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The Must-Have Yoga Mat for Serious Yogis – The Manduka Pro Review

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My daughters asked me what I wanted as a birthday present. I quickly replied, “A Manduka pro-yoga mat.” Because I have been looking at a Manduka pro yoga mat for a while.

Why is a Manduka Mat so special? There are many reasons. The greatest reason was, in my opinion, the lifetime guarantee that Manduka promats have.

Actually, I discovered Manduka mats when I was writing a blog post about Amazon products with a lifetime warranty. Here’s how Manduka explains the lifetime warranty for certain yoga mats.

If properly maintained, our Manduka PROlite, PROlite, and PRO Travel yoga mats come with a lifetime warranty. Only products that are Ships from Amazon.com can be covered by the Manduka Guarantee. It is null if they are purchased from any other reseller.

I had this information in my head and told my daughters to purchase the yoga mat on Amazon. You can also shop directly at Manduka to get your lifetime warranty. (link via ltk

What are Manduka Pro yoga rugs?

The Manduka Pro yoga line includes three types of yoga mats, as you can see in the description. These are:

  1. Manduka PRO yoga mat
  2. PROlite yoga mat
  3. PRO Travel yoga mat

Let me tell you the differences between these three types.

Manduka PRO yoga mat

  • 6mm thick
  • Ultra dense cushioning
  • High performance grip
  • Extra long 85 inch option
  • Made from PVC that is non-toxic

Manduka PROlite yoga mat

  • 4.7mm thick
  • Extra thick cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Extra long 85 inch option
  • Made from PVC that is non-toxic

Manduka PRO Travel yoga mat

  • 2.5 mm thick
  • Lightweight
  • Cushioning
  • Made from PVC that is non-toxic

Manduka suggests pairing the PRO travel yoga mat with a Manduka performance towels to prevent slippage during sweaty yoga sessions.

Manduka Pro Yoga Mats Examples

Manduka Pro Yoga Mats

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat Premium 6mm Thick Mat in Black

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat Premium 6mm Thick Mat in Black

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat – Various Colors

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat – Various Colors

PRO Travel Yoga Mat 2.5mm

Why did I ask for the thickest Manduka yoga pad?

Manduka yoga mats can come in different thicknesses, just like other manufacturers. The GAIAM brand yoga pad that I have been using for years and which is now falling apart, is 6mm thick. It was still quite cushiony at 6mm.

Sometimes, I do yoga on a tiled floor. Sometimes I prefer a hardwood floor. For certain poses, where one or both of my knees are on the floor I need extra padding.

A Manduka mat friend told me that the PRO 6mm mat felt thicker. With my midlife knees, I didn’t want to be dragging a blanket on my mat when I did a half-split or crescent lunge.

GAIAM 6mm mat versus Manduka PRO 6mm mat

Here’s a side-by side comparison of my old GAIAM 6mm Mat and my Manduka PRO6mm Mat. The thickness of the mats is identical.

They feel totally different. The Manduka mat feels heavier than the GAIAM mat. It is heavy.

According to its Amazon listing the mat is 7.5 pounds. The 6 mm GAIAM mat is only 1 pound in comparison. The Manduka mat feels thicker than the 6 mm GAIAM mat.

My Manduka Pro yoga pad for the first time

The day I received my yoga mat, I unrolled it. I had hoped to attend a live Peloton class for my 300th practice milestone. It was Denis Morton slow flow.

The mat’s thickness was immediately noticeable when I started class. The mat felt like thick carpeting, even though I was working on hardwood floors. It was incredible.

My hands started to slip quickly. Although I am aware that I sweat when I exercise, this time was completely different. This time, I was sliding all over the place.

Flipping my Manduka Mat over seemed like a good idea.

I stopped my practice, as it was live, and flipped the mat. I was afraid I had put the wrong side up. The Manduka was now facing the floor. I then recommenced practicing, but I was still falling all over the place.

Before class started, I had posted an Instagram story. It was an image of me with my mat, and how excited it was for me to use it that day.

After class, I saw an Instagram notification and clicked on the link. A friend asked me if I had “seasoned” my Manduka Mat before using it.

Huh?

Huh?

How to season your Manduka yoga pad

It turns out, you need to season your Manduka yoga pad before you use it for the first time. Sea salt is used to season the mat and it should be left for 24 hours. This was obvious since I had just received the mat as an overnight gift. It was no wonder that I was falling all over the place.

I would have read the instructions on how to prepare the Manduka Mat if I had taken the time and read the label attached to my Manduka Mat. It’s called “The break in process.” Here are the steps.

How to install a Manduka mat

  1. Place the mat on a flat surface.
  2. Sea salt generously sprinkled on the mat’s surface
  3. Allow to sit for 24 hours.
  4. Use a damp cloth or an eQua towel to remove salt. (My note: eQua towels are Manduka brand. )
  5. Do it for your whole life
  6. Continue to do so as necessary

You can watch a video I made of the process of breaking in seasoning. It’s also available below.

