- JadeYoga designed its Harmony Mat to provide added traction and cushion for improved stability during standing poses – it also makes it an excellent choice for sweaty workouts.
- I’ve used the Harmony Mat for more than a year after trying dozens of others and while no mat is perfect, this one’s proven to be my go-to time and again, especially for my sweatier workouts.
- Though $85 is expensive for a piece of rubber placed on the floor, it’s a worthwhile investment for a yoga mat of this quality – and I can’t recommend it enough.
When I was a teenager, I used to leave sweaty handprints on my school work. It wasn’t because I stressed about taking a test, that’s just me – I sweat. And it’s embarrassing. At age 30, my husband affectionately nicknamed me Sweaty Betty (my name is not Betty) and my main worry regarding my inability to stop perspiring is slipping on my yoga mat.
When I began my yoga practice several years ago, I used a $5 mat from my local grocery store. Within a matter of minutes in my first class, I transitioned from downward dog to a laying-flat-on-my-face dog, which, according to the instructor, is not a yoga pose. I had slipped due to sweaty hands before the class had hardly started.
I falsely assumed that as I built up my yoga stamina, I’d stop sweating so much – but was I ever wrong. Several years later, my yoga mat still looked like it just got out of the shower even after a fairly mellow practice. So, when one of my friends decided to become a yoga teacher, part of her mission was to find a mat I could use without injuring myself.
The JadeYoga Solution
After a mat made for hot yoga still made me slide, we went to a specific yoga mat class together. Saying I was skeptical to find a mat is an understatement, but I was up for trying the dozen or so mats laid out on the studio floor. Some I didn't even bother with after just touching the surface and knowing it would end in tragedy while others I was able to use with the assistance of a towel. Then I landed on the JadeYoga Harmony Mat.
According to JadeYoga's website, the mat "provides great traction and cushion while still providing stability for standing poses." Traction is exactly what I needed and because my body can be best described as bony, a cushioned mat is also a necessity.
The mat retails for roughly $80 and up, depending on if you get a 68-inch, 71-inch, or 74-inch mat. It's 3/16-inches thick, 24-inches wide, and weighs about five pounds. Not that it matters when it comes to how well the mat performs, but it also comes in more than a dozen colors and prints.
It's made using natural rubber tapped from rubber trees (a renewable source) and contains no PVC, EVA, or other synthetic rubber. JadeYoga also plants a tree for every mat sold and donates $5 to charity with the purchase of certain mat colors.
Sweat-testing the Jade Yoga Harmony Mat
After miraculously not slipping on the mat for the few minutes I was on it at the studio, my friend bought me the 68-inch mat as a gift. I've now used the mat for more than a year and can attest that my yoga practice has never been better.
First off, the mat doesn't have an odor like some mats do when you first buy them - it's also the stickiest mat I've found. The surface isn't smooth or shiny like others but actually feels like it has tiny dots that help aid in the traction. These dots aren't uncomfortable, either, no matter how long your yoga session is.
Both my hands and feet grip right away and the 5-pound weight of the mat also helps keep it in place. While I joke about sliding and falling on my mat, it can be incredibly dangerous for people. Aside from smashing your face on the ground, you can easily pull or tear muscles if you stretch too far from an inability to grip.
As for the cushioning, my spine and knees used to be covered in bruises but with this mat, they no longer are. It's thick enough to not cause injury but not too thick that it's overly soft and therefore difficult to move. When I'm taking a yin class and holding poses for five minutes or more, I do find myself reaching for my yoga knee cushion but needing it is rare.
Keep in mind that no mat is perfect; if you're taking a 60-minute hot vinyasa class, you'll likely still slip a bit. This is solved by throwing down a yoga towel - my favorite is Gaiam's Stay-Put Yoga Towel. The photo above is how my mat looked when removing my hands near the end of an intense practice. While I still wasn't slipping, I decided to put my towel down anyway because it was inevitable that it would happen soon.
A few things to keep in mind
Because the mat is pretty sticky, another word of warning - more than just your hands stick to it. If you have a home yoga practice and your pets like to join you, it's probably best to not let them on it, as I've learned the hard way it attracts fur.
Just make sure you're cleaning it often. I use Austra cleaner and it seems to work quite well. It hasn't taken any of the traction off the mat but if you're really scrubbing, some of the colors does come off.
It's also important to note that my mat is on a hardwood floor, so I can't say what it's like to use on carpet. The cushion would be better, of course, but the odds of sliding might be higher, so keep that in mind when deciding where to practice.
The bottom line
After a solid year of use, JadeYoga's Harmony Mat is still just as sticky as when I first used it. With the addition of a towel for super sweaty practices, it's a worthy investment if you're serious about yoga (and not falling on your face). Though the $80 and up price tag may steer some people away, it's well worth the investment for how well it retains traction, reduces the amount of bruising on my knees and back, and for how durable it is.
- Should you buy it? If you sweat while doing yoga, then yes. There are no better mats more well-equipped to handle a sweaty yoga session than the JadeYoga Harmony Mat. It's high amount of traction, as well as welcome cushion, make it as great for casual yoga sessions as it is for Bikram.
- What are your alternatives? There are plenty of yoga mat alternatives on the market from brands like Manduka, Prana, and YoGo, though much of the decision on what to purchase comes down to personal preference (assuming you're not keen on the $5 grocery store mats). Maybe you need one that's highly portable? Check out YoGo's Travel Mat. Perhaps you're on a budget - if so, go with the Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat. If you sweat often during workouts, then the Jade Yoga Harmony Mat is for you.
Pros: Handles sweaty workouts extremely well, highly cushioned to help avoid bruising, still durable after a year of use, comes in a variety of colors
Cons: $80 and up price tag may be steep for some