One of the key things to having a great yoga practice, is having the right mat. As the practice of yoga continues to expand in the Western World, there are abundant mat styles and colors available from various companies.
However, it is important to know that not all mats are created equal and to be aware of your personal preferences and needs, before picking the right mat.
In this review, I want to share with you my experience with, and introduce those of you who may not have heard before of Jade – The Maker of Nature’s Best Yoga Mats.
When I first started my yoga practice, I did not want to invest a lot of money in my mat. I made the assumption that so many people make – it is just a mat, how special can it be. Well as my yoga practice progressed, I have come to learn that it is not just a mat. However, I do still respect that many people starting out may not want to invest a lot in a mat, especially if they are not going to keep up with the practice.
My first mat was a typical PVC mat that I think I paid just under $20 for. At first it seemed fine and I thought nothing of it. However, I saw many people in the yoga studio I attended with Jade mats, and since the studio also sold them, I began to inquire about what makes these more special. I did know the price was 3 to 4 times as much, as a typical PVC mat.
Jade states that they are the maker of nature’s best yoga mats for a reason – the mats are made of natural rubber, and not synthetic substances. This provides a more comfortable and non-slip mat surface. To add to this, it makes the mats environmentally or eco-friendly.
For those who truly love and live the yoga paradigms, I would imagine that being environmentally friendly would be a big priority in all areas of one’s life.
The mats are also not made in China but in the US, which is a big plus as far as I am concerned for economical, ethical, quality and environmental reasons.
JadeYoga offers 5 types of their mats. The most popular one and the one that I bought is the Harmony Professional. This mat is a typical 3/16 inches thick, 24 inches wide and 68 or 74 inches long.
There is also a Harmony XW, which has all the same specifications as above, but is 3 inches wider – 27 inches wide.
There is a Travel Mat available and it is 1/8 inches thick, and also comes in 68 or 74 inch lengths.
There is the Fusion mat, which comes in an extra thickness being 5/16 inches thick (same width and lengths as above.)
And finally there is an even more environmentally friendly option, the Encore Mat, which has same specs as the Harmony mat but is made of recycled natural rubber.
All of the mats, aside from the Encore come in a variety of colors to choose from. I got the Slate Blue, and I got the Midnight Blue for my husband (as seen in photo above).
In terms of performance, the difference I have to honestly say was incredible for yoga practice. I used to hear about this “amazing grip” quality of these mats, but did not understand it until I tried the mat. It is fantastic, especially that 90% of the yoga I did was hot Moksha yoga, where the presence of sweat really, really makes you appreciate the amazing grip one can have on it with their hands and feet.
My old PVC mat started to “flake” pieces of it after about 4 months of use, roughly 3 times per week. I do not forsee that happening with this mat, as quality and durability is something too that this company stands by, but of course is also a natural quality of rubber.
The few downsides to consider with this mat are one, the intense rubber smell when the mat is new. I got mine over a month ago and the intense smell is still there like it was new, even after some washing. I am assuming the smell will decrease at least a bit over time. So putting one’s face to the mat is not pleasant, but nothing that cannot be alleviated by putting a towel on it. To be fair, the PVC mats have a very strong chemical smell, which I am sure health wise is way worse. I could not be near the PVC mat before airing and washing it well several times before use.
Secondly, the mat is heavier than a typical PVC mat. However for travel they do make the lighter, travel size one for easier transport.
Will this mat be for everyone? Probably not, as we all have our own unique likes and preferences, but for me it is a keeper. I love what the company stands for and how they approach all environmental and sustainability issues. They even have a reuse/recycle program for old mats. I love the performance aspect of it, the grip, and great comfort that it offers with each yoga practice. And of course the environmental, sustainable and economical benefits are a great and much necessary component as we all start to become more conscious of our natural resources and value of local economies.
To top off the great qualities of this mat, for every one bought, JadeYoga plants a tree!
- Natural Rubber (May contain trace amounts of latex proteins)
The mats simply come rolled up with a recycled paper label holding it together in the middle with mat information.
Price (as of this posting)
- $40 -$100 CAD/US per mat depending on which mat variety and size, and where it is purchased from
- Available from Amazon.com
- Widely available at various local yoga studios, sports stores and yoga specialty stores
- Directly from JadeYoga online
- From Amazon.com
- Yoga.com has an online store but site seems very slow
- All natural
- Excellent no-slip grip
- Great cushioning/comfort
- Great durability
- Widely and easily available
- Made in US
- Has strong rubber smell
- Heavier than PVC mats
- Can be considered pricy