Monday, January 13, 2014

Manduka eKO Yoga Mat Review for Sweaty Feet

When I was a kid and it was time for Christmas wish lists I was notorious for detailed instructions. I provided envelopes to each family member that included clippings from newspaper ads. Working in marketing now I see that I was an advertisers dream come true. I was damn fortunate to have such an obliging family. 

Now it's not so cute or funny to provide such lists. Also, I need practical things. Like a $100 yoga mat from Manduka. 

I know. It's outrageous.

It was the only item on my list though... OK and my expensive Vitamin C daily moisturizer by Murad (it's amazing). I urged my family that if they felt inclined to provide anything else it must be either practical (toilet paper) or cash (no Starbucks gift cards). I would like to trade the rolling pin I got for some Windex. Oh well. You can't have it all.

After years of yoga and four mats that merely get the job done I have graduated to a mat that will hopefully last me a lifetime.

The Details

eKO Mat 71"
Color: "Swoon 2-tone" no longer available online.
The color is bright and I adore it. 

Let's take a moment.

Can you sweat on it?

Yes. A thousand times yes.

Will I slip on it?

Not nearly as much as a regular mat you might pick up at Target. I would still recommend bringing a towel to class.

I normally always use a towel on my mat. The other day in hot yoga with sweat pouring, my feet little rivers of sweat, I pulled the towel back and put my foot directly to the mat. I did not slip or slide at all. Warrior II, no problem. Crescent lunge, I got this.

It was an awesome experience to feel the mat during standing poses. The tactile sensation of my yoga mat gripping to my moves was so satisfying. eKO and I had a moment. 

Doing a down dog was another issue though. My hands no longer sweat but my hands still get damp from my arms and the condensation in the room. I began to slide a little bit to the point where I had to pull the towel forward.

At the end of the day you still need a towel. But, you can pull the towel back and have the exhilarating feeling of not slipping during certain poses. 

Crescent lunge and this lady is not slipping!
By the redness of my feet you know they were sweaty little dogs.

Things you should know:
1) It smells. I opened the packaging and it smelled like manure. Yes, that means it smelled like shit. The rubber is just potent. I urge Manduka to give their mats a good wash before putting them on the market. I've aired the mat out for a few weeks now and it still reeks. It's a little distracting during savasana.

2) It's heavy. I'm fine with that but don't plan on traveling with this mat.

Should I buy this mat?
If you are a seasoned yogi and looking to treat yourself then absolutely you should buy this mat. If you are just getting into yoga and you want to see if it's for you then I don't recommend. Also, if you're a yogi on-the-go you might want to consider one of their lighter mats.

What other products can help my yoga experience?
Did I mention that I am not being paid to write this? Because I'm not. I'm a Manduka fan gal. 
If you have some money to throw around, I also love Manduka's towels. They're similar to towels you can take camping or a thin ShamWow. If you don't want to splurge find a low ply towel. Not your fancy fluffy towels. You want something you can easily move on. A beach towel is your best bet. I personally also hate a towel that is too soft, the texture on my sweaty feet makes me squirm.