Yoga & Me
So, in the bottom of the Foster the Fuzzies page, y'all might have noticed there's a smart little Manduka ad placed at the bottom of the screen. Yes, it is there intentionally. No, I am not going to be overrun by ad agencies or tailored ads.
As of today, I've entered into an affiliate partnership with Manduka. If you're not familiar with them, they're a yoga studio-turned-company based out West. I sought them out for this partnership, and the reason is because they produce a product I believe in.
When I first started practicing yoga, I didn't use a mat. I might be Captain Obvious, here, but a mat is not required to flow. However, when you start practicing at a studio, it may be. That's ultimately why I came around to purchasing one--the more regularly I went to a studio, yes, it is possible at some to rent a mat, but in the long haul, I found it's more reliable (and less germ-y) to bring my own.
So, like any technically driven human, thus began my journey in scientifically selecting the perfect yoga mat. Are you ready? It's story time.
My search initially started online. I googled brand after brand, looking through reviews and company mission statements. I boiled it down to about five different mats. First, is the mat you might find for $20 at your local supermart. Gaiam. If you're all about what your mat looks like and not particularly about longevity or performance, well, this might be the mat for you. It had the best designs of all the companies I searched through, but after maybe 2 years of regular practice, the mats fell apart, requiring users to purchase another. This mat would be good if you're just starting and not really sure if it's something you'll truly stick with. $100 is, understandably, quite a bit to drop at once. From a sustainability standpoint, this mat was out of the running for me. Yes, it's inexpensive, but in the long run, if I kept up my practice, I might just end up spending more. LuLuLemon's The Mat, made the list, as well; however, it just wasn't something I was going to spring for to physically test. Without testing it, I wasn't going to buy it. After a month of searching and eliminating, it boiled down to the Jade, or one of the Manduka brand mats--either the Pro, or ProLite.
The problem I faced with the Jade, was while the traction in a sweaty hot yoga session was a breath of fresh air, that same sticky traction made it incredibly hard to clean. When trying to wipe down the mat after a session, it would cause the rag to skip (paper towel just straight up shredded), and made stains build up quickly where the hands, arms, and feet frequently lay. What really did it for me, though, was in bow pose, the cushion (or lack thereof) left my hips aching when practicing on the hard studio floor. The Manduka mats; however, did not. While similar in thickness, the mats seem to have more structure, and didn't collapse under my weight. The problem with the Manduka mats is that the sweatier you get, the more slippery the mats become. They issue a statement when you first purchase your mat that it needs to be broken in. Even past that time, it can still be pretty slippery and requires a separate towel in a sweaty flow. Between the Pro and ProLite, I chose the ProLite for it's 4lbs tote weight--a little easier to travel with. Otherwise, both mats, to me, won out on my test.
My yoga mat has been a clear space, for me. It's been a place of peace and rest when the world seems to flip upside down. Manduka, as a company, pushes for environmental sustainability as a whole; a concept I can get behind, and something they exercise with the way they manufacture their mats. It was a huge factor in why I chose them as a top contender, and if you want to get into they science behind it, can check out their website. They make no secret of how they manufacture.
Because of what yoga brings to my life, part of me wants to share that with you. So the ads, how do they work? If you click the ad, it will take you to Manduka's website. In doing so, my affiliate number becomes associated with anything you may purchase. When you make a purchase, I do get a commission off of it, but 100% of the commission from anything off this site, goes back into it. It goes into the cost of paying for the server and domain, first and foremost, and then into its respective pocket for fundraising events and more (if I make it that far...). I am by no means telling you to make a purchase. I'm simply saying if you do (or even if you currently practice, no purchase necessary), we can totally be #twinning and practice killer partner asanas and synchronize our chakras and drink green juices, together...
But really, though. If you or a friend is in the business for a mat (or just want to clothing shop. I hear athleisure is still totally in...) please use the ad links on my website. I'll never add a company I don't stand behind, and anything you purchase through here goes back to (subjective opinion, here) a good cause.
As always, thanks a million for your love and support :)