Recently, Barefoot Yoga offered to send me one of their products to review for you. I selected the Hybrid Eco Mat, since I’m always looking for environmentally friendly yoga products. My full review follows, but the bottom line on this mat is that it’s priced right, very light, and would be easy to tote around; however, if you like a really sticky mat or a lot of padding and don’t mind spending quite a bit more for something more hefty, it may not be for you.
The Hybrid Eco-Mat I received is a pretty color purple they called Violet. When I received the mat and took it out of the packaging the first thing that I noticed was a slight plasticky smell. This didn’t surprise me, as the mat is made of a poly resin. After I left the mat laying out for several days, the smell almost entirely dissipated.
I also quickly noted that the map was very light. It is certainly much lighter than the (far more pricey) Manduka black mat that I regularly use. This made the eco-mat more comfortable to tote to class, and I think if I was regularly taking public transportation to my yoga classes I might prefer a mat of this weight.
I’ve now used the mat for several vinyasa practices, including gentle and more vigorous sequences. The first use, I noticed that the mat was rather slippery when compared to the Manduka. My hands were sliding quite a bit in downward dog and I felt like I had to use extra effort just to keep them still. However, I’m sure this was excellent for my core! After a couple of uses, the mat seemed to become less slippery. So, I assume that part of the slipperiness at first was the coating of the new mat, which I didn’t wash off as the site advises (as I cleverly only looked after). After a few uses, while it still is less sticky than my usual mat, it is certainly acceptable.
Another difference between this mat and my standard mat is that the eco-mat is thinner. The Manduka is only about 2.5 mm thicker than the Eco Mat, but I do notice this difference. Because I have rheumatoid arthritis, I need some degree of padding between my hands and feet and the floor. So, I think if I were to use this mat regularly for an active practice, I would probably want to place a rug on top of it, particularly on days when the arthritis is worse.
While the reduction in thickness makes the mat somewhat less comfortable on sore joints, it does allow you to feel the floor beneath the mat during practice. This may make balancing poses easier and facilitate a greater connection to the ground.
The Hybrid Eco-Mat is made of Polyolefin, a poly resin. And, it is worth noting that Barefoot Yoga states that this mat is fully biodegradable.
The eco-mat runs at about $30 (currently on sale for $23!) for the standard 68 inch length, so it is very affordable, and shipping speed is quite fast. You can purchase the mat at http://barefootyoga.com.
I hope this review has been helpful and feel free to let me know if you have additional questions about this mat.
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are my own based on my experience with this product.