We leave Friday morning for our grand camping adventure. Today is Wednesday. Sometime between now and Friday, I need to have my things packed, help make sure the others have their things packed, and the dog needs a bath. These are things that need to be done along with my regular daily things like work (I have a stack of papers to read) and teaching yoga. I probably should do a load of laundry as well just to be sure I have enough underwear. Oh...and clean the blood off the rug where the cat murdered a rabbit last night. The things that I need to do are pulling me away from keeping up with my regular scheduled programming.
Today I should be telling you about something yoga related. I recently made a purchase that I should have made years ago. I finally broke down and bought a travel yoga mat. I have resisted doing this for years for a number of reasons. First of all, I love love love my Manduka eKO yoga mat. The top layer is firm and I have never had a problem with slipping while on this mat. The bottom layer is squishy and provides a nice cushiony support. Some of you may have looked at the price tag for this yoga mat and gulped. Trust me. I did the same thing the first time I bought this mat. I am now on my second eKO. The first one lasted me almost eight years and is still actually a good mat. It has one spot where the top layer started separating from the bottom layer and I decided that I just needed a new mat. That first mat saw me through yoga teacher training, teaching six hours of yoga a week, a daily personal practice and the death of a husband. I still have this mat. Michael uses it.
Another reason why I have resisted the purchase of a travel mat is because I am cheap. I see no need to purchase something else when I already have something that performs and works well for me. Except, and this took me some time to figure this out, my eKO mat does not work well for me when traveling. It is big, bulky and heavy. It does not fit in a suitcase, or it does, but it takes up too much space in the suitcase. It barely fits in some overhead compartments. As a result, I end up leaving my yoga mat at home and then I don't do yoga while I'm traveling. Yes, I know I just did a post about not needing your own mat to do yoga, but this is a skill I have only recently acquired. When I saw that I could get a Manduka eKO Light on sale at REI, I snatched it up. I thought "You know Cindy? You have been practice yoga for twenty years. It's time you treated yourself." and this is what I did. The eKO light is basically just the top layer of the eKO. It rolls up skinny and is already shoved under the dinette in the camper. I can't wait roll it out during this camping trip.
People frequently ask me about yoga mats. How much money they should spend? Who makes the best mat? If you are the kind of person who only steps onto a yoga mat two to three times a week while you are at the gym, then one of those $20 Gaiam mats are perfect. These mats are easy to clean. I used to just throw mine in with towels in the washer and then hang it on the clothes line to dry. These mats, when clean, also grip well and provide some cushion from the hard floor. The more you use a mat, of course, the more you see wear and tear. When you find yourself wearing out the $20 mat more frequently than usual, then you should consider upgrading. I don't know who makes the best mat. Like I said, I really love my Manduka, but I read a lot of reviews before I purchased that mat. Just do your research. If you spend $100 on a mat, you want to be sure that it is going to be durable and last you. I found reading reviews helped me choose a mat that is all of the above.
There's my unsolicited advice on yoga mats and I am not being paid by Manduka or Gaiam to write this entry. We will be on the road Friday, so I'm just going to say. I am thankful for the reminder to treat myself. I am thankful for new adventures. And I am thankful for you.
See ya in a week or so.