We test-drove Manduka’s new yoga eKO no-slip mat at a local Bedstuy center earlier this fall. The instructor immediately recognized the brand and nodded approvingly. According to her Manduka equals quality, which is a relief for a yoga newbie — it’s no fun to slide in an already challenging downward facing dog, and the peace kinda disappears from the peaceful warrior if you stand in fear for an involuntary split.
Therefore we are glad to tell you that Manduka keeps its promises. Our hands gripped into the mat, and its ultra-thin shape gives a feeling of grounding — important when you're doing your yoga thing.
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Our only critique will be the smell of the mat — we have a hard time putting it into words, but it faintly reminded us of rubber — which completely drowns the otherwise lovely incense in the room and takes the focus away from your breathing. But our our yoga teacher told us that’s completely normal for new mats. And Manduka's FAQ section on its website has a solution — and some reassurance, for that matter:
"The smell will dissipate within 2-3 weeks, or sooner if you leave your mat unrolled when storing. To speed up this process, you can also wipe the mat down with a solution of 50/50 organic cider vinegar and water or Manduka’s Mat Restore (a vinegar based solution). It is important to note that the smell is natural and not a result of off-gassing from toxic chemicals."