Manduka Black Mat PRO Review

February 28, 2009

The Manduka Black Mat PRO has got some mass. With this seven-pound mat, you are literally carrying portable, non-slip ground wherever you would like to practice. I use the Black Mat PRO when I need real security. If I am going to scorpion, or plant my forearms in a forearmstand and attempt to backbend my feet to my forehead (I am not quite there yet), I need to feel solid to kick up with confidence. This mat makes me feel like solid ground is raised a few millimeters. I do NOT want to watch my mat stretch or give while I am inverted. Fortunately, I dont have to worry about it; the Black Mat PRO is a dense, fabric finished, 6 mm yoga mat. I use the Black Mat PRO on my more aggressive Ashtanga days. It handles the abuse of constant chatarunga jump backs without sign of stretch or ware. When I pursue a more flowing or vinyasa style yoga, I prefer the Manduka Eko 5mm. The Eko has much more spring and cushion in the mat. I like to think of the Black Mat PRO as the Big Daddy Cadillac of yoga mats and the Manduka Eko as the softer, lighter, and very capable little sister. Click here to view the Eko Mat review. I teach yoga and recommend the Black Mat PRO for my more sturdy students. This is the mat I give to all of my football players, and big bodied yogis. I have found that a practitioner of approximately 170 pounds or more will compress the cushion on the Eko mat to the floor. This is not necessarily a bad thing; some students prefer the sensation of definite ground over the spring and cushion of the mat. I myself enjoy the shock absorption and cushion a mat can provide, and my sturdier folk seem to get more from the Black Mat PRO. It is available in both 71" and 85". Mat Care: Have you ever nervously rolled a sheet of paper and after unrolling it looks bowed shape? This can happen to your yoga mat, as you roll it when it is not in use. All Manduka mats have a right and wrong side. The right side, or top side which you practice on, will have a red tag with a frog on it. (Manduka comes from mandukasana meaning frog pose.) When rolling your Black Mat PRO after practice, roll it so the right side is facing out. This means you will either have to turn your mat over and roll it up, or roll it like you are rolling up a tube of toilet paper after your nephew has strewn it through the house. What this does is allow the temporary bow shape to work in your favor. It makes the bow shape grip the ground instead of the ends curling towards your wrists and ankles in your downward facing dog. Also, as this mat is lifetime guaranteed, and will be with you for a while, I reccomend cleaning your mat from time to time. I use Jo Sha wipes when I travel. Jo Sha incoorperates essential oils in the wipes to leave your mat super fresh and non toxic. When I am home I use Vermont Soap Organics Mat Wash or a watered down Dr. Bronner's. All three reccomended soaps are all natural, non toxic and won't break down your yoga mat. The jist of the Black Mat PRO: dense, durable, 7 pound yoga mat non-slip fabric finish maintains integrity even after wet with sweat mat is bulky, not ideal for travel emissions free manufacturing lifetime guaranteed, but please wash it Manduka is a company focused on serving the yoga community with quality mats that are made by emissions free manufacturing, and only the best components. The Black Mat PRO is lifetime guaranteed. If you were to run into any sort of problem with it, Manduka has you covered. Check them out and buy at a local dealer or

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