By Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500
A little over a year ago, the Jade yoga mat company contacted me and asked if I wanted a super discounted Jade Harmony Yoga mat to test out (in the hopes that I would carry them in studio). I had practiced on Jade mats a few times in the past, borrowing from friends to see what they were like, and–at least up north where my yoga practice began, there were a TON of them in studios. I went ahead and took them up on the discount because my Manduka mat was getting “older” and I expected I’d need a new one any day, so i put in my credit card info and a couple weeks later, I got my Jade Harmony Mat in the mail. (p.s. I still haven’t given up the trusty Manduka, even though it is finally starting to chip off some, this truly is a sad thing…)
I immediately rolled out the mat and–honestly, I liked it! The natural rubber surface didn’t let me slide around, but it did give enough so I could roll over on my feet without leaving the soles of the feet behind (which is something I suffer from regularly). The mat was just supportive enough that I didn’t feel like I was falling all over the place because of the cushion, but still good enough my joints didn’t hurt.
I actually travelled down to Florida to practice with my teacher, Manju Jois opting to bring this new Jade Mat (I know, living dangerously) instead of carrying my trusty steed (aka Manduka Eko Mat), I brought down the Harmony mat because it was a little smaller, and lighter, and I already knew I liked the stickiness of it. As a result, I got a spend a solid two weeks of sweaty laughter and tear stained daily practice with this mat to form my opinions.
I actually really really like this mat. If you’re a bit on the tactile defensive side, the natural rubber may feel almost bumpy to your hands, especially when compared to the Mantra Pro Luxe and the Lululemon Dual Sided mat I reviewed earlier. The mat has some natural stick, but not so much that you can’t move. Some people may not like this, especially in a super hot class, because there is a slight give, but I like that. I mean, it forces to you to engage those pesky bandhas and hold yourself up more vs giving it all into your joints. This mat is the same thickness as the Manduka Eko yoga mat, but it’s about 2 lbs lighter (BONUS!) which is ultimately why I decided to travel with this Jade Harmony mat.
Jade Yoga mats have been a major player in the industry for a while. They tout that they are the first all rubber mat and first non-toxic yoga mat on the market, having been making yoga mats since 2000.
Specs on the Jade Harmony Mat: (taken from the Jade Website)
- Jade mats are made in a sustainable manner with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, a renewable resource. Unlike other mats, Jade mats contain no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber, and are made in the United States in compliance with all US environmental, labor and consumer protection laws. And, through our partnership with Trees for the Future, JADE PLANTS A TREE FOR EVERY MAT SOLD – with over ONE MILLION trees planted so far.
- The Harmony mat is 3/16″ thick, 24″ wide (for a wider variety, see Harmony XW at 28″ wide), is available in three lengths- 68”, 71″ and 74”- and weighs about 5 pounds.
What did I love about the Jade Harmony Mat
- The best thing about this mat is that it is all natural rubber. I am slowly working myself and my family into the natural, organic lifestyle, and this mat helps me continue on that path. I ultimately gave this particular mat to my dear friend and our in house Acupuncturist, Jamie Jackson dpt L.Ac, because, at the time, I still had my Manduka. Jamie can be seen practicing on this mat every time she’s in the studio!
- I loved how supported I felt on this mat, even on hardwood floors. The natural rubber provided the cushion that my joints needed but it wasn’t so much that I lost any balance points.
- This mat is light, not as light as the Lululemon one, but from the rest of the mats reviewed, this one is a winner, which makes it easier to travel with.
- Size, this mat was easy to travel with because it is a little shorter (mine is 68’) so it can be rolled up and fit into a suitcase. If you’re on the taller side, clearly that wouldn’t be a pro.
Things that weren’t Optimal:
- Stickiness – it was sticky enough for a non-heated vigorous class or less vigorous class (like yin or restorative where stickiness isn’t really an issue.) If you don’t use a mat towel in a heated yoga class, this may get a bit slippery for you if you do quick or dynamic movements. I had to catch my foot and intentionally ground it during one particularly sweaty session, but after I figured this out, it was ok.
- Size–if you’re a bigger person, my shorter size wouldn’t be good for you. I’m only 5’6” so 68 inches is fine (with my arms hanging off during long body stretches) but I prefer smaller mat size. If you like lots of space, then you’ll have to go up in size.
- You can not leave this mat in your car. Since it is natural rubber, it will age very quickly if left in super hot cars or super cold trunks. This mat will last you years if you keep it indoor, left outside, the life expectancy will go down dramatically.
Overall, I really like this mat. It’s a good, high quality, long lasting mat. I think it’s supportive, comfortable, and it is lightweight enough for daily use. When I finally make my decision on a new mat, it will be hard to tell which way I will go, Manduka, Lululemon or Jade. That will have to be another blog post!
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