I’m new to yoga; I started as a way to regain some range of motion after breaking my back in a climbing accident.
I have three mats now, including a cheap one from Walmart and one recommended by a woman whose life is a branded ad for Lululemon.
The YoGo Original Ultralight Mat is my newest option, and it’s worthy of a review (the other mats have now been relegated to sleeping pad status in the pile of gear I loan out to Scouts when they aren’t prepared).
Bulky mats can be annoying. Call me shallow or whatever, but I’m a man’s man and don’t want to announce that I’m headed to a yoga class with my big rolled-up pad any more than you want to see me in yoga pants.
I also hate that weird, yoga-mat smell — you know the one — somewhere between a “New Car” scented air freshener and OvaEasy Egg Crystals.
Lastly, I hated that whatever was on the yoga studio floor stuck to the bottom of my mat and transferred to the top when I rolled it up.
When I wandered into the spandex and chanting section of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah last January, I ended up with a solution for a better mat, for me, at least.
The YoGo is small and fits into any gym bag or backpack, so my new yoga habit stays between me and the twenty or so people in my class.
New Kind of Mat
The YoGo is made from cotton canvas infused with natural tree rubber so that nasty, chemical-foam smell doesn’t exist. For what it’s worth, that makes it better for the environment as well.
There’s not really any smell that I’ve noticed, and I appreciate that — except for the one time I got conned into attending a hot yoga class; chemical smells are way better than BO, in my opinion.
The coolest part, though, is that instead of rolling, this mat folds up. That means the bottom of the mat never touches the top, keeping whatever may be on the floor or ground where you’re practicing out of your face during downward-facing dog.
It has a couple of sturdy, nylon straps with beefy, plastic buckles to hold the folded bundle together, and that’s the whole thing.
The YoGo is not as padded as other mats but, even with my back injury, it’s enough. At $69, it’s a case of “you get what you pay for,” and this one is far worth it in my book.
Buy it? If you want a portable, foldable, non-smelly yoga solution, check out the YoGo Original Mat.