Yoga Mats can be a sticky proposition. Each person has different likes and dislikes. But the basics are weight, size and compatibility, not different from finding the ultimate partner. If you carry your yoga mat with you you want something light and foldable. If you leave your mat at the studio, weight is not an issue and I would go for Jade Harmony or Manduka Pro. In any case it is key to have a mat that suits you. Have a look below. If you find one you like click the link and it takes you right through to purchase.
You know what? Today when I was practicing I remembered when I worked in Thailand, where most people are hyper flexible, mostly hyperextended, weirdly hyper extended and dont have any strength. I remembered telling them that the best mat for them is not a grippy one, because they push into their hyper extensions and they get these joints that are bent in the opposite direction, mostly knees and elbows. For people who are hyperextended with not much strength a grippy mat will make you worse. The goal, as far as I am concerned is a nice balance between strength and flexibility, a body that is built for the long haul.
So here it is - tight muscles - grippy mat - Jade or Manduka
hyperextended joints with not much strength - a non grippy mat. Go for the Prana mat.
1. Jade Harmony Pro $79.95
Jade Yoga mats are by far the best in my opinion. In 2001 I opened a yoga studio in Doylestown PA USA and Jade was just getting started. They sent me 2 free mats to try them out. I was blown away. Up until then I was a hard core prAna Yoga Mat fan. I jumped ship very quickly. Jade Harmony Pro mats are heavy at 6lbs but when I really want to "throw down" a practice, it is my choice.
Jade Harmony Pro
2. Manduka eKO 4mm lite
Manduka eKO light 4mm $59.95
Manduka eKO light Yoga mats are lightweight and durable. They have good Grip, even when your hands get sweaty. This mat is so light you don't even know you are carrying it. It has decent grip but tends to buckle when doing a heavy practice. I recommend it for beginners and intermediate practitioners.
3. Manduka Pro 71 inches $98.00
Manduka yoga mats are the king of the hill, and the price tag confirms that they think so too. The Black Mat Pro is a whopping $108. This mat is quite heavy weighing in at 7 lbs. My opinion is that as much as I dont like carrying a heavy mat, I Love to practice on them. You can really press into down dog and jump backs are a breeze with no slip. Some people complain that the high level of "no-slip" makes for quite a tight up dog but I really like the feeling of pushing into the back bend. also in Urdvadhanurasana a super sticky mat helps increase the back bend and open the hips, just saying.
The Rolls Royce of Yoga Mats
4. prAna Eco Large Mat
prana mat $33.59
Prana is always a good choice as the price is not a wallet bender. This is a good beginner mat that isn't heavy and is friendly to the environment.
5. Prana Yoga Mat $47.95
Prana Yoga has been in the game for 30 years. They are stand up company that stands by their products. Prana is based in California where the Yoga craze has been happening for 50 years. Prana Yoga's mats are tried and true and made from recycled material. Good Grip and light weight.