All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

116 comments

IMG 9569   All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

I feel like so many of my posts have started out with…

“On Facebook, I asked you about x,y, and z and you gave me 5 gazillion suggestions.”

Well, you’ve done it again. Do you charge a fee for this service? Maybe we can put it on my tab… =)

This time, I pestered you for tips on homemade or store-bought yoga mat cleaners.

It turns out there are a million and one ways to clean a yoga mat. Or maybe more. What began as an innocent journey into making my own mat cleaner, turned into a ton of reading and researching online.

There are as many different options as there are opinions on what to use. If you make your own mat cleaner, chances are you have your favourite mix. I think a good place to start when figuring out which mat cleaner will work for you is to check with your mat brand and see what they recommend. The “right” cleaning methods and ingredients can vary a lot from mat to mat.

Of course, I didn’t take my own advice! I started by making my cleaner first, only to find out later from a discussion with my mat brand- Lululemon – that they don’t recommend using essential oils on their mats because it can clog the pores of the mat.

Do as I say, not as I do!

However, I’m in the market for a new mat because my mat is cracking all over the place. The Manduka pro mat (or maybe the lite?) is high up on my list right now since it has a lifetime guarantee and is rated very well. I’m still not sure though.

I went on Manduka’s Facebook page and asked them if essentials oils would clog the pores of their mats.

Manduka: “Well, our mats don’t exactly have pores. We use a closed-cell technology on both sides of the PRO series mats and on the practice side (the one with the sea grass texture) of the eKO mats. Which means, essential oils after a cleaning should be just fine! A few drops in your cleanser is a great way to do both – that’s how we make our organic Manduka Mat Washes.”

good to know! I suggest checking with your mat brand to be sure.

IMG 9720   All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

This is what I used to make my mat cleaner:

  • White vinegar
  • purified water
  • tea tree oil
  • essential oil

 

IMG 9722   All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

I did a lot of reading online about various homemade cleaners and most people suggest using white vinegar. I used 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, but the mixtures can vary a lot. You can also use witch hazel or lemon juice, but I find white vinegar to be more cost effective. If you are concerned about using vinegar on your mat, you can try using alcohol-free witch hazel which I’ve heard also works.

Here’s my yoga mat spray “recipe”

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • Essential oil (about 10-30 drops depending preference) peppermint, lavender, and thyme are nice, but use anything you like!

 

1. Place all ingredients into a large spray bottle and shake before each use.

2. Spray down your mat on one side and let it sit for a few minutes. With a damp cloth, wipe it down. Finally, wipe it with a dry towel or simply let it air dry.

3. Repeat on other side.

Thanks to ehow, 3 Healthy Chicks, and Eco Yogini for the tips.

Obviously this isn’t the only solution for cleaning your mat and I will probably play around with different methods at some point!

If you want to give your mat a super deep clean, you can place it in a bathtub with hot water (just an inch over your mat- not a full tub), some vinegar (maybe 1 cup?), and essential oil and let it soak for at least an hour. You can then rub it down on both sides with a soft cloth while it’s in the tub. Rinse it and then hang it on a clothing rack until completely air dry (note: this can often take 48 hours to dry completely, so be warned).

Also be careful with using liquid soap in your cleaner because it can get into the mat and suds can seep out while you practice. Some people get away with just adding a couple drops to a big bottle of water though, so I really think it depends on how much you add.

IMG 9571   All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

As for me, I’m still loving the classes that I’ve been doing since my knee injury:

  • Hot yoga (in various styles) 1-2x week
  • Hot Pilates 1x week
  • Yoga with weights 1x week
  • Yoga Spinn (45 mins spin class followed by 15 mins yoga!) 2x week
  • Walking

 

It’s a wonderful balance of cardio, strength, and flexibility (and might I add, my spiritual practice and emotional well-being). I feel stronger than I think I ever have and I look forward to the variety each day.

