Recommended Yoga Products from Five Parks Yoga

Tested, Reviewed and Approved Yoga Gear by Erin Sampson

Erin’s Favorite Yoga Mats

Your home in the Yoga Studio, here are a few reviews of Erin's favorite Yoga Mats

REPOSE Eco-friendly yoga mat – 72″ x 24″ x 4mm Thick

The REPOSE Cork and Natural Rubber mat is a fabulous yoga mat. I loved traveling with it and practicing on it! Not only do I teach yoga, but I commit to a consistent yoga practice, so my yoga mat is very important to me. I recently traveled abroad with this mat and used the strap that came with the mat to transport it over my shoulder. The weight was just right so that it didn’t feel cumbersome, but still provided the right amount of cushion and comfort when I arrived at my destination. Of course, the best part of this mat is that it is non-toxic. I have practiced on plenty of mats that smell toxic or degrade underfoot. It is nice to be able to smell the cork while I am practicing and to know that I am not only taking care of my body, but that the mat I am practicing on is healthy for the earth as well. This mat also accommodates a hot practice because it is naturally absorbent. No towel needed!

 I would highly recommend this mat and am extremely pleased to add it to my collection of well-loved mats.

Aurorae Synergy 2 in 1 Hot & Hatha Yoga Mat

I have been using this yoga mat for as long as I have been practicing hot yoga, (a long time)! I still don’t know why it is not a more popular mat. Every time I am in a hot yoga class somebody asks me about this mat, (because it is very unique). I love it because it is a “two in one” mat and truly functions as both a yoga mat and a towel with very little sacrifice. If you prefer a really thick and cushy mat, I would recommend putting this mat on top of another, but otherwise at 5mm, I am pleased with its “all in one” capacity. The towel and mat are stitched and stuck together and in all of my years of use – heat, humidity, washing, indoor/outdoor – it has not broken down. The stitching is 100% in tact. The quality of the mat is the same as when I bought it and it is the most user friendly “towel” situation because the “towel” cannot move – the mat and towel are one unit. It is also, (once it has some water on it), one of the “grippier” towels I have used. I also use this mat in a non hot yoga setting and am equally pleased. I just add a little water to the front and back of my mat and it is grippy. I like the fact that it comes in a long length and that it is machine washable. You have to wash it alone since it is bulky – you are washing a mat and towel in one – and hang dry it, but I don’t do this after every single class. It dries quickly and remains odorless. This is still my favorite yoga mat – hands down – for hot yoga!

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Erin’s Favorite Yoga Towels & Blocks

Added Grip & Absorption & Balance - Yoga Block & Yoga Towel Reviews

Gaia Guy 100% Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Block

I run my own yoga studio and have always stocked and used foam yoga blocks. I recently had the opportunity of practicing yoga with Gaia Guy Cork Yoga blocks and now will never look back. Heavy, solid and high quality cork blocks are certainly more costly than foam yoga blocks, but personally I think they are worth the investment. I love the fact that these blocks are eco-friendly and attractive. They look and feel natural and that is something that I appreciate when I am practicing yoga. When I teach yoga, I often cue the use of blocks as a supportive tool or as a way for students to take their practice in a new direction. This cork yoga block is the most sturdy block I have ever used and a lot of that comes from its weight. If you are placing a lot of weight on this yoga block it does not feel like it is going to soften or crush under the weight of your hands or feet, or tip over when you make contact. Furthermore, if you are using a block for core-work, (like I often do), it is nice to have the added weight to up level your effort. The stability of this block lend it to a long life and a worthy investment to your yoga equipment.

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Yogitoes Skidless Yoga Mat Size Towel

The Yogitoes yoga towel has really stood the test of time. This Skidless yoga towel was my first purchase when I fell in love with hot Vinyasa yoga. I had practiced traditional hot yoga with an “absorbent  towel-like mat,” but had never needed to move around on a “sticky” mat with a towel and this purchase was a top priority. At the time, Yogitoes was a well respected and innovative brand that was being sold in yoga studios. I picked my towel, it changed my practice, and I still use it to this day. The fabric is high quality, grippy when wet, light and durable after countless washings. I love the silicone “dots” all over the bottom of the towel. The towel is very sticky and the silicone has not broken down after time. I love my Yogitoes Yoga towel and it has traveled all over with me.

