New mat, new adventure…Manduka’s eKO Superlight

I bought a new mat.

Let me make this clear. I’m not replacing my beautiful lovely mat from Manduka. (Goodness these folks can make a mat!)

I purchased a lightweight eKO Superlight mat because…

I’m traveling soon!

Continuing my yoga practice while I’m gone is important to me. Since I just restarted my practice, I don’t want to take a pause while I’m out in New Mexico for a week. (Writing workshop).

So I broke down and purchased this orange-y mat.


Breaking in the new mat


This mat can be folded and put in a suitcase. So you’ll be able to practice when you travel.

I’d been eyeing this mat for a very long time. In fact, I’ve been eyeing the eKO when I first was looking for a mat. Manduka makes an amazing mat. They are sturdy, made with amazing stuff and the PRO series (my lovely purple mat) is under a lifetime guarantee.  So I went back to Manduka for a travel mat.

I don’t really want to do a mat review because, well, I’ve only had these and then the ones from Target. I am no mat expert, I can tell you that! But I do want to talk a bit about it.

First of all, it’s super thin about 1.5 mm thick. It’s almost a sheet of paper. However, the grip was surprising! I broke in the mat with a nighttime home practice. I can’t wait to do a heavier vinyasa on it. The company recommends using this mat on top of another mat. That’s what I did (as you can see in the above picture). I placed it on top of my regular ProLite mat and that was a perfect cushion.

Talking about cushioning, if you suffer from knee problems or are sensitive about your knees during practice, you will HAVE TO use another mat under it. However, if you aren’t sensitive, I can see how this would be all the mat you need while traveling.  Now, I don’t have carpet in my home so I can’t tell you personally how it the mat feels with carpet, however, I can imagine in a hotel room it would do fine.

Let’s get back to the grip of this because, besides the ability to fold it, it’s my favorite feature. You are not going ANYWHERE on this mat. I dare say that it’s got a better grip than my PROlite. That makes me wonder what this mat and others in this line are like in a heated vinyasa practice. Because it has such a good grip, it feels darn sturdy.

Now, let’s talk about some negatives. The smell. I’m not one who smells mats after they’ve been delivered but I know enough that you may want to air them out before a practice. Mine was laying flat for two days and in child’s pose, I could still smell the rubbery smell. I’m not worried that the smell exist as my ProLite had the same smell when it was delivered but I am worried about whether it will make the rest of my clothes smell that way when I pack it. Fortunately not only do I have a couple of weeks left until my trip but I also intend on doing more practicing before I go.  Between that and mat cleaner, I think the smell with die down.

Another negative — it’s so thin it moves! Yes, the grip on top is great but while I was doing a night home practice, more breathing than stretching, it didn’t stay flat. I was worried about that. I’ll report more on this with more practice.

Alright, that’s all I have on this mat. More yoga stuff soon guys!

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