Recently a representative from the yoga mat company Manduka got in touch with me about partnering on a product review and giveaway. When it came to selecting a yoga mat to review, I knew immediately which one I wanted to try, the one I’ve heard rave reviews about, and even described as the best yoga mat out there — the Manduka Black Mat PRO.
This particular mat is a best-seller, although Manduka also produces thinner mats, travel mats and various yoga accessories. Many yoga studios sell Manduka products, and they can be purchased online. You can sign up for the Manduka email list on the company’s website to receive a special first-time customer discount on your purchase.
Here’s a little bit more about the Black Mat PRO:
“The legendary Black Mat PRO (formerly known as the Black Mat) is celebrating 15 years as the world’s finest yoga mat. There is a reason the Black Mat PRO inspires such passion in its users – this denser, thick yoga mat has unparalleled comfort and cushioning.”
“With the superior non-slip fabric-like finish you expect from high-performance yoga mats, and simple, elegant design, the Black Mat PRO will revolutionize your practice. And best of all, it now comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. When you want the very best yoga mat, the mat chosen first by yoga teachers throughout the world, there really is only one choice – the Manduka Black Mat PRO, for your practice and for our world.”
Function: The biggest shock for me was this mat weighs a whopping seven pounds! I have to be careful not to knock anyone over when I throw my mat sling over my shoulder. I wouldn’t recommend this size and weight of mat for anyone who is a commuter or wants a travel mat.
However, for those attending regular practice at their local studio — it’s worth lugging along. The mat I selected is 1/4 inch thick, providing extra cushioning for joints. Thinking about my practice long-term the extra thickness is well worth it.
The Black Mat PRO comes in standard and long lengths. I selected standard, which at 71 inches long is still about two inches longer than my previous yoga mat, and a bit wider. Even though I am petite, with the extra space I haven’t found myself wandering from my mat as much as usual.
Quality: Only time will truly tell on how long this yoga mat will last, but with the lifetime guarantee, it’s hard to go wrong. The material feels more than durable to me. It’s comforting to find a mat that is promised to last the lifetime of my practice.
Overall: If you have been practicing yoga consistently for a year or more, I would recommend investing in a high-quality, cushioned mat. My practice has deepened tremendously over the past year and if I had already set my sights on purchasing a Manduka mat prior to this opportunity for review. This mat retails for $94, so it’s something to save up for, but well worth the investment.
The only complication I have experienced is during my hot vinyasa classes I have found the mat to be a bit slippery. Many consumer reviews have mentioned this issue with the mat, however, users and the Manduka company indicate these mats require a “breaking in” period. As an alternative the mat can be rubbed with dry sea salt to season it. I haven’t done this yet, hoping continued practice will give way to a better grip. Another alternative is to cover your mat with a yoga mat towel.