an eco-friendly yoga mat?: a review.

I don’t know if I’ve ever expressed this on this blog, but I’m a huge fan of everything eco-friendly. I’m constantly trying to find ways that I can contribute to sustaining our environment. I am what you would call “crunchy granola” (thanks for the definition, Urban Dictionary) so you could imagine my absolute excitement when I was invited to like a Facebook page for an eco-friendly yoga mat. My love for yoga and my love for the earth would finally combine into one giant, hippie, nature-loving ball of awesome.IMG_1160

This company, named Johdawn, sells eco-friendly yoga mats on Amazon and they were gracious and kind enough to send me one for review! When it showed up to my house, I think I actually squealed a little bit and jumped for joy.

The yoga mat I received is purple and looks just like it is pictured on Amazon (which is a bonus because purple is my faaavorite color) though I’m unsure if they offer any other colors at this time. Perhaps in the future, there will other colors available, but at this time, it looks like they just offer purple. I also found that, when I opened it, I wasn’t greeted by a disgusting smell. This yoga mat boasts about being latex and phthalate free as well as odorless (so if you have a latex allergy, this yoga mat is for you!). While I would disagree that it isn’t absolutely odorless, it definitely has a very mild smell when first opened. It isn’t overwhelming or disgusting. It actually kind of reminded me of the smell of new gym shoes, if that makes sense? Like the smell of the shoe section in Dick’s, minus the people who have smelly feet and are airing their toes out for everyone to enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised. Some yoga mats have this weird, plastic-y smell for the first few uses until you break them in. This one did not. I was very happy about that.

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Gaiam on the left, Johdawn on the right.

This mat is advertised as “lightweight” and “thick”, being a whole 6mm (about 1/4″), and I absolutely agree. I have pretty bad joints, especially in my knees, for a young woman (thanks, genetics) so a supportive, thick yoga mat is very important for all the poses that involve my knees. I tried this out during a longer sequence and found that my knees were pain-free throughout and didn’t ache afterwards, either!  I enjoyed the fact that this yoga mat is so squishy and comfortable, but also soft. The texture is honestly amazing. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the feeling of a yoga mat so much. My mother, who is just getting into yoga, also suffers from joint pain and I think I’ll be gifting her this kind of yoga mat in the future, just to make things easier on her.

My worry with the mat being thicker was that I wouldn’t have as much stability in standing poses. However, I found that I could maintain poses that required balance but also get the joint support that I’d need while on the floor. Usually with thicker mats (anything 5mm and over) you lose a little bit of that stability that thinner or standard mats give you. This wasn’t the case. Another bonus was that this mat has a great texture, but it’s also very non-slip. I’m one of those people who gets sweaty everywhere when doing a sequence so experiencing a non-slip downward dog with this mat was awesome.IMG_1141

One thing that I wasn’t particularly worried about was length. I’m 5’2″ so I can generally get away with any mat length because I’m not even average height. For those who may be concerned about the length being a problem, I found that it wasn’t. I’ve also seen reviews from others that said the mat length wasn’t a problem, and they were significantly taller than me. Like I said, while that wasn’t a concern for me, I figured I would touch on it anyway.

IMG_1137I also compared the weight of my trusty Gaiam yoga mat to this one, just to see if it was lighter than the standard mat you can usually find in stores. I found that, while they were close in weight, the Johdawn one definitely did feel a tad lighter, which can be helpful when transporting it back and forth between your home and studio/wherever you may practice yoga. I’m very excited to start toting this around campus to yoga classes in the fall.IMG_1121

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The sling is simple, but effective.

This mat does come with a sling, which is absolutely amazing. With other mats I’ve bought, the sling is an extra that you have to purchase separately. While mats aren’t super hard to carry around without a sling, it’s infinitely easier to do so with a sling attached to it. The sling is very simple in design and use, and I thought it was great. The sling will also fit over my other mat that I currently use so I no longer have to worry about dropping my mat or trying to juggle 300 things on my way to class.

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Company named inscribed on the end.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Johdawn brand yoga mat, or are just curious about what others have to say, go check out their Amazon listing here! And don’t forget to like their Facebook page to get company updates and some daily yogi inspiration on your timeline.

(This product was sent to me for review. While I did receive this product for free, all opinions are my own.)

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