Who here has tried yoga? Yoga has exploded in popularity in recent years and if you have followed me for a while, you know that I jumped on the bandwagon. For me, yoga has both physical and emotional benefits and although the sloth in me requires the odd prod at times, I always enjoy both the experience and aftermath.
Recently I had found myself with the opportunity to review a new yoga mat, courtesy of Jump Up, whose home page tells up to ‘JUMP UP, GET OFF THE SOFA’. And so we should.
Jump Up is an online fitness store selling unique fitness equipment and sportswear with the intention of inspiring people to jump up, get off the sofa and create a fit and healthy lifestyle.
As the website ‘About me’ page explains, Steve, the founder, quite literally got up off the sofa. A self-proclaimed ex-couch potato, Steve lost 2 stone in weight and nearly 10% of his body fat through sheer determination and focus. Subsequently, he decided to launch Jump Up to help inspire others to get out there and get started.
This is so up my street right now. Yes, I love sofa time and I love making sure I get plenty of rest and downtime. However, as you may know, at the grand old age of 34, I really started to lose weight and look after myself. I actually get up at 5:30 am and go for a run. Surprisingly, this has been going on for months. Who even am I right now? I so wish that I had begun to do so sooner.
Anyway, due to ongoing back problems, I also continue to practise yoga. I started practising more regularly towards the end of 2017. Now try to fit it in to help strengthen my body and stretch out the muscles that cause me discomfort.
Then, as I worked my way through Yoga With Adrienne’s 30 days of Yoga, I found that my mat was beginning to look worn and the material was perishing at one end. No doubt this is a result of the numerous transitions to downward dog. The foot ‘peddling’, which commonly accompanies the pose would be a challenge for any yoga mat. However, I was disappointed at how quickly the condition of the mat had deteriorated.
Recently, as a blogger, I saw an opportunity to try out a yoga mat in return for an honest review. By the way, I hope you guys know that I wouldn’t review something and not be honest, 1. It just isn’t in my nature and 2. It would do me no favours in the long run.
So, with my current yoga mat looking and feeling a bit worn, it was perfect timing to take a look at a new Latex-free Yoga and Pilates mat. Of the mats on offer, I was immediately drawn to the green, otherwise known as Aqua, peacock design. With a gorgeous rich colour, the mat arrives rolled up with accompanying yoga terminology and explanations:
Now just before we head on into the review, I just want to note that I still consider myself to be a beginner. Whilst my understanding of flows and terminology is far greater than many, I am still relatively new to the practice and I have only ever had one yoga mat of my own.
On the first impression, it looks great quality, very easy on the eye and isn’t too heavy to carry. Although the mat arrives alone, you can buy suitable mat carriers from the website to assist you in your journey to a class.
Size, cost, comfort and texture
The dimensions are: 0.6cm x 61cm x 172cm and at almost 5ft 6, this mat is plenty big enough for the likes of me.
One thing I hadn’t realised is just how much you can pay for a good quality yoga mat if your budget allows. Mine wouldn’t allow for the big bucks, that’s for sure. I am looking for something more affordable but, of course, good value for money.
Now, at £30, one might initially consider the price a little steep for a yoga mat. However, it seems you get what you pay for. My current grey yoga matt was picked up from TK Maxx and cost me some between £5 & £10. At the time, I opted for something more affordable whilst I discovered whether Yoga was really for me. Happily, it was.
An aspect that I was especially keen on was comfort. I had found that my previous mat had my knees feeling somewhat pained during certain yoga poses. There has been a number of occasions where I would give up on a pose due to the pressure of the hard ground on my knees. This mat, however, is very comfortable and thick enough to provide the extra cushioning and support.
The mat texture is also different. In contrast to my current smoother textured mat, this one appears shiny, smooth and feels ever so slightly sticky. Just not in a gross way. With the ‘sticky’ element allowing for extra ‘grip’, the mat provides a stable base for practice, stays put during the workout and doesn’t stretch.
So, all in all, the mat is serving me well and looks great. In terms of durability, only time will tell and I will keep you posted as the downward dogs continue. However, so far so good and I am very pleased with my choice.
For more information on the yoga equipment available from Jump Up, you can check out their page here: https://jumpuponline.com/collections/home-fitness. Go take a look, they also offer equipment for strengthening, cardio and core workouts with prices beginning at just £6.