May 252015

Eko-LiteI have about 10 yoga mats. Some were given to me, others I bought for 5$ a pop when a local yoga studio cleared out mats people had long forgotten. I use them for my summertime outdoor yoga classes so the quality really isn’t very important. Up until very recently, I’d just grab one of these ratty mats and head to work. Or I’d just borrow a mat from whatever studio I taught at that day. But in starting to take better care of myself, I thought, HEY! I DESERVE A GOOD YOGA MAT!

Enter Manduka’s eKO Lite Mat. I’d had my eye on these mats for a while. I’m bothered by the waste that is caused by all these crappy yoga mats so many of us use. I get (totally get) why people might not want to shell out 60$+ on a piece of rubber they might only use one time. (Did you see that Craig’s List ad??) But run of the mill yoga mats–including the 10 that I have– are made of all kinds of yucky chemicals. I primarily teach Mom and Baby yoga and kind of cringe when I see a baby gnawing on a toxic yoga mat. Most yoga mats are not good for us, our babies, or the planet. They’re made of things like PVC, BPA, azodicarbonamide, phthalates…


Shoulder stand at Happy Tree

So, in doing my eco friendly yoga mat research, I kept coming back to Manduka, and was recently lucky enough to get my hands on one. In the yoga world, we talk a lot about manifestation and the joke among my closest friends is how if I want something, be it a blender, crockpot or yoga mat, I make it appear thanks to this here blog. Which is what happened with this mat– Manduka sent me my very own eKO Lite Mat to review, and is going to give one to a lucky mamanaturale reader!

There’s always a chance, when I review something, I’m not going to like it. That’s not the case with this mat–I adore it. But at first, I was a little worried. I have used mats, like this one, which are meant to be used in hot yoga, and I really dislike the texture. You see the Lululemon ones all the time, totally scratched up from normal use (and I find them to be slippery). Often, they are also super thin, which to me defeats some of the purpose of using a yoga mat.

This Manduka mat, which is 4mm thick, has a really cool texture on the top. (They call it the “rippled water top”) it doesn’t scratch and it doesn’t slip. It’s made of biodegradable, sealed-cell natural tree rubber which was not harvested in the Amazon. The softening process is done without the toxic foaming agents and plasticizers found in other mats (see above!) What this means, is that if in Mom and Baby Yoga class, one of the munchkins craws up and takes a nibble, it won’t be too bad for her. I might not be impressed though, these days, this mat is my baby.

Crow at Espace Shanti

Crow at Espace Shanti

The day the mat arrived, I missed it and had to go to a Fed-Ex depot to get it and I was beyond excited. I really do receive a lot of cool things to review on this blog, but this thing takes the cake. I got my mat on a Wednesday night and on Thursday I used it to teach a Mom and Baby yoga class at Equilibrium, two Prenatal yoga classes at Happy Tree, TAKE a Hot Yoga class there (seriously super grippy when I was super drippy), then head with my new precious mat Espace Shanti where I teach Hatha/Yin. What a day. But I had the company of this luxe yoga mat.

I’m not one for “stuff,” and have definitely had moments snobbishly turning my nose up at spiritual materialism. But every teacher and every yogi deserves a good yoga mat that’s not going to make a giant footprint, right?

You might have noticed the huge Manduka ad on the side of this page. I’m an affiliate, so if you buy something from them through that link, you’ll be supporting this blog! Thanks in advance.

If you’d like to enter to win your own Manduka eKO Lite Mat, answer the following question in the comments: Why do you practice yoga? A second entry if you also tell us which yoga posture brings you inner peace.

Namaste and good luck!







  • Emerant Barclay

    I practice yoga to try and find peace in a very busy world. Yoga helps me come back down to earth and remove myself from the crazy ego driven mind! I love tree pose, trying to practice it with my eyes closed and let go!

  • Suzanne Mandy Moscovitch

    I practice yoga to feel.. to feel inspired, empowered, strong. To feel human, to feel soulful, to feel playful.

  • Suzanne Mandy Moscovitch

    Right now, reclined butterfly.. with one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly brings me so much inner peace. allows me to connect.

