I've Practiced Yoga for Years and This Is My Favorite Mat
Once you try the Harmony mat, there's no going back.
I am by no means an advanced headstand-capable yogi. My 10-year journey to making yoga a regular part of my life started with a few simple routines I followed in a beginner's book as a young adult. Now a full-fledged passion, my hobby led me to a membership with an online yoga community. After attending MANY in-person classes and failing to connect with a teacher and studio, I concluded that committing to a home practice with the online instructor I loved (and against whom I compared all other teachers and classes) suited me best. There was no sense in spending more money and time trying to find the right fit for me when, in truth, I'd already found it.
With a plan in place and my monthly subscription paid, the only thing left to do was upgrade my mat. My mom gave me her old Gaiam mat to use while I was in college which worked fine, but if I was really going to commit to a home practice, I needed an amazing mat. My dog solidified my case to buy a new mat when she snagged her nail and ripped a gash in the hand-me-down from my mom — a blessing in disguise. Naturally, I turned to my favorite instructor for a mat suggestion. She recommended (via her website) the JadeYoga Harmony Mat, which I later realized is the exact mat she uses in all of her videos. Gotta love a lady who genuinely uses products she endorses.
Upon opening the Jade Harmony, I instantly felt (and smelled) a difference. It was thinner, in a good way, and so smooth. And while the rubbery scent fades, the mat's texture does not. Unlike foam mats, you couldn't rip the Harmony if you tried. It's grippy yet soft, padded yet pliable, and, yes, it most certainly stands up to dog nails.
Perhaps the best part of all is that it's made in the U.S. out of natural rubber with no PVC or EVA. Jade also uses emissions-free manufacturing and plants a tree for every mat sold. Plus, when you buy select colors, Jade donates $5 to charitable organizations for ovarian cancer, Autism or breast cancer.
Now, I'm not a hot yoga kinda girl, thus my decision to mostly practice at home, but I've done some pretty challenging routines on the Jade. I remember exactly one class that pushed me to sweat more than normal, making the mat feel slippery, but not nearly as slick as other mats I'd used in studios and gyms. For my every day, intermediate routines, the Jade Harmony is perfect.
If you suffer from joint pain or are new to yoga, a thicker mat may suit you better. Although I truly believe the Harmony mat, as the name implies, offers the ideal "harmonious" blend of padded comfort and compact portability.
My fellow editor, Laura James, also owns this mat and agrees that it has transformed her home practice, saying, "This yoga mat has been the perfect companion for at-home yoga workouts this past year. I previously used an inexpensive mat that had more cushion and a slicker surface, and the biggest difference I notice with the Jade Harmony yoga mat is the traction the natural rubber material offers — no more slipping mid-downward dog!"
After five to six years of solid use, my Jade mat looks as good it did the first day I opened it. It's light enough to travel with, cushioned enough to use on hardwood floors and durable enough to withstand the washing machine, baby spit-up and pet claws. Should the day come that I need to replace it, the hardest decision will be choosing my new mat color.