One of my favorite yoga instructors, Scott Harig who teaches at Pure Yoga, told me that if I wanted to be “hardcore,” the yoga mat to get is the Manduka Black Mat PRO ($94 and up depending on the color). Why exactly does it make you hardcore I asked? “Because it’s heavy,” he said. Heavy it is at seven pounds! But it is well worth it.
I won’t be bringing the mat with me to Pure Yoga because I’d probably hurt my back in the process and the studio actually provides very good mats, but I’ve been doing some private lessons for my hip and have been practicing at home and for that this mat is perfect. You can’t really compare this mat-in-Germany mat that comes with a lifetime guarantee with any other. It has a thick cushion and non-slip bottom so it works even for hot yoga (though if you sweat a lot they also carry super absorbent towels), and it’s incredibly sturdy which is crucial when attempting new poses. The thing that I was most surprised about however is what a difference this mat makes for my back, knees, and elbows. The combination of cushioning and sturdiness is truly uniquely remarkable. Better yet the mat doesn’t get gross and sticky even if you sweat all over it.