I’m happy about a lot of things today, but right now I’m happy to have my Manduka Black Mat PRO back under my feet for my yoga practice.  I’ve been practicing on the Manduka eQua towel for the last two months during our move to Japan, which has been an adequate short term solution, but there’s really no substitute for standing on a cushy sticky mat, and for that there’s none better than the Black Mat PRO (it’s just not ultra-portable…).

Another thing I’m happy about is having my treadmill back so I can conveniently combine two of my favorite activities:  running and yoga.  While running and yoga go together like PB & J, I’m also well aware that when I run first it definitely makes for some extra sweaty yoga and an extra sweaty yoga mat.  After a while it just gets gross to think about serenely resting my forehead in a warm pool of salty sweat that probably seeped out the bottom of my right foot.

Bottomline:  If you’re a yogi/runner, then you need to clean your mat more frequently.  I’ve written about this before, but once again here’s a few tips from Manduka.com on how to properly care for your Black Mat PRO

To Store: Roll your Black Mat PRO with the top side (fabric-finish) facing outwards [Interestingly enough, the photo to this post that came from Manduka’s website has the mat rolled opposite of this]. This keeps the corners of the mat flat when practicing.

To Break In: The surface texture of the Black Mat PRO improves with use. Our customers have found that the best way to “break in” their mat is to use it on a daily basis. Another trick is to sprinkle coarse sea salt over your mat, scrub it down with a sponge, and air dry in the sunshine [Never thought of this, but sounds good for a brand new mat].

To Clean: We recommend using Manduka Mat Renew or any non-solvent household cleaner and a damp cloth or sponge. Hang to dry in the sunshine. DO NOT put your mat in the washing machine- it may break the machine and ruin your mat! [In fact, I’ve heard from one reader that the washing machine shredded her Black Mat PRO 😦  Not a happy camper…]

Go forth, run, do yoga, and please clean your mat. 🙂

15 comments

  1. Sea Salt…THANKS! I’ve had my Manduka for almost a year and I still slip on it. I have a yoga towel I put over it half way through practice. I’m going to salt my mat today and let you know if it worked!

  2. After my last post on mats (http://yogaspy.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/old-yoga-mats-never-die/), I’m still using the pebbly PVC mat that I plan to keep for decades! But I’m now curious about Jade rubber mats, which seem very skid-proof and are biodegradable.

    About cleaning mats: I love machine-washable mats for sheer cleanliness. But if the Manduka is not, you could try hand-washing it. I have a friend who washes hers in the bathtub every once in a while.

    On another note: Are you using WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

    1. Yogaspy, Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. That’s an interesting post on the long tail, so to speak, and our burning desire to just ditch the old for the new. I’m the worst offender sometimes… I think we just like to try out new things, regardless of the remaining useful life o our old things. One key to guilt-free consumerism is finding new ways to use our old things. I’ve posted on this before as well (something like 52 Ways to Reuse Your Old Yoga Mat…sorry no link since I’m replying from my iPhone.

      Daily Cup of Yoga is hosted on WordPress.com; however, I do use wordpress.org to mess around with a .net iteration of this blog. My favorite host/blogging platform is Squarespace (www.yogahack.com), but that’s also a little pricey. You get what you pay for though. Cheers!

  3. I am worried about the Black Mat Pro being too slippery. What do you think? I have use Jade Harmony mats for the past 10 years and they are great….I use a yogi toes when I start sweating a lot, but I never fear that I’ll slip on the mat…even when it gets a little wet. I’ve heard the Black Mat is pretty darn slick. Thoughts?

    1. YogiRavi, Despite its many, many strengths, the Black Mat Pro can be pretty slippery when wet. I’ve noticed that it has gotten less slippery over time. It’s kind of weird, but when your hands are dry the mat can feel a little slippery, and when you get too sweaty it can also become slippery because of the closed cell construction (keeps moisture from becoming breeding ground on your mat). A little moisture is just right. I sweat a lot so I generally practice with the Manduka eQua Towel over the top of the mat and it’s the perfect combination. Zero complaints. Hope this helps a little.

    1. Dan, Hope you’re enjoying your venture into yoga. Not much equipment required for yoga–just a good mat. There are a lot of companies making great yoga mats, but I tend to be partial toward Manduka. Great company, great customer service, great mats.

      When I first started out though, I was more than happy with my inexpensive Gaiam yoga mat. You can browse the Gaiam yoga mats on Amazon.com or read lots of reviews about other top selling yoga mats. Starting out, it’s pretty hard to go wrong on a yoga mat for less than 30 bucks.

  4. I am interested in knowing if the sea salt worked. I’ve had the black pro mat for well over a year and even though I do love it, my hands slip I also have a towel but I would like to be able to use just the mat with out the towel. Thanks

    1. The sea salt trick didn’t help with my ProLite, and it even seems a bit slippery-er now :-/ I’m stuck using a towel all the time which I don’t love because it tends to bunch up and interrupt my flow.

  5. Hi, so I just got my Manduka prolite about 3 weeks ago and I salted and scrubbed it twice. Places it in the NYC winter sun as well, don’t know if that actually did anything, and I still slip. It definitely has gotten better since I first got it but I don’t feel as stable when flowing. I hate using towels as well. I bring a small one for my hands now because I can’t do downward dog on this mat. I had a cheapo 20 dollar mat for forever and I had no issues just wear and tear and I wanted something to last and feel better on my knees. I’m hoping the Manduka gets better with time as stated but my practice has definitely suffered a bit. Not sure what to do at this point.

  6. Please clarify which side of the mat the fabric side is? Is that the side that you practice on or in other words the side with the Manduka logo on it?

    I’ve just ordered my mat and I am trying to figure this out.

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