If you have any experience with yoga, you know the importance of a good mat. However, the criterion for a good mat can be a bit subjective. Some people like a yoga mat that provides a lot of cushioning and support, whereas others prefer less cushion and bulk and more traction. If you fall into the second category, Gaiam’s Sol Bhakti Ultralite Rubber Mat is the one for you.
I’ve never tried an ultra-lightweight yoga mat before so I was excited to give this one a shot. I was a bit skeptical when I first received the mat. Rolled up tightly, it’s less than four inches in diameter and I wondered what advantage it could possibly have over my other mats, which have a lot more cushion. The Bhakti is only 1mm thick and weighs less than 2lbs, so I also wondered how it would hold up after prolonged use. After using it several times, it became clear that this yoga mat has advantages of its own:
1. Excellent Grip
When I first started using this mat, I was amazed at how much traction you get. When you’re more than halfway into a pregnancy like I am and doing long holds in Half Moon Pose, that’s a real plus. My husband, who also does yoga regularly at home and likes to use this mat, said the same thing. Not only will your feet get great traction, but the mat also doesn’t slip and slide on more slippery surfaces.
2. Thin and Lightweight
Rolled up, this mat feels more dense than other mats I’ve used due to its compact design, but it’s actually very lightweight and takes up virtually no space. I think I could buy five of these mats and they would take up about as much room as a standard yoga mat. You can either roll the mat to store it or fold it into a square, since it's only 1mm thick. As I write this article I’m on a road trip and I don’t know if I could have found space to bring a yoga mat with me if I hadn’t received this one.
3. High Quality Materials
The Bhakti mat is made of 100% rubber from sustainable sources. It’s easy to clean and care for and also comes with a lifetime guarantee from Gaiam. I’ve been impressed with how this mat has held up despite travel and frequent outdoor use.
4. Attractive Design
The Bhakti’s minimalism also carries over into its design. In fact, when you roll it out, the mat looks kind of like a thin piece of attractively colored rubber that was cut into a rectangle. Personally, I like this style and I love the dark plum color and simple edging.
Overall, I’m happy with this mat and find myself using it for most of my yoga sessions. The lack of padding is really the only disadvantage I’ve noted. If cushioning is what you want, the Bhakti is probably not the best choice. If you are looking for a high-quality, compact mat with good traction for challenging poses, the Bhakti is an excellent choice.
The Sol Bhakti Ultralite Rubber Yoga Mat is available for $39.98 at Gaiam.com.