You can watch videos of the breaking-in process

Before I took the video and started seasoning my mat, I had seen other bloggers do the same thing with Manduka mats. Others suggested salting the mat by rubbing it in. Others suggested letting it rest in the sun for 24hrs with salt on top. They also suggested leaving it outside.

You might consider that the icon for step 3 is “let sit for 24 hours”-show the sun or the moon. It was meant to display the progression of time and not to tell you to get off the mat. I did, however, season my mat in a sunny area. Considering it was January, and it was below freezing outside, I did my best to let the sun shine through the windows.

After the break-in, I am able to use my mat

I will admit, the first time I unrolled my mat after the seasoning process, it was not an enjoyable experience. My hands were still sliding. However, my hands were still sliding. I noticed this with each practice.

My hands also came out of every practice salty, which my dogs loved. They love to lick me after I’m sweaty, so it was an added bonus. Seriously, though, I think I should wash the mat more thoroughly to remove any salt residue.

Manduka mat cleaner came with my Manduka pro yoga mat. It is called Yoga mat wash and refresh spray from Manduka. It has a lavender fragrance.

That will be my method of getting rid of any salt residue or dirt on the mat. It can be slippery if it is a mat that has been contaminated.

As I mentioned above, my feet and hands tend to get sweaty. Perhaps it’s anxiety. Maybe I just sweaty. I’m going to soon write a blog about how to do yoga with sweaty feet and hands. This is not a common problem.

How to clean your Manduka Mat

What are the steps for cleaning your Manduka mats? These steps are actually quite simple.

First, you need to clean the mat after every practice or use. My Wipex All-Natural wipes are my favorite for cleaning my yoga mat and all my exercise equipment.

Use the code LEAH15 to get 15% off your Wipex order

Manduka suggests using the Manduka All Purpose Mat Wash for this purpose. It may be the same as the mat wash and refresh product I mentioned.

But, I searched Manduka’s website for an all-purpose, mat wash. The refresh product was the only one that came up. Manduka might need to change their messaging to reflect the current products.

Amazon also has many other yoga mat washing products. However, I am not sure if the Manduka lifetime guarantee will be voided if the mat is cleaned with non-Manduka products.

Hownotto clean your Manduka Mat

The Manduka instructions, the label wrapped around my mat, offer three clear ways and not to clean your mat.

  1. Soak your mat
  2. Place your mat in the water
  3. Get your mat ready to go

Okay, message sent loud and clear. This is not the right mat to bring with you to a stand-up paddleboard yoga class.

Where can I buy Manduka mats?

The PRO line of Manduka Mats has a lifetime guarantee, as I have already mentioned. If you want this warranty to apply, you must purchase your Manduka mats from an authorized retailer.

We know that Amazon is one of these retailers. Here is a link to Amazon’s Manduka store

, the Manduka brand, has an online store. You can find it here. You’ll also find Manduka Yoga Mats and other accessories. Below are a few examples of these accessories.

Manduka yoga accessories

Manduka Yoga Accessories

Manduka Yoga Accessories

eQua Yoga Hand Towel

eQua Yoga Hand Towel

Recycled foam yoga block

Recycled foam yoga block

Cork Yoga Block – 2 Pack

Cork Yoga Block – 2 Pack

Unfold your yoga strap

Unfold your yoga strap

Cotton Blanket

Cotton Blanket

enlight” rectangular bolster

The PRO series of Manduka mats are also available at upscale outdoor gear shops like REI.com and Backcountry. They also offer a Manduka lifetime guarantee, so I am confident in recommending them. If you have any questions, please let me know.

My overall thoughts about my Manduka Pro Yoga mat

My Manduka Pro Yoga Mat has been great so far. This mat provides the best cushioning I have ever experienced. Even though it’s 6mm thick, this mat provides the same cushioning as my GAIAM mat.

Manduka mats are thicker and more solidly made. It is no surprise that it weighs 7 lbs, compared to the GAIAM mat’s 1 pound.

This is not to suggest that the GAIAM mat doesn’t have good quality. The Manduka mat is just more dense. It feels thicker and cushioned, despite being 6 mm thick.

It’s not something I love about the Manduka mat. It’s 24 hours that I won’t be able to get back.

I prefer a yoga mat I can roll the moment I receive it so I can start using it. Now that I have seen the end of the process, I am ready to move on.

The Manduka Pro Yoga Mat is a great option for those who are more mature or need more cushioning. As I said, the PRO line includes a lifetime warranty. You know me well enough to know that I love brands who stand behind the products and services they offer. Manduka, thank-you for being one of these brands.

Here are some of my blog posts on this topic.

Products with Lifetime Warranty

32 Brands With Lifetime Guarantees Available on Amazon

Give the gift of with a lifetime warranty