Yoga offers the opportunity for pure connection. Connection to breath, to movement, to spirit. Teachers inspire by telling their students to just show up, on the mat, bringing with them their true selves; their hopes, their fears, their triumphs, and their insecurities. While the breath is the physiological foundation of a yoga practice, the mat is often considered the ‘home’ of the practice. Indeed, most yoga practitioners that I know find a mat that they love, and it becomes their place of practice, a companion to their journey.
What is it?
The Harmony mat is Jade’s most popular mat. All of Jade’s mats are made from natural rubber, a sustainable, renewable resource, and don’t have any PVC or synthetic rubber fillers. Jade is devoted to giving back, and the sale of select colors of their mats support specific causes. In addition, for each mat they sell, they plant a tree, (through a partnership with Trees for the Future.) Apparently, they’ve been quite busy selling mats and planting trees; their website has a running tally, and as of this writing, they’ve planted over 1 million trees.
Does it Work?
I opened the package, and was slightly taken back by the smell. Rubber is a renewable resource, but the mat smelled strongly of, well, rubber. As I read the packaging, it did offer a warning of sorts, letting me know the smell was normal, and would dissipate. I decided to hang my mat for a couple days before taking any deep breaths around it.
Two days later, I got my mat back, interested to see how it would support my practice. I love that there are two colors on the mat, a darker and lighter shade of, in this case, a beautiful purple. I chose the darker shade, feeling that I wanted to invigorate my practice, and the saturated color felt appropriate. There was only a very faint smell of rubber, and knowing that it was a natural smell, void of any toxic fumes, I stepped on the mat and began breathe.
As I began my first round of sun salutations, I appreciated the length of the mat. At 5’8”, I don’t consider myself exceptionally tall, although some mats that I’ve tried have felt just a little too short. The harmony mat gave me space to stretch a little deeper; explore my movement a bit further. I also loved the feel of the mat. It gave the right amount of cushion and stickiness. My hands and feet felt exceptionally secure, even as I began to heat up and, shall we say, glisten. (Full disclosure: I wasn’t glistening, I was dripping).
As I drifted into Savasana, I felt supported by the thickness of the mat, and I didn’t feel any puddles, a good sign for the mat’s absorbency. The mat is a decent weight, which I noticed when I took it to hang and get some air of its own. I would take it to yoga class, but might not pack it for a trip.
With the Harmony mat, I think I’ve found a new “home” for my practice. The philosophy of the company, combined with the luxe feel of the mat, is just right for welcoming me and all of my glorious imperfections.
Jade Harmony Yoga Mat