Yoga mats for travel

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And I’m pleased to announce the winner of the perfect travel mat award is…

I’m off next week for a month.  I’m hoping to maintain some sort of yoga practice whilst I’m away.  One of the Thai massage courses I’m doing with the Sunshine Network in the Lahu village has some yoga taught alongside.

I often travel with just an equa mat towel.  It’s useful on the plane overnight and in a carpeted hotel room it’s pretty much all I need to practice.  Not so good on a hard slippery floor though.  So for a change I thought I’d take a yoga mat.

Ruth White - Oeko-tex.  Good

Ruth White – Oeko-tex. Good

My first yoga mat was a Classic Oeko-tex from Ruth White Yoga Products.  It worked, but after a couple of years started to degrade and left an embarrassing trail of little blue bits behind me at each class.

Ruth White - not sure but it's Excellent

Ruth White – not sure but it’s Excellent

I ordered another one but what came was different.  I very soon realised that although it was labelled the same it was clearly a far superior product.  This is the mat that I’ve used ever since.  It has not degraded at all in five or so years I’ve had it and it has an excellent non-slip texture.  I ordered another so that I would have one to use on the patio in the summer that I didn’t mind getting dirty, but what came was the same as the first mat.

These mats are a bit bulky for travel though.  The Freestyle Yoga Project, where I practice once a week has some thin (2mm-ish) mats from The Yoga Shop.  But as you can see I have a thing about my mats being blue, and although they had some for sale they didn’t have any blue ones.  Mark told me where they came from and I had a look at the site and decided instead to order the Pro Lite Travel.

The Yoga Shop - ProLite - Useless

The Yoga Shop – ProLite – Useless

It arrived the following day (how do they do that?) so I took it to class to practice.  It has a sealed surface covered in raised circles.  Immediately I could feel my feet sweating against it.  Within 15 minutes I was sliding all over the place. I threw it to one side and got one of the house mats from the rack.

The Yoga Shop, via Freestyle Yoga Project - perfect for travel

The Yoga Shop, via Freestyle Yoga Project – perfect for travel

Fortunately the studio had some more mats for sale this week – I think they are these – and they had the blue ones in.    I picked one up and last night I practised with it.  Just perfect.  So that’s the one for me.  Just a shame I wasted time and money on a more expensive, inferior product.

OK, I’ll admit that choice of mat is a very personal thing.  Goldilocks syndrome: it has to be just right.  That way it stays out of your mind and you get on with your practice.  Here it is, ready to go in a lovely mat bag made for me by my friend A. from recycled fabrics.

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