One of the best ways to keep me centered in my crazy travel-filled life is yoga. When I am home, I practice 3-4 times a week. On the road, however, it’s a little trickier. Finding time and a space to practice in is always a challenge. For a few years I would use a hotel towel, which I do NOT recommend. Then I started traveling with a yoga towel, which, while better, still did not offer the yoga experience I was looking for. I decided I needed to bite the bullet and invest in a travel mat. I had some concerns though–will a mat really fit in my suitcase? Will it make my clothes smell like rubber? I started to do some research to find out what my options were.
During my search, Manduka sent me their eKO SuperLite travel yoga mat to try. I really like the company–they are very eco-centric, have high quality products, and are highly regarded in yoga circles. The eKO SuperLite mat is made of biodegradable natural rubber and weighs less than two pounds. They promise it won’t flake or fade, and it comes in three colors.
What I love about it:
- Grip. This thing will grip any surface you put it on, including wood, carpet, concrete, and other yoga mats. My hands and feet did not slip at all, which is crucial during sequences.
- Size. It is a full length yoga mat, so I can practice on it the same way I would with any other mat.
- Packability. It is pretty thin, and will fold up very small. It easily fits in my rollaboard suitcase, and when I pull it out it doesn’t have any irritating creases.
- Smell. Or lack of smell. So many natural yoga mats have, shall we say, an interesting smell to them. While the Manduka mat smelled like rubber when I first opened it, the smell went away within a day.
- Color. I really like the “acai” color, which is a sort of plum.
The one caveat: because it is a travel mat, that means it is thin. When I tried using it by itself in a class, I quickly discovered that I preferred to have a normal mat underneath it. While traveling, I use it on carpet and it works great.
Overall, I would highly recommend this mat to anyone who travels regularly and practices yoga. It fits well in my suitcase, and no it does not make my clothes smell. I actually use it during my regular practice over my old mat, because I like the grip so much. My mother has also used it and had a great experience with it. It’s well priced, at only $36 on the Manduka website, and comes in Acai (purple), Lava (black), and Moss (green). Love!