  • Kathleen

    I practice yoga because I would be lost without it.

  • Kathleen

    I feel inner peace in trikonasana – I have had such a struggle with this pose over the years. Now greet it like an old friend.

  • Kate Hudson

    I practice yoga because it reminds me to be still, to be present, and to become aware of myself as more than just my physical and emotional reactions. My favourite pose is not really a pose, but the moment at the start of practice that everything slows down, and I become really present there in the moment.

  • Janet Nielsen

    I practice yoga to feel strong and centred. My current fave pose is dolphin! I’m working my way up to wheel though – can’t wait to get there :)

  • Isabella Luna Gadbois

    Yoga is my lifestyle, my equilibrium and what keeps me ready to overcome any situations. Savasana brings me inner peace :-)

  • Claire Isabel Drummond

    I practice yoga in order to chill and let go of stress so that I can bring more joy and love to those around me. Legs up the wall always brings me inner peace – makes me feel really grounded and sleepy.

  • Robyn

    I practice to find the extraordinary in the everyday and get back in tune with my body and the natural world’s rhythms. Pigeon brings me inner peace!

  • Ariane Cimon-Fortier

    I practice yoga because it helps me get more grounded, gives me energy and more patience in my everyday chaotic life. The “demi-pince” posture is really challenging, but that’s the one I need to calm down my thoughts, center myself in my body and stretch those wires that are my legs.

  • Karen

    I practice yoga because it helps me to connect my body and mind. As for a posture that brings me inner peace, I am going to have to say whichever posture manages to unite the two on a given day.

  • Anneliese

    Everyone in my family seems to have serious anxiety, and yoga is the only thing that helps. I find that doing yoga asanas with my girls calms us down and helps us focus. I so excited because at 11 and 12, they can recognize the signs of anxiety coming on and ask me to do a few poses to help calm down. We only have one mat in the house, so it would be nice to have another for us to work on. I find that savasana is still my all around favourite way to end a practice, especially at night-time helps us all get to sleep!

  • Ben Lavictoire

    I practice yoga to reduce pain and reset after a long day. Nothing beats a good corpse pose to fully appreciate the benefits of a good practice! 😉

  • Julie Cunningham

    I practice yoga to get out of my head. After a day of sitting in front of a computer, i badly need to be in my body. I like to do prana flow and to include balancing asanas like ardha chandrasana, warrior 3, dancer. During those times when I’m totally burned out- it happens cyclically – I like to do forward folds and gentle back bends. I hope I get to try all of those on a new yoga mat 😉

  • Jen Wende

    Yoga cultivates balance in my life. It is a time for me to nourish my body and mind. It lifts my spirits and keeps life magical. Currently 7mths + preggo with my first baby, my yoga practice has changed, and so has my ‘go to’ pose. Fully propped Supta baddha konasana is bringing me inner peace these days, other days it’s table on the forearms with pelvic circles that is creating radiance. This is what I love about yoga, there is something for you every moment, when you take the time to tap into what your body and mind are asking for to balance and nourish them, you will find something to work with in your practice.

    This is fun! Thanks for initiating the conversation!

    • Mamanaturale

      Congratulations, Jen, Manduka selected you as the winner!

  • Dominique Jarry-Shore

    I practice yoga to help me prepare for giving birth in a couple of months and to stretch my muscles. My favourite yoga position these days is lying on the floor with my legs up the wall.

  • Davigh

    When I practice yoga I completely disconnect from the world around me. It clears my mind and brings me happiness. Oh and it’s the shoulder stand that usually brings me inner peace but in the past couple of weeks I keep going to the Leg Up the Wall pose. I’m sure I’ll enjoy my practice even more on this Manduka mat :)

  • Chris

    Why not practice yoga? I just do it because it feels good, all around. Shoulder stand is definitely the posture that brings me the most inner peace. My practice is incomplete without it!

  • Elise Stillman

    I practice yoga to have a little “me” time. I love spending time with my little guy but yoga gives me a little time away to focus on myself for a bit. Dancer Pose brings me inner peace!

  • Joyce Boro

    I practice yoga because it helps me stay balanced. Inner peace=savasana.