Manduka Yoga Info & FAQs | Yoga Studio

Manduka Yoga Info & FAQs

The PRO Series:

Manduka call their PRO Series the “Taj Mahal” of yoga mats. They state the PRO Series are the most sustainable mats on the market for the last 10 years. Manduka claim this because they make the PRO Series from eco-certified PVC material, which is manufactured without emissions.

The PRO Series has a surface texture which has a fabric-like finish that is slip resistant even when wet from light perspiration. Manduka claim the PRO Series are the thickest, densest yoga mats on the market which have been designed to provide extra cushioning and comfort for your joints and support. Manduka also offers a Lifetime Guarantee.

The PRO Series is available in two forms:

The Black Mat PRO, and the PROlite.

Both the Black Mat PRO and the PROlite mats are almost identical – the major differences are the weight, the thickness and the colours available. The PROlite is a lighter, thinner version of the Black Mat PRO. Think of the PROlite as the travel friendly version of the Black Mat PRO.

Manduka say that the PROlite was designed for yogis who want the look and feel of the Black Mat PRO, but prefer a lighter version to go take with them everywhere.

What are the PRO Series made out of?:

The PRO series mats are made from Oeko-Tex certified, emissions-free manufacturing PVC and a blend of Polyester. They are produced in Germany where strict environmental controls are in place for the production of PVC products.

Is there Latex in the PRO Series?:

In a word; No. The PRO Series are latex-free. Latex is a by-product of rubber. The PRO Series are made from PVC and a blend of Polyester, not rubber.

Is the PRO Series Environmentally Friendly?:

Manduka consider their PRO Series an “environmental conscious choice” when considering purchasing a yoga mat. PVC is not an environmentally friendly, however Manduka state that because their mats last a Lifetime (or two!) that their mats rarely end up in landfills as cheap PVC yoga mats do. PVC is known to seep its toxins into a landfill once disposed. Manufacturing PVC often releases toxins into the air. Manduka report that their manufacturing process for the PRO Series is certified emissions free, meaning that no toxins are released in the manufacturing stage, and fewer toxins are released into a landfill when compared to cheap PVC mats.

OEKO-TEX which is a European association for the Textile Industry certifies that the Manduka PRO Series (both Black Mat PRO and PROlite ranges) is safe and free from harmful substances.

Manduka mainly justify their PRO Series mats as an “environmentally conscious choice” because although they are PVC yoga mats – they are long lasting PVC mats that are used for many years before being re-cycled or thrown away.

My Manduka Black Mat PRO Series mat is Slippy. What do I do?:

Manduka state there is a Break-In Period for their Pro Series. There is a thin film on top of the mats that has to wear off before reaching its optimum stickiness. This Break-In Period typically lasts 3 months of daily practice and a “little” bit of slipping during that time so that the friction of the feet and hands wears on the mat.

To protect themselves – Manduka state that once the mat is broken in, if you sweat a lot there still may be a slight amount of slip in some standing poses and poses like down dog. Manduka go on to say; If you keep you awareness and energy moving towards, instead of away, from the centre of gravity, the “slippage” stops and one can stay firm in a pose.

My Manduka Black Mat PRO Series mat has a slight smell. How do I get rid of this?:

You can first try leaving your new mat unrolled for a few days, a week should do it. If there is still a smell you can scrub the mat with a solution of: water and organic cider vinegar solution. Manduka’ s PRO Series mat cleaning spray called; Manduka Mat Renew will also do the job nicely. A lot of people report spraying their mat down in the bath or shower, and using a very mild vinegar solution to clean the surface.

How can I clean my Pro Series Mat? What can I clean my Pro Series Mat with?:

Manduka say you can lightly scrub the mat with a soft brush, cloth or sponge using a gentle household cleaner or a specially formulated yoga mat wash, like Manduka Mat Renew.

Manduka say you can clean the Pro Series with clean water and air dry in the sunshine. DO NOT put your mat into the washing machine or dryer!