62a6e2769abb11e18cf91231380fd29b 7   All Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner & My Exercise Routine

My knee has been feeling great for the past couple weeks, so yesterday I finally decided to go for my first run in a month. It went very well and I had zero pain, although admittedly, I felt a bit out of my running groove. Regardless, it felt so good to be out there running again, even if it was just a shorter one. My plan right now is to slooowly build up my running, while still enjoying my other classes for variety. Injuries are frustrating, but sometimes they force us to try new things and discover a passion in other forms of exercise. For that, I’m very grateful.

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{ 116 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith @ For the Health of It May 11, 2012

Glad to hear that your knee is doing better. Getting back into running after a little hiatus is always tricky – things just don’t seem to cooperate! I’m trying to use that to keep my momentum going and stay “on the wagon” until I’ve completed a half marathon – I’d hate to get close and quit and have to battle it back from square one all over again!

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shana May 11, 2012

Check out Jade yoga mats. My all time favorite mat…espeacially for hot yoga. The Manduka mats are extremely heavy and a pain to carry after an intense class. And since they don’t absorb I find that I slide around a little. Jade mats are great for hot yoga they grip the floor and are super light to carry.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 12, 2012

Thanks for the tips, I will check them out!

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Tara May 14, 2012

I have to second this!! I treated myself to a Jade mat for my birthday a few years ago and have never regretted it. I find my hands really “stick” to the Jade in a way that they never did with my Lululemon mat.

It may be hard to find everywhere, but I KNOW that they carry them at Kula Yoga (there’s one in Burlington and one in Oakville) and they are worth the work to track one down.

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Wendy Melvile May 17, 2012

I third that. Jade Yoga mats are the best. Roots have Jade Mats in their stores now and possibly on-line. At $80 it is well worth the investment. Absolutley no slipping or sliding ever. :-)

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Sarah Kymberlee May 16, 2012

Also check out “the mat” at lululemon. It’s a mat that doesn’t need a towel and is slipless. It’s my favourite mat. BUT, you can’t use a tea tree based cleaner on it because its an oil based which takes away from the mats ability to absorb your sweat. I use a lemon water cleaner on mine. I love this mat, no slip, no towel, no fuss.

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Marissa F May 22, 2012

Agreed! Try “the mat”..
The best mat I’ve ever owned and I do a lot of hot yoga.
Also to clean “the mat” from lululemon you just fill the bathtub with antibacterial soap and water and let it sit for a while and then just hang dry the mat.

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Jenn May 16, 2012

Try “the matt” from lulu!! Its the best.

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rianne May 17, 2012

Agreed!
I have a Manduka and a Jade, the manduka turns into a slip and slide as soon as I start to sweat (and yes, I waited out the breaking in period).
The Jade is amazing, I never ever slip and I am a sweaty person.

Jade all the way.

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Catalina @ Cake with Love May 11, 2012

I love the color of the mat, it just screams summer & energy to me!! :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 11, 2012

I kind of want to take this to the gym to wipe down all their nasty ab mats. *shudder*

I quit going to one gym because it almost got shut down by the CDC because so many people got staph infections.

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Stepf May 11, 2012

I’ve had my Manduka for three years, and it looks as good as it did on Day One. They’re HEAVY but worth every penny. I was going through 2-3 sticky mats a year before I bought the Manduka.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Ive heard this from so many people. I think if it’s that durable it’s worth it!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs) May 11, 2012

Do Mandukas slide on carpet? I’m looking for a good mat to do plyo on, and I don’t have hard floors.

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Kris May 11, 2012

Nope! I use mine at home on carpet and it doesn’t slide around at all.

The Manduka BlackMat Pro is amazingly durable. I’ve tried an “Eco” version at the studio I teach, and I don’t find them as good. Because they’re made to biodegrade, they wear down faster (whereas my Pro mat looks new after 2 years of regular use). I believe that buying something which is not necessarily from eco-friendly materials, but will last a lifetime, is way better for the environment anyway. Not all Manduka’s are created equal! Keep that in mind.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 11, 2012

I’m so glad your knee is feeling better Ange! Maybe a rest was all you needed. Very cool about the no-pore Manduka mats as well. Your cleaner recipe sounds fantastic – I’d love to make a vanilla scented one! I’d probably need tons to mask the vinegar smell though. Hmmmmmm….

