A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Eileen at Aurorae asking if I would be interested in trying out one of their yoga mats. I am always down with trying out a yoga mat. I scanned the catalog and and landed on the Synergy mat. This was an easy decision since it’s the one that’s intended to use in a hot yoga class.
I was very excited when my mat arrived. The best way I can think of to describe it is this: imagine your regular rubber mat with a non-slip microfiber towel completely attached to the top. It looked like the perfect marriage.
As you all know, I gave up my Breathe mat because it was beating the crap out of my washer and dryer. In it’s place, I had returned to using a rubber mat with a towel on top. Now, I had managed to find a great rubber mat to use, but I still had to put a towel on top of it. I quickly became not a fan of the towel/mat combo. Even if my rubber mat stayed in place, I was always having problems with the towel.
The Synergy mat solves this issue. The mat stays in place and, because the towel is literally a part of the mat, the towel also stays in place. I was told that some people like to place their Synergy mats on top of a regular rubber mat, and some people use just the Synergy mat by itself. I first practiced with the Synergy mat by itself and loved it. I saw no need for putting it on top of a rubber mat for a standard Bikram class.
However, if you want to enhance the thickness, I could see how it would be useful to place a rubber mat underneath it. Adding an additional rubber mat underneath could also serve you well in the Advanced series where extra thickness might make some postures more comfortable. I have not been going to Advanced lately, so I can’t say, but I would definitely give it a whirl if I was. I think my knees would appreciate it.
You can wash the Synergy mat, but it must lay flat to dry. The thing to know about washing the mat is that it is not recommended you wash it everyday. I spoke to Eileen about how to take care of the mat, and the durability of the mat, and this is what she said:
We do not wash the mat after every use. What we recommend is spraying with mat wash and hang dry after every use. Then wash only as needed. There have been only maybe 2 or 3 cases where the mat separates from the towel. It could just be that the binding dried out and we will always replace a mat that is damaged as such.
This is the mat wash Aurora sells, but you don’t have to use their wash to clean the mat. Honestly, I was washing mine after every use until I talked to Eileen further about it. Because it has to hang dry – and I just toss my mat over the shower rod in the guest bathroom – I probably use it three days a week. But it doesn’t take that long to dry. If I washed it at 7:00 pm it would be good to go for the 4;30 pm class the next day.
In discussing the amount of sweat a Bikram class produces in relation to washing the mat, Eileen explained to me:
I understand that Bikram creates an intense amount of sweat – and it is difficult to roll up your mat once it’s soaked up with sweat. By spraying it, it will at least detensify the odor of our sweat as well as disinfect it from any bacteria we carry in our hands and feet (and body). But, it is of course recommended to hang dry as quickly as possible when home in order to let it dry. I typically wash the mat after every 5 uses. There is a feeling of weighing down (very slight) and it’s just a general cleanliness feeling that I yearn for after a week or so… it is really personal preference, use of sense and time/convenience…I’m sorry that this seems vague, but like I said, we have had customers all give us different solutions to their cleaning habits.
So what I take away from this discussion about mat care is this:
- it’s not recommended to wash the mat after every use
- you have to be the judge of when you wish to wash your mat
- drying it out immediately after class and using a mat spray on it is important
I gave it a whirl and found that in general these above procedures can be followed with success. Sometimes I have a class where I seem to be pouring sweat on my mat – in a way that disgusts even me (my tolerance on what makes a gross amount of sweat is pretty high). When one of those classes happens, I just wash the mat. But those classes are few and far between. For my typical everyday Bikram experience, I am finding that the mat can be hung up to dry and sprayed with a mat spray (I already had some at home so I used what I had). But for me, I want to wash it after about every three uses.
Overall, I am loving my new Synergy mat and super delighted to have been given the chance to review it. The one thing to be aware of is that you will need to bring a small towel for rabbit. With a towel/may combo, you can flip the towel up over your feet. This mat doesn’t work that way, and it doesn’t have a flap like the Breathe mats do. Honestly, I usually use whatever shirt I wore into the room. Overall, it’s an incredibly comfortable mat that’s worth trying out.
So….who wants one? Aurorae is giving away one Synergy mat. You must reside in the U.S. to win it (sorry readers outside the U.S.). Winner will be announced on Thursday!
NOTE: There appears to be some issue going on with the giveaway form. I will need to restart this giveaway again, and I will do so on Thursday. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it’s necessary so everyone has a fair shot that wants one.