Yoga Studio recommends cleaning all yoga mats with a homemade solution of:

  • ¼ cup of white vinegar,
  • 1 cup of water,
  • 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil,
  • 10-15 drops of Tea Tree oil.

Mix this all up; you can put the solution into a clean spray bottle (like an old window cleaner) or just keep the solution in a bowl and dip a sponge or towel into the solution. This works as well if not better that any product off the shelf. The best thing is that you can control the scent; if you don’t like Lavender – change to your favourite essential oil. Citron, Jasmin, Pine, Peppermint all make great yoga mat scents. The Tea Tree oil is antiseptic and therefore is great for killing germs. 

Manduka Black Mat PRO Yoga Mat Sizes & Weights:

2 Sizes:

Standard Size: 71” x 26” x ¼” (66cm x 180cm x 6mm) Weight: 3.4kg

Long Size: 85” x 26” x ¼” (66cm x 216cm x 6mm) Weight: 4.3kg

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat Sizes & Weights:

2 Sizes:

Standard Size: 71” x 24” x 3/16” (66cm x 180cm x 5mm) Weight: 1.8kg

Long Size: 79” x 24” x 3/16” (66cm x 200cm x 5mm) Weight: 2.1kg

 

The eKO Series:

The Manduka eKO Series yoga mats are made of all natural tree rubber. Manduka eKO yoga mats are Manduka’s biodegradable range of yoga mats. They claim the eKO series are best for light to medium perspiration. The eKO series mats consist of two parts; the top surface of the mat and the bottom. The top surface is closed cell and has non-slip sea grass texture – to help against slippage. The bottom surface is open cell construction to provide the perfect amount of cushion. Manduka make a point of saying they are proud that the eKO series yoga mats are manufactured without any toxic glues or foaming agents and that their range of rubber mats are more durable that other rubber yoga mats found in the yoga marketplace.

The main difference Manduka are highlighting when comparing their rubber mats to others on the marketplace, are that theirs have a thin top layer which is a closed cell construction. This closed cell construction provides a surface that will not absorb any moisture, that’s sweat to you and me! They point out that alternative rubber yoga mats might absorb the sweat that comes from a practice; this would lead to moisture building up inside of the mat.

However due to the nature of rubber mats, here at Yoga Studio we recommend all rubber yoga mats would need an occasional wash down.

The eKO Series range consists of four different lines:

The eKO Standard 5mm, the eKO 4mm, the eKO 3mm, and the eKO Superlite Mat.

The eKO Standard the thickest in the range, it’s actually 4.77mm thick as of November 2014, Manduka have recently reduced the thickness. It is their heaviest rubber mat weighing in at 2.95kg. This is a perfect stay at home eco friendly rubber yoga mat.

The eKO 4mm and 3mm are recent additions to the eKO range. Manduka launched them at the beginning of 2014 to bolster up their eco-friendly yoga mat range. The 4mm weighs 2.2kg and the 3mm weighs 1.8kg. The 4mm mat makes a perfect stay at home mat or take to the studio mat. The 3mm offers a much more travel friendly option when considering which rubber mat is right for you.

The eKO Superlite Mat, is often called Manduka’s Travel mat because it is so thin. With 1.5mm thickness, the eKO Superlite can be folded into a suitcase or bag for maximum convenience.

What are the eKO Series made out of?:

Manduka’s eKO Series yoga mats are made from 100% natural, non-Amazon Forested Tree Rubber.

The eKO mats are made up of two parts; the top closed cell rubber layer, and the open cell rubber base. The bottom layer is made from tree rubber and so is the top layer. The two layers are bound together with a stretch resistant scrim. This scrim is made from blend of cotton and polyester which binds the top and bottom layer together with a heating process. Although you may not like the sound of polyester in your mat, this eliminates practice of using toxic glues when trying to bind two rubber surfaces together.

