Yoga is one of the best exercises one can ever do to improve overall health. Contrary to what people think about it, yoga strengthens muscles while appearing to be a simple stretching session. I must admit, I wasn’t convinced until I tried it. That said, I wanted to get a good yoga mat because most mats I used were so slippery when I started sweating, and I almost got into an accident.
The Manduka yoga mat was one of the brands that came highly recommended. Although I do not have any excessive sweating condition, I tend to have very sweaty hands and feet when I workout so regular yoga mats (that claimed they were non-slip) didn’t really work for me.
I must tell you, no amount of sweat-wicking tank tops will stop you from sweating buckets while practicing yoga. I can speak from experience here because I used yoga to shed off a lot of the extra weight I had gained in the holidays. I want to share more about the Manduka mat and why it was one of the best purchases I made almost four years ago.
Interested in knowing more but have no time to read? Click here to learn about my friend’s story and why we write these articles.
History of Yoga Mats
In this article, you will know more about the history of the Manduka brand, why their mats are eco-friendly, and what I like and don’t like about the mat. Stay tuned because you will most likely love this brand as much as I do.
While many of us think that yoga mats have existed since forever, it is not the case at all. Actually, mats are a recent invention and tool used for yoga. Hundreds of years ago, they didn’t have these natural rubber mats at all. Imagine how hard it was during their time, right?
Scientists and historians argue about how old yoga really is. The oldest book where yoga was mentioned is the Rig Veda, which makes yoga really old at 5,000 years. But Indian historians argue that the existence of yoga has been far longer than that and the documentation of the ancient Indian teachers were on fragile palm leaves which disintegrates fast, leaving no record.
Yoga wasn’t really about the poses, yoga was originally like a school of thought, where teachers and seers called Rishis talked about divinity and spirituality through different spiritual texts, making their students sit for long hours. For awhile that was the norm, until some yoga masters realized that sitting for hours without any physical activity harmed the body.
One yoga master and known Indian sage named Patanjali developed a systematic way in which students can live a proper way of life which he believed was the true essence of yoga. He called it the “eight-limbed path” which includes abstinence, observance, yoga postures, breath control, withdrawal of senses, concentration, meditation, and enlightenment.
If you notice, he included yoga postures or asanas as part of the path to total enlightenment because these yoga postures were designed to strengthen the body and the mind for meditation and for long hours of sitting down. Some yoga poses like the tree pose aren’t really intended for flexible people. It actually trains your mind to focus on one point so you’ll be able to maintain your balance for a long period of time.
When these asanas were invented and yoga started becoming a mix of literature and postures. Many yogis started practicing on woven grass or even animal skin. These weren’t the best materials because the woven grass would get ripped easily and the animal skins were not only hard to find, but also hard to make into mats.
When yoga started to gain popularity in the West, people started using woven cotton or different fabrics to cover the ground where they practice. Yoga can be very demanding physically and mats those days were made to catch the sweat during practice and provided no protection when practicing inversions (upside-down poses like headstands or handstands).
Slowly people wondered what they could do to make practicing yoga less risky for extreme poses. One yoga teacher used carpet underlay for this as an experiment and discovered it was a good mat to practice on. The problem was that this “mat” would disintegrate fast and soon was replaced with a sturdier mat.
PVC mats became so popular in the ’80s and the ’90s but people stopped buying them after learning how these mats affect the environment. More and more companies did their best to make more natural mats and one of those brands is Manduka. Read more below to learn about Manduka as a brand.
What is Manduka?
Manduka Mats were started as an idea back in 1997 when Peter Sterios, a yogi who also happened to be an architect, had problems with the yoga mats in the market. At that time, yoga was rapidly spreading in the United states, and many mat brands started their own mat designs, but they were either not sturdy enough or they were not eco-friendly, which was also a big problem for Sterios.
He then thought that instead of complaining, he could probably design a yoga mat that would work better under very sweaty conditions and one that did not harm the planet at all. It all seemed like an impossible task, but he focused and worked with an amazing team to launch the first-ever mat in 1998.
Manduka actually comes from a yoga pose called Mandukasana or Frog Pose. Sterios liked the way it was pronounced and then decided to name his company Manduka. One of his inspirations in making these mats were different yoga teachers from different parts of the world. He admired their dedication to the practice and decided to send them a mat when he launched Manduka.
Later on, these teachers became his first customers because they absolutely love their Manduka mats which soon became popular because their students bought their own mats too. Manduka is still unparalleled in quality and simplicity because it is one of the only mats that are made from sustainable and renewable sources.
Now, Manduka mats are being used and recommended by millions of yoga teachers and students worldwide.
