February 18, 2012

Review: Calmia Luxury Pilates and Yoga Mat

My mat - it's just so pretty!

I really needed a new yoga mat. Not because my old mat was falling apart, because even though I've had it for 2 years, it wasn't, but because my knees were falling apart. My old mat worked fine in my hot yoga studio, which had a slightly cushioned floor, but at my new studio, which had wood floors, it was just too thin for all the knee work we did.

When I popped over to my local Marshall's one night (as Tony kicked me out of the house so he could sneak Valentine's Day presents from his car into the apartment) I was excited to see that they had a pretty extensive selection of yoga mats available, a number of them with extra padding. Instead of getting the Ecowise all natural yoga mat I got the Calmia Luxury Pilates and Yoga Mat. Why? Because it was pretty. Yes, I'm a bad yogini. Anyway, I was also pretty happy with my Calmia Super Grip Yoga Towel, so I figured I might as well try the mat as well.

Now the world knows of my secret love for pink.

The first thing I noticed is the smell. Whooeeeee! This mat stinks to high heaven! The PVC plasticy smell was so bad at first that I was getting nauseated in downward dog. It's been a week or so and the mat still smells, although not as strongly. Placing a towel over the mat also helps a lot with reducing the smell. I am hoping that it will be aired out enough in the next week to be completely gone. If not, I think I might stick it in the washing machine (which is how I clean my old mat as well).

The other thing that bugs me a bit is the that the mat is ever so slightly shorter than my last mat. The new mat is by no means short - it is 68" by 24", exactly the same measurements as my YogiToes towel. Not a big deal, it's still standard size, but it's something I'm adjusting to. Is it weird, that a mat that's only a few inches shorter is distracting to me and throwing my game off a bit? Clearly I've become settled in my ways.

Aside from those two things, I love the mat. In addition to being ever so pretty, the extra cushioning is just what I needed. The mat is quite thick, around 1/4", I have no pain in my knees, and poses on my back are also very comfortable. It's very comfortable, and I find that unless I'm dripping sweat, the grip is quite good and my hands and feet do not slide around. The mat also adheres well to the wood floors, and doesn't slide at all. None of my towels have slide around on top of the mat either.

I would certainly suggest this towel, especially if you find it on sale, but I would highly recommend that you air it outside for an afternoon or two if you are able to before using it for practice. However, next time I need a mat I might go for one of the more eco friendly ones, which perhaps might not smell as bad? Or maybe there's no winning, they're all stinky!?

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