Manduka eKO Mat Review
The Manduka eKO 5mm mat has a spring and cushion unlike any other mat I have used. In yoga we always here about opposing forces in the body, to extend in two equal and opposite directions… in virtually every pose. When you step on the Manduka eKO Mat, you actually feel the mat pushing back at your feet. This mat helped me find a new awareness with the ground. I rediscovered the four corners of my feet, and then my toes. That awareness has radically improved my practice. Know the eKO is biodegradable. This is not an outdoor mat. Due to the biodegradable components and the soft cushion of the bottom side, gritty or uneven ground tears this mat up. It is awesome in the studio, tile floors, or on a smooth deck, but sandstone or granite are out of the question. I have used my mat daily (indoors or on smooth concrete) for a year now and it is holding up well. I practice several different styles of yoga, and in all of them, I sweat. I own this mat in the moss green color and the middle section is now slightly discolored. The middle section is a shade darker now, a similar look to a high traffic area in your hall carpet. It doesnt look "bad," it just doesnt look new. I have several mats, and my Black Mat PRO after a year is still looking new. The Black Mat PRO is seven pounds and simply too burly for my body to leave a mark on it. I prefer the Manduka eKO for daily practice. I pull out the Black Mat on the ambitious days where I need a little more ground. The eko is a dual layer constrution. The dark floor side of the mat for amazing spring and cushion, and the top side for superior grip. Here is some info straight from Manduka, The eKO mat is the only rubber mat on the market that isn't made with any synthetic or toxic materials. We have engineered the mat with a completely natural plasticizer and use recycled silk and cotton as reinforcement (most mats use polyester for reinforcement and a toxic foaming agent to process the rubber). It is nothing short of awesome to finally have a yoga mat on the market that supports the sustainable and revolutionary ideas behind the practice. The eKO has a unique break in period. Natural rubber has an odd smell, and it takes a week or so of practice for the new mat small to diffuse. You can scrub your mat down with a natural cleaner if you wish to speed that process along. An awesome quality of the rubber is that is actually gets stickier the more you use it, specifically, the more you sweat on it. The Manduka eKO is an quality mat and it comes with my highest recommendation. The short version: the eKO is truly 100% natural green mat, biodegradable resilient spring and cushion in the mat dual layer construction provides superior grip Manduka is not afraid to answer any questions any of have about their mats. Their website is very informative. Check it out and buy from Manduka.com.