Most helpful critical review
543 of 612 people found the following review helpful
Somewhat dangerous at first (but check out my update)
on April 17, 2008
I am a daily yoga practitioner who purchased two of these mats in different colors. I was looking for a bargain, and I was encouraged by the high customer ratings. I am very disappointed. First of all, Yoga Accessories did not send me the items until 3+ weeks after I had ordered them. I had to write two e-mails to them. I received replies that they were sorry, they had been meaning to write me and tell me that the colors I had wanted were out of stock and did I want to select other colors. Then, when I did that and finally received the mats, they had a sharp, unpleasant chemical odor that has failed to disappear even after many days of use. This is bothersome during yoga, and I have to light several scented candles and incense sticks to mask the odor.
Perhaps WORST of all, the mats are not sufficiently sticky to hold asanas. For example, my hands slide 1 mm per second in correct Downward Facing Dog pose. It should be noted that I do not have sweaty hands and never have. This is very frustrating because this slippery mat basically defeats the purpose of what it was created for: proper positioning and hold of yoga poses. I have not had this problem with other mats for which I have paid slightly more money.
The only advertising that is true is that the mat is, indeed, slightly thicker than other mats I have owned. But that really doesn't make much of a difference if one cannot hold a pose on the mat.
Despite my correct usage and storage of it, I absolutely do not recommend this product. Find a better quality yoga mat if you need the mat for actual yoga. This one might be appropriate only for other sports like aerobics or jumping rope. I almost hurt myself slipping out of a pose on this mat.
------------------------------- FOLLOW UP REVIEW AUGUST 18, 2014 ------------------------------------------------
Wow, I wrote that review over six years ago! This may be one of the longest time periods on Amazon for a follow up to my review, but I would like to point out that I still own this mat, use it doubled up with another mat, and aside from fraying at the hand and feet points (signs of a well-used mat), it is still operational. It is thin compared to other mats (around half the thickness) and no longer slippery -- that aspect disappeared after around 30 uses. Initially, I dealt with it by using this mat underneath another yoga mat. I like the extra cushioning anyway. That's what I do when I use it for yoga. I also use this mat during strength training because it is essential for maintaining traction when doing weighted lunges, otherwise my athletic shoes slide on our hardwood floors.
I started washing yoga mats after purchasing others following this particular product. Sometimes it helped; sometimes it didn't. I have a high efficiency washer and a four 25-foot lines of clothesline (we're in the country), so that made the process easier. For others, washing may be too onerous a task because mats wash more uniformly in an HE washer versus a traditional one. Also, not everyone has the space or ability to hang their mats outside.
I'd like to thank everyone for their comments because, though we yogis have many things in common, no two people are exactly alike in terms of preferences, hand positions, weight, skin textures, sebaceous oil production, and all the other myriad factors that influence the slipperiness/tackiness of a yoga mat. For this reason, the more input there is on a product, the better a consumer can make an informed, correct choice for herself/himself.
Thus, I upgrade my rating on the condition that users wash this mat once before using and twice or thrice if they are allergic to toxins (and who isn't?). Due to the fact that I have not needed to wash other yoga mats and could use them right after purchase, and for this mat's thinness compared to other mats, this mat gets three and a half stars. It certainly has staying power, and it has been a friend through many yoga, weight, and stretching sessions.