Ultralight, eco, sanitary and beautiful: is this is the mat of your dreams?
Story and photos by Lynette Chiang
Certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor at YoGanesh
We’re thrilled to be the first New York yoga studio to receive a sample of a beautiful new mat from Hunki Dori. Just look at those patterns!
“I designed these mats to have a few qualities that satisfied my crazy yoga desires,” says entrepreneur and former interior designer Diane Gruenwald. How crazy, Diane?
“I wanted a yoga mat with a special tread on the bottom to create a solid foundation; cushy density without weight, be odor-free not on the 10th day, but the day you open the mat for the first time, eco friendly, and have the rich-depth of embossed patterns which mimic what I love about fabrics … and in gorgeous colors!”
And gorgeous they are: we tested the demo “Mata Hari” model in the studio and two Ganeshers immediately placed an order at the desk. The mat is everything you might look for in a yoga mat – light, grippy, non-toxic, sanitary and most important – rounded corners!
Four colors, two thicknesses and … matches your throw cushions!
Hunki Dori mats come in 4 choices: a 4mm thickness in orange (Mata Hari) or blue (Sweati Bhati), and a 6mm in green (Dirti Tree) or purple (Berri Nadi). You can see the four disinct, fabric-like patterns in the photo above, which seem to echo the background wallpaper on the YoGanesh website. …
Frankly, I could barely tell the difference between the 4mm or the 6mm samples. The 4mm demo was very cushy compared to many of the thinner mats I’ve tested, with the “tortoise shell” pattern providing plenty of traction. Best of all, it rolled up nicely in the anally retentive way I like: fold it in half first, with the upper side in (keeps the side that touched the floor away from the side that touches you) then roll it up.
Made from eco-friendly TPE
TPE stands for Thermal Plastic Elastomer, recognized as a superior modern material for making yoga mats. Composed of carbon and hydrogen, it has the following advantages:
- Non-toxic/PVC-free – especially when you’re face down in knees-chest-chin!
- Latex/natural rubber free Both can be allergens
- Closed-cell structure It’s not a sweat bucket or haven for bacteria
- Durable The closed cell structure means it doesn’t “bottom out” on hard floors. A 3mm thick TPE mat is equivalent to a 6mm regular PVC mat
- Long lasting The closed cell structure makes it less likely to disintegrate over time
- Light Weight Who doesn’t want that?
- Hygienic Because it cleans up easy and doesn’t absorb sweat and saliva
It’s a closed cell mat: not a sweat bucket
Most mats you find at your nearest retailer are the open-cell kind, which absorb moisture and start to smell after a while, no matter how hard you clean them. Because they absorb sweat they provide good traction for “hot” yoga. However, they are not as durable and tend to disintegrate after a few uses.
Regardless of what mat you choose, keep it clean. You can make a simple cleaner with a mix of 50/50 water and white vinegar, adding essential oils as you fancy (Organic Authority has some yoga mat cleaner ideas), or you can throw it in the washing machine (but it will take a very long time to hang dry).
And the price is …
$49.99 for the 4mm, and $59.99 for the 6mm plus tax.