On The Mat With Michelle: Your Yoga Mat Guide


Yoga mats are everywhere and they work for all kinds of fitness routines; not just yoga. But with so many different styles, types, materials, how do you know what the right yoga/fitness mat is for you?

I’ve used all types of yoga mats over the years, for the various types of workouts that I do or train people on. They don’t have to be just for yoga (but of course I love yoga and am hoping everyone will try it just once in their life). They can be used for Pilates, Cross Fit, barre class; almost any type of workout.

These days, a good yoga mat can cost up close to $100 or more. Some are made of recycled materials, some of cork, others are absorbent to soak up sweat from a good hot yoga class. It is necessary to determine which one is the right type for your workout; whether you are working on your sun salutations, your meditation practice, your Cross Fit, or just your everyday basic crunches or stretching at home.

I, myself, have three different yoga mats.  One for outside in the grass or sand, one for hot yoga class (I put a yoga towel on top to help catch all the crazy sweat that comes off me while practicing in a heated room) and one for regular yoga classes. Don’t worry, I don’t carry them all around with me, only two in the back of my car.

I’ve always been a big fan of Manuka Yoga Mats. This company is probably one of the biggest in the world, offering a ton of variations of mats, towels, straps, blocks, etc.  I’ve had a great opportunity to personally train the owner of Manduka and his employees, and he was super nice and very willing to learn all types of yoga. Manduka prides themselves on helping customers out in any way they can, as well as helping nonprofits and charity events. My favorite mat from Manduka is their travel mat, the EKolight. It folds up into a very small square and can be tucked into almost any suitcase. I travel a lot, so for me this is a plus!

Hugger Mugger is another company that is amazing and always willing to go the extra mile for their customers. This eco-rich mat uses plant-based oils for up to half of the mat material. This creates a super sticky texture as well as a durable and stable practice surface. You will love how grounded you feel when practicing on this mat! The surface is extra sticky for a stable, grounded feel. It is lightweight, green, easy to transport and made in the USA.

Finally, I’m stuck on my new favorite mat by Jade Yoga. This mat makes me feel like I’m floating on air. Jade is committed to giving back to the earth with every product sold by making the world’s best performing, and most environmentally friendly yoga products. The best part about Jade is that they plant a tree for every mat sold. Since 2006, through their partnership with Trees for the Future, they have planted over 800,000 trees.

So deciding on a mat really is a matter of deciding what it will be used for most. Try to stay away from the super inexpensive brands, they will likely not last and will fall apart.

Keep moving, breathing and sweating. Try to get your body moving everyday for at least 20 minutes. Grab your new mat and lay it out in your personal space and just sit and breath, or move through some sun salutations or a new ab workout. This will help you continue to Live In Grace.


Until next time,

by- Michelle Gierst 

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Grace Capobianco, CEO/Publisher of Downtown Media & Production was born to be a visionary. She has spent the majority of her life working, developing and marketing innovative media products that not only engage and inform but also bring entire communities together. Utilizing her personal vision as a professional guide, Grace started her first company, Tropical Publishing, when she was just 27 years old and from this moment on, she knew that entrepreneurship was her passion. On a perpetual quest to bring innovative and relevant news to communities, she also created, developed and published the first ever Chamber of Commerce magazine for the Palm Beaches, The South Florida Office Guide. Evolving within the realm of publishing, she moved on to launch Up The Coast magazine in the 1980’s, a guide to Jupiter, in north Florida, where the population aggrandized from 9,000 to more than 70,000 today, and then continued to hone in on niche markets with the launch of publications like Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. Simultaneously, she launched ATSI, a telecommunications company, which sold Mitel and Siemens products to her publishing clients. The idea of Downtown Magazine NYC was born for Grace in the wake of the devastation of 9/11. A Lower Manhattan resident at this time, Grace saw firsthand the incredible sense of community the neighborhood had demonstrated during these trying times, as well as its immense strength and perseverance. She explored every angle of launching a magazine that would speak to this community but initially felt the timing was just too soon. It wasn’t until 2010 that Grace felt the community was ready to hear its voice and launched Downtown Magazine NYC.