Is there Latex in the eKO Series?:

Yes; 1%. The eKO mat is 99% latex free, Manduka claim it is safe to use for people with latex sensitivities. They go on to state that; “if you know you are sensitive to even traces of latex then we recommend you Do Not use the eKO mat and purchase a different mat made from different material; like the PRO Series range!”

Is the eKO Series Environmentally Friendly?:

Manduka are claiming their eKO range is environmentally friendly. They argue that this is down to three factors:

  • Rubber sourced for production is not from the Amazon.
  • The foaming agents used in the manufacturing are non-toxic.
  • The mat has a thin top layer that is closed cell construction, not allowing sweat to soak into the mat. Manduka argue that any rubber mats that are open cell – soak the sweat and their durability is “compromised” and does not last as long.

Here at Yoga Studio we like to give the manufactures advice as well as our own. We can confirm that Manduka’s eKO Range is made in China. The eKO range does Not have a “lifetime Guarentee”, like the PRO Range. Almost all Rubber Mats made these days are made without toxic foaming agents, (just like petrol is now ‘non-leaded’). Open cell rubber mats are much better at Gripping, and don’t allow slipping as much as a closed cell rubber mat would.

The very nature of a rubber mat is to soak the sweat from a practice. It is the soaking of sweat that makes a rubber mat “sticky, grippy”. If a mat (like the Manduka eKO) has a closed cell surface, then it does not allow sweat to be absorbed. Therefore the sweat must roll off the mat, or make small pools of sweat on the surface.

We have always and still recommend you wash and clean your rubber mat from time to time. Just throw it in the bath or shower, scrub with a mild detergent and let dry in the open air.

I sweat a lot! IS the eKO yoga mat for me?:

Manduka say that because of their top surface being a closed cell construction on the eKO mats; that the eKO mats are really only for light to medium perspiration. They go on to suggest using an anti-slip yoga towel like the eQua towel by Manduka if you do sweat more than a “light to medium” person.

Again, Yoga Studio would not recommend using the Manduka eKO series if you do sweat during a practice unless you are happy to buy and use a yoga mat towel as well. Since the top layer acts as a barrier to sweat – the mat simply makes the sweat run off it. Open cell rubber mats are very good for people who do sweat a lot since they absorb the sweat and become stickier as a result.

How do I clean my eKO Yoga Mat?:

The eKO mat can be cleaned by wiping down the mat with an organic mat cleaning solution. Manduka recommend using diluted organic cider vinegar wash (50/50) or Manduka’s Mat Restore (a vinegar based solution).Do NOT put your eKO mat into the washing machine as it will encourage the material to biodegrade. Do NOT leave the mat in direct sunlight.

Yoga Studio recommends cleaning all yoga mats with a homemade solution of:

  • ¼ cup of white vinegar,
  • 1 cup of water,
  • 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil,
  • 10-15 drops of Tea Tree oil.

Mix this all up; you can put the solution into a clean spray bottle (like an old window cleaner) or just keep the solution in a bowl and dip a sponge or towel into the solution. This works as well if not better that any products off the shelf. The best thing is that you can control the scent; if you don’t like Lavender – change to your favourite essential oil. Citron, Jasmin, Pine, Peppermint all make great yoga mat scents. The Tea Tree oil is antiseptic and therefore is great for killing germs.

Manduka eKO Yoga Mat Sizes & Weights:

eKO Standard; Size: 71” x 26” x 1/5” (66cm x 180cm x 5mm) Weight: 2.95kg

eKO Long; Size: 79” x 26” x 1/5” (66cm x 200cm x 5mm) Weight: 3kg

eKO Lite 4mm; Size: 68” x 24” x 3/16" thick (61cm x 180cm x 4mm) Weight: 2.2kg

eKO Lite 3mm; Size: 68” x 24” x 1/8" thick (61cm x 180cm x 3mm) Weight: 1.8kg

eKO Superlite Travel; Size: 68” x 24” x 1/16" thick (61cm x 180cm x 1.5mm) Weight: 0.95kg

 

LiveON Yoga Mat Range:

