One of the most important relationships in yoga is the one you have with your mat. When you first begin your practice it may take some time as you try out different brands, grips and a myriad of other options but eventually your search ends and you find THE ONE. For us at Karma Lifestyle it’s the eco-friendly Manduka eKO Mat.
There are so many reasons that we love the Manduka eKO mat but let’s start at the beginning. Manduka was founded in 1997 by Peter Sterios who was an architect turned yogi that believed in the simple idea that a yoga mat could make a world of difference. He choose the name Manduka in homage to his mentor whose practice and teachings always included the Mandukasana or frog pose. Which is quite ironic that Francesca loves this mat so much as Frog pose is not a pose she enjoys doing, but yes she does do it and teach it nonetheless! Having been inspired by all of the teachers he met on his yoga journey he created a unique mat and sent it to all of them as a thank you. The teachers in turn shared the mats with their students, and with the success of the mat a company was created that was rooted in the unique relationship that yogis have with their mats.
There are numerous technical aspects that make the Manduka eKO mat so unique but perhaps the most important one is the closed-cell construction. It has a slip-resistant rippled texture which provides amazing grip, unparalleled when compared to other mats. Additionally the hygienic barrier prevents dirt and sweat from settling in while delivering dense support and offering an optimal performance surface that allows easy flow and movement between poses. The eKO mat has two layers which makes it the most comfortable and durable mat on the market. The top layer is imprinted with a slip resistant pattern and the bottom layer provides lightweight cushioning, is good on any surface and assists in recovery.
But maybe the most importance feature of the Manduka eKO mat is that it is eco-friendly. It is made from biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber and no toxic chemicals go into the manufacturing process to make the rubber spongy. This means that there is no toxic residue left behind when the mat is disposed of. One often heard critique of the mat is that has a strong scent especially when it is new. This is because we are so accustomed to chemical smells that we are unfamiliar with the natural rubber scent. When your mat is unrolled after purchasing and wiped down with a yoga mat spray after practice, the “smell” ceases to be an issue.
Mandukas commitment to quality and performance creating mats crafted from natural and renewable materials make the eKO mat worth the investment. Its available in a variety of colours truly is the most comfortable mat regardless of your type of practice. The attention to detail that was developed by and for yoga teachers and students makes this the mat that stole our heart, and will forever be the one.