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Michelle@PeachyPalate May 11, 2012

Didn’t know you were injured…I have a trapped nerve in my hip and the moment preventing me from running…it’s been a week and a half and I’m missing it but trying new things…strength training and the cross trainer are my new friends and plenty of stretching. It’s given me time to reflect. I was clearly over doing it…you’re right, things like this happen for a reason!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Yea it was an unfortunate incident lifting a huge box of my cookbooks…lol. Never again!
Happy healing…I hope you find joy in new things. :)

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LizAshlee May 11, 2012

I am loving yoga right now too!! I am so going to make this cleaner…I typically just wipe it down but I would love to have something that kills the germs, esp if I go to a hot class. I only started doing hot classes this week so my mat is safe for now! :)

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Cait's Plate May 11, 2012

I LOVE the new header!!

And the natural DIY cleaner! That’s awesome.

Also I know just how you feel about being out of your running groove. I slipped two discs in my back last winter and my comeback to running felt so slow and laborious. But before you know it you’ll be back into it and you’ll never remember feeling out of it :) Glad you were pain-free!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thanks Cait!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen May 11, 2012

My yoga mat is in our basement with the rest of our gym equipment and while it’s pretty nice for an unfinished basement, it’s still full of bugs and spiders and dirt. I was just sitting on it last night stretching after my workout thinking about how badly it needed to be cleaned. Perfect timing :)

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Katie May 11, 2012

I have two mat suggestions. The Manduka Pro and the Jade Yoga Harmony Professional Yoga Mat. The best mat for you depends on your practice.

I use a Manduka PRO mat and it is indestructible. Many of my friends have had their Mandukas for years and years and the mats are no worse for wear. The mat also has a great “stickiness” that holds up serious sweating; however, I have noticed that some people also use a yoga towel with their Mandukas during the summer.

I used to use a Jade mat and I loved it. It’s naturally sticky, grippy and cushioned. The natural rubber acts like sponge, so sweat is no problem whatsoever. Unfortunately, it is so natural that it biodegrades (not necessarily a bad thing). Eventually (after about 2 years) my Jade mat started to wear down. I continued to use it for another year, but eventually frequent jump-backs and jump-throughs took their toll. I ended up wearing down the front and back (down-dog positioning) down to nothing. Also, tiny bits of the mat ended up all over the place! After I could not longer use my Jade mat, I switched to Manduka.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thanks Katie!

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Katie May 11, 2012

Oh! And, of course, I love your blog!

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sophie May 11, 2012

what kind of heart rate monitor is that? how much did you pay?

sorry for the questions…i am looking to buy one and am wondering which is best…
i have adrenal burnout syndrome and want to continue exercising without making things worse…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Hey Sophie, It’s a Garmin Forerunner 305 (purchased from costco- sorry I cant remember the price…I think it was $150?), anyways I’ve tried a lot of sports HRM watches before and this is the first one that I have had NO issues with. I couldnt recommend it more.

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sophie May 11, 2012

Thanks so much :)

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Yellow Haired Girl May 11, 2012

I’m glad your knee is feeling better!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thank you!

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Debbie Martindale May 11, 2012

I definitely recommend the Manduka mat! We have 2 of the black pro mat in our house – one of each size (71″ & 85″) – that we’ve had since 2006. They are WELL loved and still holding up great! I use them for all sorts of stuff from yoga to plyometrics to abs to a cushion for my weights during resistance training to keep them off the hard tile floor. When we got them originally, I got the longer mat for my husband & the shorter mat for me (I’m 5’6″). In retrospect I very much enjoy the extra length on his mat and use it more than mine, so I’d recommend the longer one if you like a bit more room to wiggle. It is a HEAVY mat to carry around and not cheap, but IMO well worth EVERY penny. And when I start to get fussy about the weight of the mat, I remind myself I’m going to WORKOUT so the weight of my mat is just helping me in my task. :) Hope that helps!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thanks Debbie, Im glad to hear this!

