*I received this product free for reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*
Throughout the years my opinions on yoga have changed quite a bit. I use to think it was super lame and I really didn't see the point in it. I was a "if it doesn't make me sweat buckets and leave me exhausted then it isn't an exercise" kind of person. And then I developed cancer and had two major surgeries within a few months. My body was broken and even sitting up from a prone position hurt. A lot. So I gave yoga a chance and found out I was being an unfair jerk about it. Yoga can be as gentle or as intense as you want it, which made it perfect for my recovering body. Years later my body is less broken but I still enjoy the flexibility boost I get from practicing yoga. Not all yoga mats are created equal though. so let me tell you about my new favorite mat that I just received.
The Bintiva Eco Mat is crafted from hypoallergenic materials to give you the safest yoga time possible. It's suppose to be odor free, but I think it still smells like foam. Not badly, but I wouldn't call it odor free, maybe after being open for a while it will be. The mat is 24" by 72", so big enough for all of your stretching/working out needs. And it is 7 mm thick, so comfy enough to support sore joints and bones but not thick enough to effect your balance. This is thicker than my old mat (almost twice as thick!) and I have to say it makes a huge difference on my knees especially. Much more comfortable to use.
One of the things I really like about this one is that is comes with a strap to keep it rolled up AND allow you to carry it on your shoulder like a regular bag. I love love love this feature, trying to lug an unstrapped mat around is just a huge pain in the butt, especially when you're trying to juggle bags and a small child. The strap Velcros on and is sturdy enough that I haven't had it come undone yet.
The two sides have a different texture, which I thought was interesting. The round dotted side goes against the floor and is suppose to be non-slip. The other side is textured to help you hold a pose without slipping. And the whole mat is high density foam, which is better for cushioning impact, like suddenly dropping down from push ups or some difficult pose.
I really like this mat, it is a touch higher price than I usually spend on stuff like this. Of course it is a lot nicer than my usual style of yoga mat, so there is some trade off. If you would like to purchase one for yourself you can find them here for $28.99 with free prime shipping.