Hot yoga fans know the struggle: you're in the zone, holding an impeccable downward dog position, and suddenly, you're slipping out of the pose—fast—thanks to sweaty palms and feet. Help!
While yoga mat towels that provide a barrier between your perspiring bod and the slippery mat can improve the sticky situation, there’s now an even better solution: Manduka’s brand-new GRP mat ($98; manduka.com, dickssportinggoods.com, rei.com), which is designed to absorb moisture and nix odors on even the sweatiest mats.
According to Manduka, the mat’s innermost rubber layer is infused with charcoal, which helps filter out moisture and eliminate smells. The anti-slip surface also increases traction so you’re less likely to slide out of poses while you sweat it out in the studio.
You don't have to be into hot yoga to use the GRP mat, either. The brand tells us that their newest product is appropriate for all types of sweat conditions, so you can use it for an unheated restorative class or a full-fledged Bikram practice. It all works.
If you’re thinking the GRP sounds too good to be true, I get it. I, too, was skeptical when I first heard about the product. But after taking a hot vinyasa/HIIT combo class hosted by Manduka last week, I can confidently say I’m convinced of the new mat’s mega powers.
Though I wasn't drenched during the class—and thus can’t speak to its ultimate absorption abilities—I was more than a little taken with its undeniable quality. At 6mm thick, the mat felt sturdier than any other I’ve practiced on. With a bottom layer that basically suctioned itself to the studio floor, it didn’t budge, even as I burpeed my way through the HIIT portion of the class. The GRP’s subtly bumpy top layer also cushioned my hands and provided just enough grip to keep them supported and slip-free through my hot vinyasa flow. Translation: I was a big fan.
So, there you have it. My honest endorsement of Manduka’s newest creation. Yes, it’s pricier than your run of the mill mat, but I also think it’s worth the money. Plus, once you’ve worked out on the GRP, chances are you’ll never forget it at home…and inevitably have to pay the $5 mat rental fee at your fave studio. Just saying.