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Amy @Health Hungry May 11, 2012

Great tips! I am jealous of your yoga routine – I must get back to mine. I always feel so much better when I am practicing – so why do I deny myself that? I seem to be so all or nothing with exercise… what are your tricks to stay consistent?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

I just tend to do what I enjoy and that can change from time to time, which I think is ok too! Sometimes I feel like doing more of a particular activity while othertimes not. I always say listen to your body and what it needs. That being said, sometimes I can fall out of things I love (like yoga!) and it just takes one class to get back into it (or one run, strength class, spinning, biking, swimming, etc)…so I say just do it! The hardest part is showing up.

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sugar May 11, 2012

oooh thanks for the tips. I need to clean my mat.. soon :)
I love love love yoga!!
I wish I could do it more!!!
they need more classes at my rec center though.. I can’t do the early morning since I’m already at work :(
but yoga rocks!

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Jennifer May 11, 2012

I’m embarassed to say that I’ve never cleaned my mat (hides face in shame). That’s largely because all of the advice online is so conflicting! I’ll have to get on top of that – thanks for the reminder!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 11, 2012

So happy to hear your knee is feeling better! I need to purchase a yoga mat, thanks for prompting some discussion on the subject :)

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Carrie @ Season It Already! May 11, 2012

Um… I feel so gross that I’ve *never* cleaned my yoga mat. I can’t believe I just admitted that. Well, now I know how! Thanks for giving back the advice others have given you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

I don’t think you are alone! :)

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Christine May 11, 2012

I love my Manduka Pro mat. I got mine from LuLuLemon and I got it in purple :) It’s super heavy though so it wouldn’t be easy to transport to class if you were say, biking or walking. You could do it but it might be a little awkward.

Thanks for the tips on cleaning mats! Think I’m going to have to do a deep clean to mine this weekend since it’s been a while… oops!

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Juliana May 11, 2012

I dont think I ever thought about yoga mat care this much! I usually just clean with water, no wonder they are never clean. :-) Thanks for the tips!

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Danielle May 11, 2012

Sounds like a great variety of exercise! Are you able to do it all at 1 place? I love variety… But I belong to a spinning studio which offers spin and gravity – which I love. Doesn’t leave a lot of money for yoga! Though I try to make it to a hot yoga community class every week or so.

I love my manduka yoga mat! Definitely recommend. They are on the heavier side though, depending what model you get.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Right now Im trying a couple places with intro passes, both of which have lots of variety in their classes. It will be a sad, sad, day when my intro passes run out. haha.

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Kiki Yogini May 11, 2012

The Kino Macgregor mat is awesome check it out – I have one and love it
http://www.ashtanga.com/html/p.lasso?p=10242

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning May 11, 2012

Thanks for sharing your exercise routine!! I teach classes 4 days a week (and two of those days are back to back spin and bodypump). I try to fit yoga in on two of the other 3 days, but usually it only happens once. And another day I go hike, and the last day is rest.
I would LOVE to add a “mini” yoga class after my early morning Tuesday spin class- i know that everyone would be all over that. Or at least a good 15 minutes of stretching!

You reminded me that I need to really clean my mat. I wish I could afford LuluLemon products!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

No prob :) Yea I find yoga after spin is amazing…it’s crazy how tight the body gets from a spin class!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs) May 11, 2012

I just cleaned mine this morning using those bleach wipes… oops. Well, they are cheap anyway, and I do plyo on mine so there isn’t a whole lot of sweat going on them… but I’ll keep in mind there is a more natural way!

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Moni Meals May 11, 2012

As a Fitness Professional, I am loving the routine you have been following. I give you 2 thumbs up.
I am so happy your knee is feeling better too and it is just like you said, a great balance of everything tied in. Best part=mental practice too!

So thaaaaaaat is how you clean a yoga mat properly! haha, I just hose my down. :/ Thanks for the info, will be trying it out.
Have a great day!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thanks, I appreciate that! It definitely feels like a nice balance.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks May 11, 2012

Ive had my black manduka pro for over a decade and have hauled it around the world, literally. I have spent thousands of hours practicing or teaching on it, and it still looks brand new. Best hundred bucks, give or take, that you’ll spend on an hour-for-hour return on investment!

