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In our old flat, the floor was tiled, so this was really important not just for Yoga, but for all sorts of exercise - it also made a good place to do stretches and warm ups for sports. It's important to have a good, comfortable mat for Yoga too, as you need to be able to relax and concentrate on what you are doing - it will be distracting if you are not supported and comfortable, so this for me is a really important piece of equipment.
-ooo- The Product -ooo-
The mat is about two feet wide and six feet long, so it's a good size for the majority of people. It costs about £15 online, and comes rolled up, which is how you will store it. It's easy to unroll, though, and stays in position on the floor as it's made from quite a soft, spongy sort of material. The surface is sort of dimpled rather than being flat, and this seems to help it stick to the floor when you're on it, rather than sliding around. This also makes it comfortable to lie on.
Our mat is a deep blue colour, like the one above, but I believe there are also other colours that the mat is available in.
The mat is also quite thick, and provides plenty of support when you're applying pressure to it, and prevents you from getting sore hands or knee when you're in the positions you'll need.
-ooo- Would I Recommend? -ooo-
I think this is really essential if you're into Yoga, and I think it's also an all-round good product for general exercise use. It's proven to be extremely hard-wearing, and isn't damaged at all since we bought it - although the material is very soft and supple, and can be squeezed easily under your touch, it's also really tough and I think it would last for ages. We've had ours for over two years now and it looks and feels just as good as when it was bought.
The price is pretty good for a product like this that you can get so much use from. It stores away easily and provides great support on a daily basis, so I think this is a must-buy for people who enjoy Yoga, as it's great for home use, and is also nicely portable and easy to carry with you if you go to classes.
In a former quest to find a perfect exercise mat, it dawned on me to explore other areas to get mats from, and not just those targeted at general exercise. I had no experience of Yoga mats in particular, but having heard positive things about this Warrior mat (and kind of liking the name too!) it seemed worth the price tag of around £15.
Initially, everything seemed fine, and ultimately very comfy to lie on. Cushioning for yoga is predominantly there to provide solid support to be able to balance when in the various positions you need, and so I didn't expect it to be like lying on something that would ultimately provide complete support for vigorous exercise. However, using it as an exercise base, I found the support retained its cushioning throughout, and the only issue came with any moisture on the mat. The padding obviously has enough layering inside it to make sure that there's a spring effect that makes the depressions come back up, resulting in a constant firm base with support.
It's also big enough - I find that a lot of mats I've tried just aren't long enough when doing my exercises. However, this mat was just right, and as it's not very thick, it also rolls up and doesn't take up much room for the purposes of storage. Granted, other mats also roll up, but it's always important to check, and this one rolls up very tightly as well, indicating the stretch and compactness on the inside of the roll gives the mat a lot of flexibility. If you do roll it up tightly and don't use it for a while, then when unrolling it does retain the rolled effect, but as the mat is reversible, it's easy to use the other side and the pressure of being on the mat will soon flatten things out.
I've used it on a variety of surfaces, and it continues to be sufficient for my purposes. Occasionally, I just need floor exercises and am on it for quite a while. Quite a few mats get uncomfortable after a while, and result in being able to feel the floor underneath them. This Warrior mat doesn't do this, in fact I find that the comfort is nearly completely supportive even after a considerable amount of time using it for exercises, and it always reverts back to its proper shape after I've used it. This is quite an important point for me, as although most mats will maintain their shape for a few uses, they generally tend to lose their shape after minimal usage.
As I mentioned before, when this mat gets wet, it's not ideal. I know some forms of yoga are more vigorous than others, and you can get quite sweaty doing it. That's partly why I thought this might be a bit more sturdy when wet. As a dry mat, it has great purchase on most surfaces, and there's no movement despite friction and force pushing it this way and that. When wet, though, there's definitely less purchase, and doing certain exercises I found myself sliding a little bit. This wasn't ideal, although it still wasn't as bad as some exercise specific mats I have used. Ultimately, this one still ranks right up there with mats that I have used.
I'd recommend getting this, even if like me you just need it for general exercise. It's a little pricier than some mats, although this is reflected in the design of the support the mat provides and the nature of it being able to retain its shape. Over time, this could prove to actually result in better value for your money. You can get it for closer to the £10 mark than £15 if you shop around, although prices rarely fall out of this bracket. Although a little slippery when wet, it certainly has the support needed for its intended purpose as well as the general exercise I find myself using it for, and so I recommend it.
~~Where to buy~~
The mat seems only to be available on Amazon. I had a look in some shops in Edinburgh and couldn't see any there. However, they may well be sold in specialist shops so it's worth a look.
I bought my warrior yoga mat after I joined a new gym where they were they were used. Prior to that, I had a natural fibre mat which I found to be painful on my hands especially in downward dog.
The (4mm) thickness of the mat is great on all floor type - I practice on my (slightly uneven!) wooden floors and I find no discomfort.
~~Size and Weight~~
Potential buyers should note that the warrior mat comes in 2 thicknesses - 6mm and 4mm. I have the 4mm which I find to be fantastic and to have sufficient thickness, but if you have any back/joint issues (or don't plan to travel with your mat) then the thicker mat might be more preferable.
The mats are all 183m (6ft) long (which is perfect for 5'3" me, but might be a factor for some people) and 61cm wide.
The mat is also very light weight which is fantastic if you plan to travel with it - mine has been all the way to India and back :)
The mats are machine washable - another fantastic feature for a travelling yoga mat - lots of dirt from the sand...and sweat....after 10 days in India, which came out with no problem at all.
The mat is wonderfully sticky and I have never had any slippage at all - either between the mat and the floor, or between the mat and my hands/feet.
I don't just use my yoga mat for yoga, but also for all of my other home DVDs - pilates, strength training, Davina aerobics DVDs etc.
This review will also appear on Ciao under my username Loueeza