I love yoga! See way back ever since I was only 12 years old, my mom made me go to yoga classes with her on a regular basis and inevitably it it planted the seeds of self love, self care, and self awareness in me from a young age and therefore I built a passionate enthusiasm for the practice of yoga. Even to this day, I go to yoga together with my brother, sister, and mom 3-4 times a week when we’re in San Diego, our home base.
Nowadays, we’re full time travelers (see our story by clicking here) and spend most of the year road tripping in North America and abroad. When we’re on the road, we travel fast and we have a busy adventure schedule. Most days include mountain biking, rock climbing, or hiking plus a 2-6 hour drive depending on the day.
When we’re traveling, it can be really challenging to maintain a somewhat consistent yoga practice. It’s not like we really want to bust out a “crow pose” or chataranga in the dirt so normally, we can only practice yoga when we’re in a campsite and we can setup our large camping tarp/mat because in case you didn’t know, we travel full time in an RV.
Amidst our fast paced travel and adventure, it can often be more work than it’s worth to make time for yoga. That’s why when I discovered YOGO travel yoga mat, I was stoked. This was exactly the kind of thing we needed.
Travel is great, but I thoroughly believe in the physical and mental benefits of yoga and just because we spend half the year traveling, doesn’t mean we don’t need yoga. It helps us manage stress, stay physically mobile, and re-connect with our true selves. Yoga fuels our bodies and mind so much that it’s something we still prioritize on the road.
Why Travel with a Yoga Mat?
Yoga is not only a great way to re-connect with the mind, but more importantly, when traveling, it helps keep your body loose, agile, and less tight from all the long rides that travel brings.
I usually practice consistently while I’m sitting still at our home base in San Diego, but the second I hit the road, all my muscles go back to being ridiculously tight because all it takes is one long day of driving, flying, or even hiking. While having tight muscles doesn’t necessarily inhibit me from enjoying my travels, I like being able to move my body without any subtle pains nor aches in my neck and shoulders from sitting with bad posture (all this and I’m only 18 lol). I want to be able to travel and still push out my peak athletic performance to rock climb or mountain bike despite the long hours of sitting that tends to reverse your increased flexibility from yoga.
Point being that, you don’t have to travel with a yoga mat, but it surely makes your mind, body, and spirit feel much more light and open to the world.
What’s makes a Yoga Mat Good for Travel?
I would love to be able to lug around my lush, 1/2 inch thick, memory foam-esque yoga mat on my travels, but come on, who has room in their luggage to haul that along. In addition, I know that the wear and tear of travel will likely ruin my mat.
A travel yoga mat is built to function along with the struggles of yoga travel (is that a thing?). A travel mat should be completely, doubtlessly easy to travel with which means it has to be small, foldable, and light. It has to be durable to withstand rolling out your mat wherever hard objects, as well as the abrasion of being cramped into your backpack.
There are many mats on the market that try to accomplish all these features however pertaining to the comforts of a mat to enjoy your practice is no easy feat, yet YOGO manages to deliver the perfect mat.
Why YOGO is the Best Travel Yoga Mat
Foldable to Avoid Dirt
This foldable, lightweight mat makes it easy to do yoga wherever, whenever we want. What makes this mat unique is unlike most mats that may be light, the traditional roll up feature of a yoga mat makes it impossible to avoid getting the entire mat dirty. The way The YOGO Ultralight mat folds up instead of rolls up makes it so that the sticky side stays perfectly free of dirt even if we lay out the mat in the middle of the forest.
Sticky and Gripping
There are mats that are thin and travel friendly but few keep this most important aspect of a yoga mat: stickiness. I mean if a mat weren’t sticky, you would just use a towel, right?
It’s so irritating to use a yoga mat where you’re constantly having to readjust your feet because it’s slippery. Stickiness is crucial so you don’t slide out of your warrior 2, downward dog, or triangle. The YOGO Ultralight mat holds your feet to the mat with a comfortable layer of stickiness.
Extremely Travel Friendly
It’s pretty incredible how travel-friendly this mat is. Folding down to about the size of a large book makes it so it can fit in any size backpack. Many times we’ve traveled for months on end with only one backpack and when you do that, every inch and pound matters. It’s as light as a pillow making it perfect even if you’re lugging the mat around on a 5 month jaunt through Europe.
The fact that this mat can fit into any backpack is not only awesome for travel abroad, but also to take with me on a hike for some alpine lake meditation time.
When day hiking or overnight backpacking, there’s not an ounce of weight to spare so the fact that the mat weighs only 2 lbs is a huge pro for us. It makes it so I don’t feel guilty when I get tired of holding the day pack and I hand it off to someone else…no, just me? I love the handle that makes it so I can attach it to the outside of any backpack with a carabiner, unlike most yoga mats.
The Only Negative
The only negative of the YOGO Ultralight Travel Mat is that it’s very thin. Mats vary in thickness and while it is common for say those free community mats at yoga studios that you can borrow, the YOGO mat is slightly thinner than even those mats.
To those who need extra padding under the knees, the mat will not be sufficient enough by itself however if you’re a practiced yogi and are used to kneeling on the hard ground, the mat’s thickness won’t be a problem.
The YOGO travel mat is amazing for all aspects except for this one but how can you complain. It’s hard to have a thick, supporting mat that’s as light and travel-friendly as this one and in my opinion, if I’m looking for the best travel mat, YOGO still gets closest because the size and weight are so crucial.
Overall Review of YOGO Travel Yoga Mat
The YOGO Ultralight Yoga Mat is a perfect mat for people who want to casually practice yoga on their travels or particularly enjoy yoga on their backcountry adventures. If you’re looking for convenience and an easy to pack mat and don’t mind the thin padding, this should be an essential for your adventures!
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