When I first begun yoga, I started with the cheapest mat, RM30.50, which I paid 50 cents only because not only it was 15% discount during the Chinese New Year, I used my free Jusco gift vouchers. As a beginner, that would be the advise--to go with a cheap mat till you really know if you like yoga or not, and later on, you decide whether to continue to invest more into this activity.
I used this cheap mat for 2 years. It is pretty used up till it even have a 50 cents hole on it other than scrapes and lubang.
Why do I need a better yoga mat now?
Simple... the existing has too many pimples. Too embarrassing to show anyone outside. Need to bring it to classes. Okay, aside that...ini lah the real reasons, eventually....hahaha
One, I was all worked up (started around March this year) wanting to do a headstand after seeing someone being able to do that pose so easily. That would be so cool in a photo! So, I'm back in action to achieve that goal of mine 2 years back!
Two, get O2 pumped into my head by toppling myself upside down. I heard this will make you look younger. Sounds good right?
Three, you'll get nice deltoid muscles...particularly the arms and abs by doing this. Looking better, why not?
Kill 3 birds with one stone! Bagus sekali!
What yoga mat I ended up getting?
There are Manduka, Jade Harmony and Lululemon. These are the 3 top and popular good brands.
There are other brand options too such as Gaiam, Hugger Mugger and more, but those 3 mentioned above have higher recommendations.
Since I wanted a good yoga mat, I find that these 5
features are important during my evaluation:
1. Material - natural rubber or PVC / TPE material (these are all eco-friendly)
2. Thickness - 3mm or 4mm or 5mm
3. Weight - 1.2kg or 2kg or 3.2kg
4. Price - ranges from RM100 to RM310
5. Hygiene - open or close-cell (close-cell means it is waterproof and so it is more hygienic)
*I don't need to evaluate the length of the mat since I am not tall. So standard size is sufficient (71"/180cm length)
After researching, asking advises from yogi friends, googling and reading reviews, I narrowed down to these yoga mats:
1. Manduka Prolite
2. Jade Harmony Professional Mat
3. Lululemon The Mat
The champion winner I ended up wanting was Manduka Prolite. It is a lifetime warranty. Overall, eventhough it is not made of natural rubber, which means there are possibility of it being slippery if I get very sweaty, many users still vouch that it is the best mat. Light to carry, good grip and lasts a lifetime - worth it right? Natural rubber is very smelly, but it has very very good grip..then again, it will have scratches or stains after long usage and it doesn't last long, especially if it is under the sunlight more. It is heavier too but weight wasn't the main concern among these 3 mats.
BUT... one big concern...
$#@! Exchange rate USD to MYR is damn high right now. It has reached 3.91 or as high as 3.98 (via credit card). After I calculated with sales tax and using my Amazon $5 cash discount, with 3.9 exchange rate, a Manduka Prolite will costs RM287 a piece. Not that cheap even if I buy it via Amazon. Goyoga online is selling it for MYR310 a piece. Crap... my sports shoes don't even cost near 300 MYR. I was hoping to keep the mat budget at around MYR250.
NEXT!.. the trade off...
Replace it with a different material - TPE! So, next best solution costs MYR130. This would be my temporary mat to use till it makes sense to get the one I want, at reasonable price. My principle--I never condone to simply 'donate' money for item that's considered as over paying. That's just me. Some people call it stingy, but I think this is more of being a smart consumer, which goes along with being economically smart with your purchases. It's not like I cannot do yoga at all if I do not have that particular mat. Makes sense?
So, I ended up buying an eco-friendly yoga mat made of TPE from Kulimkia company that produces eco-friendly yoga mats. I've researched and compared to Qoo10.com.my products and prices as well. One of the yoga centers is selling a good thick yoga mat (sort of like Manduka Pro) for MYR200 a piece, but it is like 3 -3.2kg! At the end, buying via Lazada website using its app is the cheapest option, with MYR30 discount (good timing because they want us to download and use its app). So, instead of paying MYR159.90 a piece, I paid MYR129.90. Only purple mat is available. That's A-Ok with me. Superb! I purchased it.
|The new mat is much more dense and surface is|
more grippy comparing with the old mat.
It weighs 1.2kg, 6mm thick, 183cm long & not smelly!