Yoga Belly Blog

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Yoga Gear: For the Dedicated, Discerning, Superficial, or Trust-Fund Baby

We’re back with another yoga gear guide. This time, we’ll be looking at high end yoga gear, the Mercedes Benz of the yoga world. Don’t let the irony of “fancy yoga products” escape you! Again, prices are ballpark-ish.

MatManduka Black Mat Pro $95


Why: Um, well, it’s widely considered to be the best mat out there. Super sturdy, super sticky, this mat will last you your whole life (and if it doesn’t, you get your money back). I bought mine a few weeks ago and am kicking myself for not getting it sooner.

Cons: Very expensive, and pretty heavy to lug around.

Towel: Yogitoes Skidless Premium Mat-Size Yoga Towel $50

Why: Non-slip silicone grippies stick to your mat, towel is super absorbent and can handle a few classes before it gets really raunchy. It stays pretty flat on the mat and doesn’t wrinkle like bath towels do. It has two sides (the side with and without the silicone dots) so you can fold it to whatever side you need. I got mine a few weeks after I started practicing and it totally changed my practice, I sweat like a beast and it took my mat from a slip-n-slide to a yoga mat. No regrets.

Cons: Price, and they’re a little high maintenance. They bleed in the wash, so you’re supposed to wash them separately (but I don’t and still love it). If you forget to take it out of the dryer (I often do, so far it hasn’t seemed like a big deal), you can power a small town with all that static electricity. Weirdly, it really only works when wet, it doesn’t make much difference if you’re not seriously sweating.

Blocks: Hugger Mugger Cork Yoga Block $18

Why: First off, I HAVE NOT actually practiced with these, so this is a bit of a wild guess. But, I have felt them in person, and they feel lovely, nice and smooth and grip-able, and they’re eco-friendly, and pretty. Purists would say they’re more like the “original” blocks (typically made from bamboo or wood). More legitimately, they have 54 5-star reviews on Amazon. But, in terms of functionality, I can’t see much difference between them and their foam counterparts.

Cons: Price, and they’re really heavy.

Strap: Wai Lana Organic Cotton Yoga Strap $30

Why: Functional, pretty, organic.

Cons: Price.


  1. Went to Lululemon a few weeks ago after reading the manduka post and decided to go for the splurge. However, often I walk to class (I live just a couple of blocks from the studio) and decided to pick up the Manduka Lite. Any thoughts on the difference between the pro and the lite? (ie. was it a waste to spend that much and not just go for the best one)? Just curious. Great post!

  2. Tristen

    September 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

    You know, I’ve never tried the Manduka Lite. But, I know plenty of people who are happy with it, and I really trust the Manduka brand, so I imagine it’s similarly awesome.

    From what I understand, the biggest difference between the Pro and the Lite is thickness, weight, and price. The Pro is a little thicker/sturdier, almost twice as heavy (4-ish vs. 7-ish pounds), and more expensive. The Lite is less bulky, but still supportive and sticky. They both come with a lifetime guarantee, so either one could be the last mat you ever buy.

    The important question is: does it work for you? How do YOU like it? I’m curious, keep us posted!

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