Manduka state that their; LiveON Yoga Mat is a giant step in the direction of true, transparent sustainability and environmental stewardship. The amazingly supportive cushion yet lightweight and portable LiveON Yoga Mat is made from a revolutionary recyclable PLUSfoam® that uses minimal energy in a closed-loop production process that eliminates the need to dispose of industrial waste or source new materials. In bold, bright, and classic colours, the LiveON Yoga Mat will support your practice as well as the planet. And when you are finished with the LiveON Yoga Mat, it can be recycled into another earth-friendly LiveON product. So today this is your brand new welcome mat, but tomorrow it may be the sandals you wear to walk to practice in.

A simpler way of putting it: PLUSfoam is a company from California. They want to try and stop certain materials like; plastics, rubbers, etc from being dumped into a landfill site and polluting the earth. The simplest way to do this is to recycle the plastic, rubber material you use, again and again, and again, so that in theory the material never goes to a landfill site and is always recycled (hence the phrase “closed-loop production process”).

Let’s be clear – PLUSfoam is not an eco-friendly material. It is the manufacturing process and the option provided by PLUSfoam to recycle their material that makes the process of using and making new products out of “dirty materials” like PVC, plastics etc a sustainable one.

You could argue that it is only sustainable if you send your used, unwanted PLUSfoam yoga mat back to a PLUSfoam authorised company – who will in turn ship it out to China..to be remade into another product. If you do not send your PLUSfoam yoga mat back to a PLUSfoam dealer, then the mat (made from pvc etc) will indeed end up in a landfill site.

The LiveON Series range consists of three different lines:

LiveON 5mm: 71" x 24" x 1/5” (61cm x 180cm x 5mm)

LiveON 3mm: 71" x 24" x 1/8” (61cm x 180cm x 3mm)

LiveON Kids: 60" x 24" x 3/16” (61cm x 152cm x 4mm)

What are the PLUSfoam Mats like? And are they really eco-friendly?

The LiveON yoga mats are a great alternative to the other Manduka mats available. For those who are new to PLUSfoam, the feel and the performance of the mat are very similar to TPE mats found on the market.

TPE has been billed the “eco-friendly PVC of its time” this is because it is simply a “cleaner” version of the traditional PVC yoga mat. It breaks down “faster” than PVC in a landfill – but does not completely breakdown overtime.

TPE mats are popular however because they are lightweight, flexible, closed cell surface and available in a wide range of colours. Manduka has got a firm called PLUSfoam to provide the recycled PVC, TPE material to make their LiveON yoga mat range.

Rather than just launching a TPE style yoga mat, Manduka are using PLUSfoam to provide the material that is turned into mats, sandals etc. for extra kudos.

As mentioned above – This closed-loop production process – is only such, if you recycle your PLUSfoam product at an PLUSfoam company – Yes you have to send it there. They in turn send it to China, to be made into another PLUSfoam product.

The mat itself is a great lightweight, spongy yoga mat. It has closed cell surface that prevents sweat, microbes or bacteria from absorbing into the mat and is easy to clean. Manduka remind us it’s made with virtually zero manufacturing waste, its 100% reclaimable and recyclable – helping us to reduce our carbon footprint.

Manduka Conclusion:

Here at Yoga Studio we say it as we see it.

Manduka made very good products. Their mats, bags, towels etc are made to a high standard of quality. They are premium products and Manduka charge premium prices to reflect this.

Manduka have three major product ranges regarding yoga mats: PRO, eKO, LiveON. There are standard and long sizes available in each range as well as different thicknesses of mats. Manduka are fashion-conscious; they bring out “new colours” for all their products; straps, mats, bags etc at least four times a year-every quarter! We would prefere to see them concentrating on innovation and making truly eco-friendly products, as well as manufacturing methods. Only the PRO Series mat comes with a “lifetime Guarantee”, interestingly only the PRO Series is made in Europe, everything Manduka make is made in China.

All in all we love Manduka’s products for the quality they adhear to.