Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Manduka Black Mat Pro: A beginners review

Almost a month ago I most certainly didn't have the slightest idea what in the world is a Manduka Black Mat Pro!  But since I started doing yoga and have had many bruises, joint pains and the daunting experience of sticking my face on our dusty floor, I decided for myself that I need a firm, sticky and durable cushion for practice once and for all. 

I am just the typical beginner who gets real excited about a new interest. I don't normally splurge right away because I might find myself starting another hobby in a few months time. 

But the more I have spent time stretching my limbs and reaching my toes on the floor (while hearing my body cry out for help to stop doing the unthinkable)- the more I felt a stronger connection to my mind, body and spirit that I want to explore what more I can do. 

Love at first sight, looks exactly as advertised. 



So when other people have asked me why I am willing to spend a hundred dollars on a yoga mat- I simply said its a good investment. Why? The Manduka Black Mat Pro has a lifetime warranty and according to owners it can last for years and years which I find practical as I cannot afford to buy a new yoga mat every 3 months. 

It is what is says it is

This is my first yoga mat and even if I cannot make a direct comparison from other models or brands, I can say that based on the yoga mats I have held when I was shopping for yoga mats, I can say that the quality of the Black Mat Pro is by far superb than those sold in the retail shops. It definitely has a league of its own. 

Almost the same width as the foot of my bed. 

I've been using it for a week and so far so good! I feel comfortable and secure. I have never seriously slipped because it is sticky enough. It doesn't move and has a good traction on the carpet when I jump from one corner to another. 

Of course no yoga mat is designed to be perfect! But perhaps the Manduka Black Mat Pro is as close as perfect can be. 


The smell

When I was reading the customer reviews about the Manduka Black Pro, the most complained aspect about it was the strong PVC- rubbery smell. Yes, this is true  especially on the first few days. 

Straight from the box, unwrapping it was the best feeling!

When I was working on the computer all day, all windows closed, the smell coming from the mat made me quite dizzy that I had to open the windows to escape from its empowering smell. 

But after a week the smell is not as strong as it was, that I can be with it in same room with little ventilation. Of course if I stick my nose on the mat I can smell the rubber but aside from that its very tolerable.


Its actually not as heavy as I thought it was. I can carry it around with ease it's just that I find it hard to find a normal bag that can contain it and to solve this problem I think I need to buy a customised carrying bag for it. I don't really mind about the weight because it's good for toning the arms. 

Black gives it a slick surface. Lays flat on the floor.

Final say: Stamp of approval! 

The pros outweigh the cons a million times so its really worth the pricey tag. 

You might find this quite over the top if you are just a beginner who doesn't really do the vigorous movements on a regular basis, but in the long run as your movements become intermediate you might need a sturdy mat for support in case you fall and a cushion to keep your knees or hands from maintaining a pose.  

If you are really serious about integrating yoga in your lifestyle then by all means save for a Manduka Black Mat Pro. 

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