I didn't love this mat when I first got it, it had a serious chemical smell that even stunk up my car if I left the mat in there too long. But I kept at it, and once the smell wore off, I started to love it.
The Upside: this mat has the best grip of any yoga mat I have ever tried. I do power yoga, so that is especially important to me! I don't have to use a mat towel any more, which is huge because it cuts my laundry load by a ton! I like the thickness of the mat too- its great for headstands!
The Downside: The mat is so heavy! If you walk to your studio, as I do, it can be a pain to drag this mat around. The smell is gross at first, but it does wear off. And the mat does get discolored. I have a light pink mat, and areas look a bit brown.
Overall, I think grip is so important, so I do love The Mat. I'd say it's among the top 3 brands, among Manduka and Jade. Unfortunately none of these is perfect, so it depends what you like and what style of yoga you practice!
March 4, 2014
Wanted to like this mat!
My husband got me this mat for my birthday, and I was very excited to try it as I have been using a very thin, cheap mat for years. But the smell is truly horrible--I asked the Lulu sales clerk about it and he said to wash it with water and baking soda in the shower and leave it out to air, but it's still pretty repulsive. And distracting, especially in child's pose or any other pose in which one puts one's face on the mat!
Also, my hands slipped in downward dog, so I went to lulu and bought the towel they recommended, but that hasn't helped much. At this point I have spent almost 100 dollars on a mat/towel combo I like MUCH LESS than my cheap Gaiam brand I used for years. Ugh. Needless to say, I am not happy and it's unlikely I'll buy anything at lulu again soon, even though all of my yoga clothes have been purchased there for at least five years.....
March 3, 2014
The best mat. period.
I dont understand how people are giving this mat such bad reviews. THIS MAT IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO MY PRACTICE! for one you don't even need a towel. I have used it through hot yoga, power flow (heated) and yoga sculpt classes (also heated) and I have never had a problem with slipping, even with puddles of sweat on my mat! AMAZING! The cushioning is fantastic and I love the colors! I got mine in hot pink and i love using it. I have had previous experiences with other high quality yoga mats like jade and manduka, and I have been unsatisfied with them. They slip and are constantly distracting my practice and focus because of it. This mat allows me to focus on the poses and not worry about my mat not working properly. And for the smell... I have news for everyone out there ALL YOGA MATS ARE MADE FROM PLASTIC AND CHEMICALS! I would so much rather have to deal with the smell than slipping! And the smell is not as bad as previous reviews say that it is. If the smell bothers you then good luck finding a mat that doesn't smell because all the high quality yoga mats have the same problem. There is no comparison out there for this mat. It is on its own level. I love it and you should buy it.
As a side note I disinfect mine with tea tree oil after every other practice to keep it microbe free. And it seems to be working well. I wash it with baking soda and hot water.
March 2, 2014
embarrassed by my mat -- the mat
I've been doing yoga for about 20 years. I recently splurged and bought THE MAT. I've used this mat for a month now, IT STILL SMELLS! I am embarrassed in the yoga studio -- yes, i know yoga is nonjudgemental -- but really I feel like a poser yogi with this mat. I am sure people avoid being near me.
In an environment where breath is what is all about... all I smell is this mat and really detracts from the whole experience. Not only does it smell... IT SMELLS LIKE PETROLEUM OR CHEMICALS -- it smell unhealthy! ... not what I want in my practice.
Actually, I just washed it again, and it is drying in the basement and the entire basement smell like the mat. I am going to sell this (if I can on ebay) and buy another mat.
I have also experience the stretch that other mentioned in their reviews.
February 28, 2014
Minor issues but best mat I've tried
I've had this mat for over a year now. I agree with most of the other reviewers that this is a great, cushiony mat that gets more grippy with moisture. I do find the surface of the mat slippery if my hands are dry. I get around this by misting the mat with water before I use it. I just mist the top of my mat around where I place my hands. I do find that the mat has discolored but I don't really care about that. It does have that chemical odor which improves w/ time. And it is heavy. Every once in a while (OK, maybe not as often as I should), I hose down the mat outside and clean the surface with dish soap, then hose the soap off and let dry. I find after I do this, I restore some of the mat's grippiness, probably because I'm washing off the oil/grime that has accumulated. A lot of people that go to the studio I go to have this mat and everyone I know is happy with its performance.
