Now, don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with a $12.99 yoga stick mat. I love mine. It got me to where I am today. But I tried out Robin's Jade yoga mat a few times, and I instantly felt the difference.
First of all, it's natural rubber, so the surface is entirely different. My entry-level mat was sticky, but also got kind of slick when my feet and hands would start to sweat in class, and even though it made it easy to kind of slip back and forth during Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara), I'm ready for more of a challenge.
Second of all, when I stood on that mat and tried some of my balancing poses, the thicker mat made balancing more of a challenge. I also noticed that in my standing poses like extended side angle stretch or extended triangle, it was way easier to get lighter in the poses. Picking up my toes was always a challenge on the entry-level mat, but on this Jade yoga mat, I felt strong and comfortable and light. A huge difference!
I couldn't bring myself to pop for the 74-inch Jade Fusion mat, because at $117, it just seemed like too much of an extravagance right now. (After all, we're trying to set aside money for Colden's school tuition in the fall, and I've got four big beading trips between now and the end of October.) Instead, I opted for the $75 Jade Harmony in Tibetan Orange, and thanks to Amazon Prime, got next-day shipping for just $4. I looked at it as buying a Mercedes instead of the Rolls Royce. I also figured that if I loved it and it held up to my daily or twice-daily practice, then next year, or maybe for Christmas, I'll get the Fusion.
I haven't been this eager for a delivery from the UPS lady in a very long time!
When the mat arrived, I noticed that true to the reviews, it was significantly heavier than my entry-level mat. There was a slight odor to it, because it was natural rubber, but I quickly tore off the wrapping and unfurled it on the back porch for an impromptu Sun Salutation.
Well, wow. The Sun Salutations were light, airy, and felt so very different! I felt as though I was aware of every single little muscle in my body as I practiced. Because I was lighter in the toes, I noticed what was happening in my neck, my back, my arms, my fingers!
And then I rolled it up.
|Look really hard - you can see the dog fur.|
Including all. over. the. mat.
In some ways, the Jade Harmony mat is a lot stickier than my other sticky mat, because, well, it just picked dog hair up off the carpet like nobody's business. And it really gripped it, too. I mean, this mat just wants to hold on to this dog hair like nothing else I've ever seen!
So tonight, I guess I get the fun of washing my mat for the first time.
And obviously, we need to start vacuuming more often.
Oh, and the other thing I love about the Jade yoga mats? For every mat you buy, they plant a tree. Seems like another good excuse to upgrade in a few months if I like this one.
Initial impressions of this yoga mat: it is indeed going to change my entire practice, and I can hardly wait to give it a more thorough testing in the next few days and weeks. Some of the reviews on Amazon talked about the mat falling apart after some intense use, so we'll see if mine holds up.