Breaking Up With MatPosted: April 13, 2011
I finally splurged on a nice mat. I’ve had a steady practice for about six years and had been using a couple of $12.99 mats bought at TJ Maxx. As my practice is growing, I figured I should start using a “real” mat. But which one? I don’t see myself as a Manduka girl – they’re so tough and expensive. It’s what all the big cock Handstand guys use. And rich middle aged women who just started practicing and figure they deserve the best.
In the end, I went with a super-thick Jade mat. I like their corporate philosophy (planting trees, natural rubber, no synthetics, made in the US, etc.), and lots of excellent teachers and students use Jade. How could I go wrong?
I used my new mat for the first time at last night’s class. At first, it seemed magnificently sticky. But once I got my sweat on, I started to slip ever so slowly. Maybe it just has to get a layer of grime on it, I thought charitably. I want to love this new mat. It was expensive and investing in a mat like that is a stepping stone on my journey through yoga. Halfway through class, one of the Handstand guys says to everyone, “Hey, does it smell like chemicals in here?” Oh God. I knew right away it was the rubber in my new mat. “Yeah,” a chatty, baby-voiced girl chimed in. “It smells like someone has a new mat. Come on! Own up to it!” I could almost see the stench reeking out of my mat like a heat mirage. I just smiled coyly and decided to focus intently on the exact placement of my shin for Pigeon. The accusatory chatter died down and after a few Wheels we all took savasana, which I spent trying assauge my guilt for asphyxiating my classmates. After class, I admited my new mat culpability to my teacher Tom. He laughed and gave me a fist bump. I heaved the stinking ten pound mat into my car’s backseat and sped away like I was pulling a bank job.
Now I’m in limbo. Do I give myself more time to get used to the new mat, or do I return to the safety of my old mat?
Your yoga mat is your ticket to asana. You trust your mat to hold you in jump throughs; to cushion your head in Headstand. You pour your blood, sweat and tears into this thing. You invest in it your challenges and your hopes. Sometimes, it’s the only witness to your growth. It’s your partner in crime; your beloved. Sometimes, you just can’t break up with a mat you trust.
Anyone have any tips on breaking in a Jade yoga mat? Any good mat recommendations?