February 28, 2014
Great Mat for 6 Months
I got this mat in April of last year, after trying a few others that just didn't cut it in the grip department.
The Mat did have a pretty intense odor when I first unrolled it. I let it air for a few days before trying to practice with it, but even then it took several weeks for the smell to really diminish. On the plus side, the grip was fantastic. I rarely ever had to use a yoga towel, and I had plenty of awesome vinyasa classes on that thing!
Sadly, though, when I started practicing seriously about six months later (3+ classes per week) things started to go downhill. The grip remained, but the mat itself started to "break down" on me. I noticed when I was in poses like Warrior II that the middle of the mat was stretching out, and that there were ripples ahead of my front foot and behind my back foot. I tried altering my stance to see if that would help, but it continued to stretch more and more with every class. I eventually gave up and got myself a more dense mat.
Another issue that I had - and this might not bother other people - was some major discoloration. It was a dark blue mat, maybe a step below navy, and the sweat spots started to turn a nasty rust color. I cleaned it regularly after practice, and tried deep-cleaning with baking soda, but no luck getting them to go away. At that point I started using a towel just to cover the stains.
Bottom line: The grip is fantastic. If you practice more than three days a week though, be prepared to replace it every six months or so. And I would recommend getting it in black!
February 24, 2014
Unimpressed so far...
I bought this mat a week ago and have used it twice. It's supposed to be an upgrade from the Gaiam Sol Shakti 4-mm rubber mat that keeps shredding on me due to use.
I was apprehensive to buy the Lulu mat because if you don't like it you have to return it within two weeks in its original packaging. I don't even want to think about the workout I'd get trying to shove the mat back into that cellophane!
I don't give a hoot about cosmetic damage to a mat, but what I really care about is grippiness and durability. The Lulu sales reps convinced me that their mat had both, which is why I went ahead and plunked ~$70 on it, but so far I disagree. I definitely work up a sweat during my sessions (vinyasa and ashtanga), and already I'm finding that my hands slip constantly on the smooth surface of the Lulu mat. Scuffing is inevitable and doesn't bother me, but I noticed after the first use that the rubber didn't "bounce back" very well - my hands and feet were already leaving slow-to-recover indentations (kind of like on memory foam). I've read other reviews that say this is a definite problem in the long-term.
For what the Lulu mats cost, they should have a money-back guarantee. The Gaiam mat is cheaper (between $45-50 on Amazon with FREE SHIPPING), has a significantly better, grippier surface, and has a LIFETIME GUARANTEE people - I've sent it back three times for a brand-new replacement. I will keep trying this mat, but I have a feeling it's going to my daughter (who now has my "new" Gaiam Sol!). :(
February 24, 2014
Best Mat Ever!! -- don't listen to the negatives
best mat I have ever practiced with. you don't slip, youre always comfortable. The smell only stays for a bit and all you have to do is leave it in fresh air for a bit
February 24, 2014
this mat is pretty awesome - it smells at first but the more you use it, the more the smell goes away. airing it out helps, too. I don't need a towel for hot yoga bc this does such a good job absorbing sweat. I love the chakra quote at the front. the only downside is that this mat is a pain to roll up. other than that it's great!!!
February 23, 2014
don't waste your money
Reading some of the previous reviews, I have had a similar, bad experience with this product. I have had this mat for over a year. It stains VERY easily. I cannot get the stains out and it still has a slight odor. I have scrubbed it many times with warm water, soap & baking soda. I have even soaked it in a bath with baking soda and let air dry outside for 24 hours. I really wanted to love this mat because I received it as a birthday present, and I know the quality of lululemon products are usually very good. This is by far the worst mat I have ever owned, and I would not recommend it to anyone. It is too heavy if walking to a yoga class. I have given up trying to make the best of it and I have gone back to my old mat. I will not look into purchasing a mat from Lulu again.
February 20, 2014