I took to my first yoga class 14 years ago. On my way out the door, I noticed the basket of mats for sale. In my memory it was an impulse buy: I’d only been to one class, but some part of me knew I was a lifer. Not knowing what I wanted or needed in a yoga mat, my selection was largely based on color. I went with a rich Dijon (the only one I’ve ever seen of its kind).
I had no idea that mustard-colored Prana Indigena Natural Yoga Mat would be the same one I still use every week, more than a decade later. I’ve practiced at countless studios and taken classes all over the world and I’ve never used a better, sturdier, more flexible mat than this one.
The mat is thinner than most. You may need to double it up for a headstand, but its flexibility lets you fold it up to about an 8 ½-by-11-inch rectangle, small enough to throw on top of a suitcase without taking up a ton of room or even fit in a standard-sized backpack. Other mats can become slippery or pill, leaving black bits all over your face and fanny—I’ve practiced on some that are practically worn through at the hands and feet. But my mat is intact and non-slip even after years of regular use. Made of non-toxic natural rubber and available in a range of colors (sadly, no more Dijon), it’s also easy to clean in a soap-free washing machine. (Or just rinse it in the shower and let it dry in the sun.)