What I Like About The Manduka Pro
The Manduka Pro is their most popular mat to date and this is the mat to get when you’re buying from Manduka. Before we go to why I like this mat, here is a review by Brett Larkin, who I think gives really good yoga mat reviews:
1. It Is Truly Non-Slip
Manduka mats are truly non-slip! Although many people say that their mats are slippery when they sweat on it, I always remind them that unlike other brands, Manduka mats need breaking in, which is a very easy process.
You just need to put your mat under the sun for 2-3 minutes, then rub coarse salt on the mat and wipe it off with a clean cloth. here is a video on how to do it:
2. It Is Durable
Manduka Mats are so sturdy! I bought my mat in 2016 and it still feels like it’s brand new. I have no regrets spending on this mat because it saved me so much money in the long run.
People were already telling me to buy a Manduka when I asked for recommendations but I stubbornly decided to buy other more affordable brands because I didn’t think I needed a mat with a higher price.
Sadly those mats weren’t slip-proof and I almost had accidents because of slipping on my mat. Three cheap mats later, I decided to buy my Manduka Mat (Pro) in midnight blue and it is still the mat I use for my home practice.
3. No Toxic Emissions and Sustainable Materials
Manduka Mats are specially made with natural rubber that they get from a sustainable source and are specially manufactured in Germany. The manufacturing facility is specially designed so there are no toxic emissions released when producing the mats.
I love my Manduka Mat because it was made to have enough cushioning but a sticky grip, plus the fact that it was made with durability in mind so it is definitely worth the spend.
4. Lifetime Warranty
If your yoga mat starts crumbling or gets weird lines, Manduka will replace your mat for free! They don’t care how long you’ve had your mat. They will have it sent back to Germany and send you another mat. It rarely happens though, because I’ve had mine for four years and it doesn’t show signs of wear and tear.
What I Don’t Like About The Manduka Pro
1. You Need To Break It In
You must’ve seen the video above, right? I find it a bit time consuming to break-in my Manduka yoga mat. Compared to other mats, Manduka is the only mat that I know of that needs breaking in.
Although this can be time-consuming, I still think that it’s not that bad considering that you only have to break it in once and you’ll have the mat for a lifetime. I guess sparing at least 30 minutes won’t be too much, don’t you think?
Any Manduka mat is expensive, I’ll be honest with you. It costs double the price of most mats and can be a problem if you’re on a budget. That said, I’d still say go for it. Save up for a mat because you’ll be saving up for a mat you’ll use forever.
I didn’t listen before and ended up buying mats that made me slip of mats that crumble (which cost me lots of money too) when I could’ve listened and ordered my Manduka mat sooner. Believe me and don’t make the same mistake that I did.
The Manduka mat is about 7 lbs! It’s heavier than the store-bought mats you see but that’s because the Manduka is made out of natural rubber and they didn’t use cheap materials at all. The weight of the mat is good because a strong wind can’t blow it away and it helps the mat stay in place during the entire yoga session.
I highly recommend the Manduka Mat (Pro) or any other mats they have because you are assured to have the best mat in terms of comfort and durability. With this brand, you literally have it all. Just don’t forget the initial break-in and you’re all set.
I’d like to thank you for reading my review and I know that I may have given you lots of details on the Manduka mat and why it’s the best mat to purchase for any form of yoga (I literally used mine during a hot yoga class and both me and the mat survived).
If you have any questions regarding yoga and Manduka mats, please leave me a reply in the comments section. Share this review with friends and loved ones by clicking on the social media buttons below because I’m sure they’ll love Manduka too.
Ready to Make a Change Now?
My name is Oscar and I am the founder and director of Stop-Sweating-Now.com and have been researching and writing about hyperhidrosis for many years.
I have been sweating excessively for the better part of my life. I looked for solutions for well over a decade, but I never found anything that lasted.
It all started when I was around 14 years of age, when I suddenly found out that I was sweating more in my armpits than I should. At first I thought it was something that would go away soon, but I was wrong.
I had given up hope and accepted to live the rest of my life being embarrassed with ugly sweat stains in my armpits.
However, after a few years of not searching for any solutions anymore, I gave it another shot. And I found what finally gave me the freedom I had longed for so many years.
After finding a solution to my problem, I decided it was important to shout out my message to those that are suffering from what I had lived with so many years.
My goal is to help people find their freedom from sweating by sharing my expertise because hyperhidrosis is an underdiagnosed condition.
People don’t know that it is a medical term and can be treated effectively.
That is why I am here: Sharing with you what I know, what works and what does not work.
Want to learn more about what I did? Click below!