Do you take your yoga mat with you when you travel or not? This is an important question for the serious traveling yogi. With so many options out there for yoga mats you now have choices in order to bring along this most vital yoga prop whether you are a minimalist traveler or love to travel with all the comforts of home.
Although I am trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle, I do have two yoga mats. I have my thin foldable, travel yoga mat to save space in my suitcase or backpack and I have my sturdy, thick yoga mat for practicing yoga on rougher outdoor terraine or for longer periods of practice.
The Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat is the best selling, top rated mat for a good reason. Aside from the high quality, this thick yoga mat is perfect for practicing on rocky beaches and forested areas. I know this yoga mat is on the high end of the price range, but for me my mat is not a luxury, I practice yoga daily in many different places, so I consider it to be a worth while investment in my overall wellness. Plus the Manduka Pro Mat has a lifetime warrenty! This is also the perfect mat going on retreats and yoga teacher trainings. There have been a few times I have ended up with not much else to sleep on, not to mention how many hours I end up sitting, eating and practicing on it while on retreat!
I also have the bought the Jade Harmony Professional 68-Inch x 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat. This is my favorite for home, the studio and for long trips. It has a wonderful no slip grip and it is thin enough to fold up and put inside my suitcase or carry on (sometimes you may find yourself with enough time for preflight yoga in the airport!). PLUS it is environmentally friendly since it is made with natural rubber, a renewable resource tapped from rubber trees, so this yoga mat contains no PVC or ozone-depleting substances.
Both of my yoga mats are black. It’s not very exciting, but I found that having black left me free from visual distractions and limits the visual stains that naturally occur from regular use and the staining that happens when you like to practice in the sand, mud and sometimes on the streets and sidewalks!
I used to buy yoga mats that had a ton of color and a beautiful design. On some level I realized that this wasn’t as much for me as it was for the unspoken “yoga mat competition” going on at the yoga studios. Who had the coolest, best, most beautiful yoga mat? Why I did of course! So now I take my, reliable black yoga mat into the studio, without the ego attachment to it! It is amazing the things that we do, even related to our yoga practice, that are full of of ways to seem “better” than the person next to us. Of course if you want to buy a beautiful yoga mat for yourself, I certainly see no harm in that!
I still find that when traveling it is helpful to have some options for the transport and care of the mat. Even though I often fold my mat in my suitcase or backpack for checkin at the airport, there are times when I want to keep my mat with me for some airport yoga during long wait times. There are also times when I am going on retreat or know that I will be moving around with my mat during my vacation so I will often bring my yoga mat carrying straps (with attached carrying pouch=awesome!) and/or yoga mat bag. And though I am no longer concerned about how my yoga mat looks to other people, I do care about how it SMELLS so I keep a very small bottle of yoga mat cleaner handy.
Whether you decide to have one yoga mat or more there are so many incredible options out there in varying price ranges. Though there are certainly many wonderful yoga mats available, do not feel that you need need to limit yourself to those options. Take the time to do some research, read some reviews, think about your needs and then choose what is right for you. There are so many types of yoga mats out there, that you will surely find the perfect yoga mat for your needs.
The BEST thick yoga mat for traveling (and anytime!):
Manduka BlackMatPRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat
The BEST thin yoga mat for traveling (and anytime!):
Jade Harmony Professional 68-Inch x 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat
Go to the Yoga of Travel store to check out other top rated yoga mats for travel!
How to Clean Your Yoga Mat at Home and On the Go
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