Finding the right yoga mat can be such a challenge for both new and existing yoga practitioners. The market is saturated with every style of mat imaginable; eco, patterned, round, travel, cushioned, hot yoga mats, cold yoga mats, yoga mats that mop your brow after class (I wish!).
So, how do we find the one that’s right for us?
Once you have been practicing yoga for as long as I have (trying not to age myself but it’s been over ten years), you will have tried every style of yoga mat possible, and you will come to know what you like and what you don’t.
Generally you want something that is durable, can take a lot of sweat, is easy to take from class to class, kind to the planet and, most importantly, is not slippy!
In all the years I’ve been practicing I have never had a mat that didn’t need ‘breaking in‘. Meaning many slippy yoga practices before my mat finds its grip.
That is, until now.
I was recently sent a new style of yoga mat, this time made of cork! I have to admit I was sceptical at first. Was this a marketing gimmick? How can one safely practice yoga on something that keeps wine fresh?
Oh how wrong my sceptical self was. When I unwrapped the packaging and peeled out the beautifully smooth, stylishly branded cork yoga mat (that comes with a carry strap!) I thought ‘hmm I kinda like this’.
Then I stepped on it. I placed my yoga feet on my new yoga mat and I took a big yoga breath. And it felt good. From my head, all the way down to my yoga soles it felt good.
I lifted my arms and exhaled as I placed my hands onto the smooth cork. And they stayed there, exactly where I had placed them. They didn’t slide forwards or backwards.
So I stepped my feet back, gently, just in case.
Ardo Mukha Svanasana. I’m in downward facing dog and my hands are still in that same position. This is definitely the time when the feet begin to slide. It’s a brand new yoga mat, this is always when the feet begin to slide.
So I waited.
And they didn’t move.
So I took a breath. Then another. Then three more.
Five big breaths is downward facing dog with my hands and feet firmly gripped into this cork yoga mat. Still.
I got through a full practice on the Cork Space yoga mat with no slips and no slides. I felt rooted in my standing sequence and supported in my seated sequence. It was beautiful, both the practice and the yoga mat.
The Cork Space yoga mat is eco friendly and made from sustainable cork and naturally sourced rubber. It’s not just good for you but for the planet too!
You can find out more about this wonderful mat here: YOGA SPACE