Courtesy of Adidas
Elevate your sartorial savvy by giving your typical pad a designer upgrade. The chic Women's Adidas by Stella McCartney yoga mat features detachable handles and a deep periwinkle tone for a mat that's as fashionable as it is functional.
Courtesy of Magic Carpet
Inject a healthy dose of personality into your pigeon pose: Sophie Leininger's hand-painted Magic Carpet mats infuse your practice with color and pattern, using UV-cured and environmentally friendly inks. Take a trip back in time with this new Art Deco–inspired pad, or get closer to nature with the desert- and mountain-inspired designs.
Courtesy of Jade
Flex Your Feel-Good Muscles
A favorite of yogis, Jade's eco-friendly pads have garnered a devoted following for good reason: The US-made mats are free of PVC, EVA, or other synthetic rubbers, and the company plants a tree for every one sold. Stand out in class with the brand's best-selling Harmony mat in a bright shade: a bright and sunny fluorescent green.
Courtesy of Willey
If your typical pad leaves you slipping and sliding as soon as things get sweaty, swap it out for a Yoloha Cork yoga mat. The pad's waxy material becomes grippier when wet, and its naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties zap bacteria and mold.
Waj Lana Peackock Feather Mat
Proud as a Peacock
Mastering peacock pose is no easy feat, but you can add a dash of the regal bird into your practice with a Wai Lana Peacock Feather mat. Emblazoned with the Asian symbol of luck and prosperity, the pad is twice the thickness of the company's standard mat so you'll always be supported, whether you're attempting advanced postures or taking a break in child's pose.
Courtesy of Manduka
Sometimes bigger really is better, especially where Manduka's The PRO Squared mat is concerned. This jumbo nonslip pad comes with a price tag to match its size, but splurge and you can transform a hefty chunk of your living room into a functional space for full salutations with friends. Girls' night, anyone?
Courtesy of YogaJack
If most mats seem a touch too girly, add some roughed-up style from YogaJack. The extra-thick ONE mat boasts muted tones and a clean-cut design. But it's not just all about looks: For added grip, the sleek pads feature a nonslip surface that feels like woven fabric, and a bottom pattern designed to thwart sliding. Pick one up for yourself, and an extra for your favorite guy so you can om side-by-side.
Courtesy of Lululemon
Road Ready Multi-Mat
If you frequently flip-flop between intense indoor Bikram sweat sessions and stretching solo in the great outdoors, take Lululemon's reversible The (Towel) Mat for a test-drive. With an absorbent microfiber top and grippy rubber bottom, you can flip the mat based on your mood and practice. Just toss it into the washing machine to erase any traces of grimier workouts.
Courtesy of Gaim
Whether you're packing for a weekend away or crave a quickie lunchtime stretch break, Gaiam's Sol Bhakti ultra-light yoga mat won't bog you down. Weighing in at less than two pounds and measuring only a millimeter thick, the mat easily folds into a small square so you have one less bag to carry.
Yoga Direct Alignment Mat.jpg
For those new to the yoga scene, Yoga Direct's Premium Printed Alignment mat makes it easy to fall in line. The handy guides printed right on the mat make it a breeze for beginners to follow along, even as you learn new poses. With extra- thick padding and a newbie-friendly price, you're out of reasons to skip that intro class.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2013.