I’m not the most experienced yoga practitioner in the world, but I have taken my fair share of classes over the past few years and I’ve always wanted to participate even more.
Recently I headed back to my favorite studio, Sattva Yoga in Dearborn, Michigan just outside of Detroit, and found out that it had been over a year since I had been signed up for classes, which shocked me. It felt like it hadn’t been that long, but one thing I knew for sure was that I missed it a lot.
My return to yoga also led me on a quest to find a more natural yoga mat that I could use for the class, so I reached out to various companies looking for one that I could bring. Thankfully, the Gaiam Sol Company was able to provide me with a sample for review purposes, a yoga mat called the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip that was made from 100% sustainable and natural rubber.
My previous yoga mat was a run of the mill variety from Target that had a really sharp turquoise color and plenty of padding for a novice (or maybe a step above novice) like me, and I really liked just about everything about it: except for the chemical smell it emitted, that is. The last thing you want while pressing your face against the mat in Child’s Pose or hanging your head near the ground in Down Dog is the smell of chemicals wafting through your nostrils, that’s for sure.
It is for that reason that I made the change to the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip.
My Impressions of the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip Natural Yoga Mat
Upon first impression, I really didn’t like this yoga mat at all. I’m not going to lie about that. I turned to my instructor Chuck, someone whose opinion I respect a lot, and asked him what he thought of the company, and he told me he didn’t like them a whole lot at all.
On top of that the mat just seemed too thin for my tastes and wasn’t nearly as comfortable for me as the Target yoga mat.
After a few classes, however, the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip mat became an acquired taste for me. I learned how to roll and “rock my hips from side to side” without hitting any of the sensitive areas.
I became a little sharper and more refined in my technique and a lot of the discomfort I originally felt went away. And I certainly enjoyed the more natural smell a lot more than the Target mat.
I asked Chuck what he thought about yoga mats that are more thin and he said he preferred them, so maybe there’s something to them that allows the practitioner to focus more on technique so that they aren’t placing themselves in too many uncomfortable positions.
The mat is ultra-light making it great for travel, offers a lifetime guarantee, is 100% natural (although I was hoping to find some sort of organic material, it was definitely an improvement), and offers nice traction on the hardwood floors of my yoga studio.
The price is also not too bad at all if you’re looking for an upgrade from the cheap chemical-laced mats you might find at your local department store.
Where to Find the Gaiam Sol Yoga Mat
If you’d like to try out the Gaiam Sol Thin-Grip Natural Yoga Mat, you can click on this link.
Thanks for reading!