The most trying part of yoga isn’t practicing plank or pigeon pose-it’s rolling up your mat after all is said and done. That’s because, regardless of whether you’re a total newbie or it’s been part of your cross-training routine for years, you’re still prone to coiling it too loosely to stash in your bag or accidentally unraveling the whole damn thing.
Luckily, a gift from the yoga gods is here to make this ever-present annoyance completely disappear: The Backslash Fit self-rolling yoga mat.
It’s designed to roll up perfectly-that is, evenly and with the just amount of tension-every time.
How It’s Different
As if the roll-and-go trick isn’t enough, the mat is also made to remain in its tight little coil-no strap required-and balance upright on either end more confidently than you in tadasana, the pose in which you stand on both feet.
What’s more, it’s lightweight, extra cushy, has a durable surface, and is extra long so you never end up with a hand or foot on the floor. It also has a non-slip bottom so you can’t possibly slide the mat out of place.
Further proof the future is here: The mat includes an Amazon Alexa command that turns your device into a yoga teacher and talks you through a flow of the day from Women’s Health.
[Looking to start cross training but don’t know where to start? The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session, priming you for stronger miles in the saddle.]
How It Feels
Because this mat’s features sounded so good on paper, I had to feel the magic beneath my own two feet. Would it deliver on quality and convenience and stand up to my sweaty hands and feet? And would it provide ample padding? (Those kneeling quad stretch binds typically make me wince in agony before my thigh muscles have the chance to complain.)
When I tried to unroll the mat for a brief sequence, I struggled: Like a slap bracelet in a tight coil, it didn’t automatically acquiesce. That said, after I snapped the near end into place by pressing the edge flat against the floor, and penguin-walked the far end out until it reached its full length, it remained glued to the ground for the remainder of my practice.
The material was just cushy enough to pad my feet (and knees) without compromising my balance, and the surface felt sturdy enough to hold its own during high-intensity workouts involving sneakers. While my bare feet were extra sweaty because of the boots I’d been wearing that day, and I could see things getting a bit slippery in a hot yoga situation, I found that in my low-key practice, the mat’s smooth texture actually helped me sink deeper into poses like warrior two that I might otherwise have given a half-effort.
By the time I was ready to call it a day and put my mat away, I flipped it upside down so the gray, grippy bottom faced the ceiling. To my delight, the moment I lifted one end and folded it over-as one does when they’re manually rolling-it left my hands and curled up into a tube that looked so flawless I was tempted to applaud it.
So, Should You Buy It?
We think so. It’s great for yoga and any other exercise, it’s durable enough to last you a lifetime, and so clever it might actually inspire you to hit the mat.