My Review of the Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat
I went hard into yoga around 3 years ago. I had just left a 9-5 job, was internally freaking out a little, and I knew I wanted to know everything and anything there was to know about yoga. I wanted to be all in. I even wanted to teach someday. So I figured, “Why not now?”
I Jumped Into Everything All at Once
I wouldn’t recommend this for everybody, but I had time to kill (and also time to not ruminate on what my future was going to look like.) So I jumped all in with both feet. If I had more than two feet I would have jumped in with those too. I took all the classes, at all hours of the day. Morning, night, 6am, 9pm, all of it.
Kundlini. Ashtanga. Yin. Restorative. Vinyasa. Hot Yoga. Acro. Aerial. Literally anything new I could try, I went for it.
When I began I didn’t know my savasana from my tadasana, but by the end of a few weeks, I was touching my toes with perfect forward folds, slaying the down dogs, and keeping up with the classes like a pro. (I even taught a few volunteer classes at one point!) And the entire time I was getting my vinyasa on, I knew I needed a partner, a sidekick if you will, that would help me avoid using the studio mats. (Ick.) So somewhere along the away I bumped into my Manduka ProLite yoga mat and we’ve been friends ever since.
Bargain Shopping #ForTheWin
This luxurious mat retails for $82 on the Manduka website, and it’s worth every penny, so I got super lucky when I found mine at a nearby TJMaxx in the clearance bin because it has a printing malfunction on the back. I did some digging and also found one on Amazon for just $70! My actual mat is pictured above and has a metallic blue color. At 4.7 mm thick It has enough cushion to support my feet and hands, but does not give an overly thick profile even though it has a dense weight to it. TJMaxx for the win on this one.
Breaking It In Was Kinda Salty
The only problem I noticed with the mat at first was that I would slip a lil bit. So I invested in some cute yoga towels (I wanted a few anyway for hot yoga classes) which fixed the problem completely, but it was still a minor annoyance. Unbeknownst to me, Manduka mats are known for needing a break-in period with use, as well as sometimes needing a manual break in process with a salt scrub. I’m not opposed to this, but I had no idea yoga mat exfoliation was a thing... But the reason for this it that there may be a film left over from the manufacturing process that can create some slippage during use. Go figure. In the end, what really broke the mat in for me for good was simply continual use… and also accidentally leaving it outside in the rain, and then the hot sun for a few days… (sorry not sorry?) Check out the salt-scrub technique that Manduka recommends here.
Environmentally Friendly and the LiveOn Program
One of my favorite things about these mats are the life span. According to Manduka’s website, these mats are designed to last a lifetime and are made without harmful emissions into the atmosphere, unlike other brands of PVC yoga mats or athletic gear. The hearty life-long design and zero emissions manufacturing process should make any environmentally conscious yogi a little more at peace in their chaturanga. And on that note, if you’re in the market for a new mat, you can take advantage of Manduka's LiveOn program, where old mats are repurposed through the Renewal Workshop and recycled instead of thrown away. Upon checkout, simply opt into the program and they will send you a pre-paid shipping label for you to send your old mat back in, no matter what the brand is.
My Official Yoga Sidekick
Overall, I give this mat a 10 out of 10. It’s officially been a couple years since I first took it home, and I’m happy to say that despite its lengthy break-in process it has served me very well. I love the color, the weight, and the lightly cushioned feel. Once the mat was broken in it officially became my go-to yoga sidekick and I would whole-heartedly recommend it. Namaste!