I make my own cleaner with a mixture of lavender oil, tea tree oil, and water. <— also makes a great solution for homemade, reusable cloth baby wipes :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 11, 2012

Thanks for your input Averie! I’m leaning more and more to that one.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers May 11, 2012

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m dealing with injury now, and it’s so humbling. It’s smart of you to take it slow. I hope to begin running again in a month or so, so I’ll be starting small too!

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Marty May 11, 2012

I just throw my yoga mat into the washing machine and wash it, then let it air dry. Works like a charm. No oils, chemicals, spray bottles etc

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Reem May 11, 2012

I absolutely love your blog! I stumbled on it a few weeks back and I must say I even went vegan for a while! It wasnt as easy as I thought, being already vegetarian and all! Plus, it’s super hard to find vegan friendly products in France!

(One thing, i hate the ads that show up on the side! Theyre always showing recipes that don’t fit along with the blog’s healthy recipes!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2012

Thank you Reem!
I understand about the ads…I have the same complaints. Might be changing things up this year, we’ll see.

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Willow May 11, 2012

Great post, once again, Angela! So informative. I never would have considered that essential oils in a cleanser might be a bad thing. I like your recipe, and will definitely be giving it a try – getting a little tired of using the cleanser (pretty sure it’s just vinegar and water) at the studio. Would be nice to spruce things up with a fresh scent! :)

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life May 11, 2012

I love how yoga-centric your workout schedule is! Mine used to be very similar, though as the weather is getting warmer I am going off hot yoga – happens every summer! Then I get back into it as I start to feel chilly again :).

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Foodforthoughtlinds May 11, 2012

Hot pilates???? I’ve definitely had my own addition for hot yoga, but had no idea that hot pilates even existed. So gonna be checking that out. Immediately.

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ash May 11, 2012

I have a purple manduka mat– love it! I strap it to my back and bike to yoga, makes me feel super strong! I do have a lighter yoga mat that I alternate with the manduka.:)

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Court May 11, 2012

Any thoughts from anyone about the Manduka ProLite? Most people seem to love it, but there are a few very disappointed reviews I’m finding online. I do hot yoga as well, and so I’m concerned about slip factor. I am happy about the weight of the ProLite because I walk 15 minutes to yoga every day. My old cushy mat from a discount store is starting to disintegrate, so I’m interested in paying a bit of extra money and never having to replace my mat. Any ProLite fans out there? Suggestions on where to buy in Canada?
The experiences you share are really inspiring to me, Angela, thanks for continuing to share with us!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 12, 2012

Id love to hear more about it too.

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Michaela@pilgrimageofhealth May 11, 2012

So much great yoga variety! I haven’t been doing yoga lately (I’m not a huge fan of the classes offered at my university) but I might have to start up again. I miss how flexible and strong I was in my own body . . . great encouragement!

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Carrie May 11, 2012

Thank you so much for this post. The other day I noticed that I really need to clean my mat and I was contemplating buying a yoga mat cleaner…so glad I didn’t!

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Jessi May 11, 2012

Thanks for the new cleaning recipe!! I usually use water, tea tree oil, and lavender but I like the idea of adding in some vinegar or soaking it in the tub. I teach yoga and I use a Jade mat. Its a little lighter then a manduka, but equally as heavy duty. And it is always eco-friendly. All of my teacher friends swear by either the jade or the manduka – they are both so amazing. Good luck finding your right fit!

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Madeline May 11, 2012

I like to workout first thing in the morning but I love trying all of your delicious breakfast recipes after I am done sweating! What would you eat before an early morning workout?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 12, 2012

A big banana :)

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Pamela May 11, 2012

I am such a LURKER on your blog, but I have to say, you have been a HUGE inspiration in terms of my own weight loss and transition to (mostly) vegan eating. Thank you SOOOO much. I read every post. Thanks for this mat cleaner recipe. I lllluuuurrrvvv hot yoga and love my Manduka Pro. No regrets!! xoxoxo

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 12, 2012

Thank you Pamela! So happy to hear that!

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva May 12, 2012

Injuries suck…but it’s often during these times that we find passion for other things! Love the natural cleaner….vinegar is so versatile

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