there, but these should be enough to start. And like I say, you have to try them out for size, and trust me if you do splurge on the more expensive ones, you can be sure that they will last long.
Shortlist of yoga mats
(*Prices are correct as at 7 Feb 2017)
Recommended Mats (4mm-6mm thick)
COTTON ON BODY Active Yoga Mat 4mm 68” x 24” SGD24.90
REEBOK Yoga Mat 4mm 173cm x 61cm SGD49
REEBOK “Don’t Stress” Yoga Mat 4mm, 173cm x 61cm SGD54.90
LULULEMON Reversible Mat 5mm 71” x 26” SGD108
JADE YOGA Harmony Mat 5mm/4.4-5lbs, lbs, 68”/71" x 24” SGD116-$126
MANDUKA eKO Mat 5mm/7lbs 71” x 26” SGD135
MANDUKA Pro Mat 6mm/7lbs 71” x 26” SGD168
Travel Mat (lightweight and supportive at 3mm-5mm)
FUZZY FLEX Eco Flex Yoga Mat 5mm/1.76lbs 68” x 24" SGD49.90
MANDUKA Live on Mat 5mm/1.65lbs 71” x 24” SGD88
LULULEMON Reversible Mat 3mm 71” x 26” SGD98
JADE YOGA Travel Mat 3mm/3lbs, 68” x 24” SGD98-SGD106
Where to find them
COTTON ON Stores Singapore
LULULEMON Stores Singapore
JADE YOGA (touchthetoes.com ; Tirisula / Yoga Fixe)
MANDUKA ( touchthetoes.com, Key Sports at Novena Square and various other stores)
REEBOK (from fitness stores and online on lazada.sg)
FUZZY FLEX (Online - from fuzzyflex.com ; lazada.sg)
Is the mat you’re using currently is the best one ever and that you’d absolutely recommend, which could be on this list ? Write in the comments below and tell us your favourite and why.