When I first started practicing Bikram yoga in 2013 I used a gaiam mat that I’d been using for my hatha yoga classes. I’d place a regular beach towel on top. I think I did that for several months before realizing I needed to invest in my practice with a better mat. After some research I settled on a manduka mat, which cost $78. Manduka mats are more dense than their less expensive counterparts, making them less slippery.
The Manduka Pro-lite mat I bought now costs $80: https://www.manduka.com/prolite-mat.html I bought a dark red color because the reviews revealed that the lighter colors could easily be stained.
I knew I’d made a solid investment the first time I stepped on the mat and felt so much more support, but I hadn’t thought about it for awhile until one day, a few weeks ago, I forgot my manduka mat and had my old cheap mat in my car, so I decided to use it. Immediately I felt the difference. My old mat felt soft and squishy and provided almost no support.
I remember going through the whole class thinking I’d never forget my manduka mat again. And I haven’t so far! The mat still supports me after three years of use; I have, however, seen other mats that have been advertised as beneficial for hot yoga and do intend on trying them.
What’s your favorite yoga mat?