elephantjournal received this Jade Elite Yoga Mat for free. That said, we say what we think—good and bad, happy or sad. ~ ed.
Is there any yoga mat as sturdy as the Manduka Pro?
Some may say that Jade is most popular for their almighty Harmony yoga mat, loved by hot yoga practitioners all over. The absorbency, stickiness and padding are absolutely perfect for a blazing hot room with antimicrobial flooring. What you may not know is that the Jade Harmony has a quiet, younger sibling called the Jade Elite. Its sturdiness and grip made me realize that this mat may be a contender in a ring up against the cult-favorite Manduka Black Mat Pro.
Originally, I just needed something a few inches longer than my drugstore purchased yoga mat. I’m 5’10” and find that the more mat length I have, the less scrunched I feel. I wanted something that I wouldn’t feel guilty about owning or wouldn’t someday be the reason I got cancer. I’m not 100% convinced that just because an item was made in an eco-friendly manner automatically means it’s something I should be pressing my sweaty body against every single day. I’m talking about you, PVC!
I was also looking for a mat that I could use in both a yoga studio with perfect flooring and support my joints properly while doing my home practice on my extremely cushy carpeted floors. For months, I was convinced that the only mat that met all of my criteria was Manduka’s Black Mat Pro until one day, I finally sat down and read the description of every single one of Jade’s yoga mats and I was pleasantly surprised to find this on their website:
“[Jade Elite Yoga Mat is] A firmer, denser, heavier yoga mat for the advanced practice. Elite’s smoother texture provides a little more give and a little less grab – promoting a more flowing and, by requiring more strength and balance to hold pose, a stronger practice. Works well over carpet and durable enough to hold up to the toughest Ashtangi’s yoga practice…”
So, I immediately emailed Jade’s support team and asked if this was a comparable product to the Manduka Pro and if it would hold up well in my carpeted home practice. I received a rapid response from the Dean Jerrahian himself where he answered yes to all of my questions and even sent me a mat to practice on so I could see for myself. Score!
After a few weeks of testing it out I learned that the description online couldn’t be more true! Don’t let the thickness of this mat fool you. It is sturdy, yet forgiving, and allows any yoga practitioner to glide through each asana with effortless grace. Is that too hokey? I can’t help it! This mat has provided me with everything I need in a mat and more:
Length I don’t feel like I’m too long for this mat.
Weight This mat weighs in at a meager 7lbs. (Beat that Manduka!)
Cushion The 5mm thickness provides enough support for my achy joints.
Grip There was no slippage going on in my downward facing dog. I was really able to press firmly into the mat and feel confident that I wasn’t going to slip and face plant!
Sturdiness This mat held up really well in both the studio and carpeted home flooring.
Materials My conscience? Clear! This mat is made of natural rubber. No off-gassing PVC here!
Unfortunately, the Jade Elite only comes in one color, Charcoal. A flattering color for everyone, but doesn’t allow for a ton of individuality. However, don’t let that bring you down; this mat will definitely stick out in a crowded studio.
Stephanie Sullivan is a self-proclaimed tech geek from the Pacific Northwest and is relatively new to the yoga scene. When she isn’t talking to computers you can usually find her trying to get her heels to touch the ground in Downward Dog, face planting in Crow Pose or praying she makes it through her practice in Child’s Pose. You can find her future ramblings on her website.