For the past six months, I have gone back and forth about buying a new yoga mat. I even returned one because it did not suit me. After looking at several brands and styles, I decided to get the eKO because it comes in a larger size (26″ x 71″ x 5mm versus the more traditional 24″ x 68″) and I need the extra width, thanks to a correction made to me by Jordan Bloom. The mat is environmentally safe (natural rubber). Of course, at something like 7 pounds, it cannot be considered a travel mat — in fact, most people would not think twice about picking it up and taking it to class. It’s not going to fit into my current mat bag. It’s literally laying a foundation for my practice. I really like the sticky touch of the dry surface, but it gets slick when wet.
I also picked up a large eQua towel. With eco-friendly mats, you can no longer dump them into the washer and put them through a cleaning cycle because that starts the bio-degrading process. They have to be cleaned by hand with cider vinegar and water or a specially formulated cleaner. I concluded that it’s best to have a washable layer between me and my mat that will absorb the sweat and grim. Now, I just have to get used to doing my practice with the equivalent of a sheet under my soles. It’s really hard in Warrior I and II because my feet start slipping out from under me. But I soon discovered that I needed the towel once I started sweating hard and dripping on the mat. Without a towel, my hands were slipping out from under me in Upward Bow or Wheel(Urdhva Dhanurasana).