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Erin’s Favorite Yoga Pants

Everyone loves a great pair of Yoga Pants. Here are a few reviews of Erin's favorite Yoga Pants.

Eco-daily Women’s Yoga & Athletic Workout Pants

Erin’s Favorite Yoga (and Life!) Accessories

There are certain things you just love, maybe for yoga, maybe for life. Here are Erin's favorites.

Monkii Bars (Adventure Kit)

I love my Monkii Bars! I am a yoga teacher, traveler and an athlete and appreciate the ease of set up, (after I learned with the helpful tutorial video), and the countless options to create, maintain or enhance a healthy lifestyle. I spend a lot of time practicing yoga and my Monkii Bars allow me to increase strength and stability for yoga, but to also supplement my practice with additional movements and exercises. Since I live in Costa Rica part time and spend a lot of time traveling, Monkii Bars are a great way for me to stay active “on the road.” In addition to the quality of the product, I was impressed by the product’s packaging, the included booklet with inspiring photos, stories and workouts, as well as access to online tutorials and workouts. My teenage kids are competitive athletes and were so excited to try Monkii Bars. Not only did they love the challenging movements, but they thought it was fun! Fun is good when you are working out! So, our whole family is enjoying Monkii Bars. And because I am a Coloradan, I love that Monkii is a Colorado company! Thank you Monkii for producing a great product!

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Gliding Discs and Resistance Loops

I practice and teach yoga and the core slider and resistance training mini bands have taken my practice to the next level. In an effort to increase and develop the strength for more advanced yoga postures, the slider and mini bands have made it possible to practice yoga transitions with resistance. I enjoy practicing plank to chaturanga and plank to forward fold on the sliders to increase strength and stability. The dual surfaces, (fabric and laminate) allow you to use the sliders on multiple surfaces. I also like to use the bands to increase resistance on the mat when adding fitness reps to yoga postures.

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Gaia Guy Cork Yoga Mat + Natural Rubber – 72″ x 24″ x 5mm

One of the many reasons I love to practice yoga is because it doesn’t require a lot of “equipment.” Keep in mind, I ski, and that is a sport that requires a lot of very expensive equipment – from neck warmers to skis, and every layer in between, the equipment can literally weigh you down. So, when I am getting ready to practice yoga and all I have to grab is my mat, I am one happy yogi. If you are anything like me, your mat, (and everything about it), starts to matter a lot. I see long time yogis in classes with me who still have that worn and broken down yoga mat that they have been practicing on for years, because it has not only sentimental meaning, but like that old comfy t-shirt, they couldn’t be more comfortable with every aspect .  Over the years I have collected a number or mats that all serve a different need – depending on where I am practicing, what style I am practicing and how far I have to go for my yoga practice.

I have recently acquired a new yoga mat, from the company Gaia Guy and have had the opportunity to use it in a number of different settings, including a very hot and sweaty class. Made from natural rubber, (on the bottom), and sustainable cork, (on the top), I love the fact that it is eco-friendly and renewable. I also like the natural color and look of the cork. While sometimes it is appealing to have a brightly colored or interesting mat, there is something equally appealing about having a natural looking and non-distracting mat underneath your feet. Since, I enjoy a hot and sweaty practice, I appreciate the fact that this mat is antimicrobial and has great absorption capabilities. That said, however, I would not use this mat in a “Hot Yoga” class without a towel. While it does absorb, it is not as fast as a hot yoga towel. When I practiced on this mat in a “Hot Yoga” class, I was glad I had a yoga towel toward the second half of class when the heat and humidity in the room were high. A quick wipe of the mat however and it dried very quickly. One of the things that I liked the most about this mat, is the fact that it felt very solid, durable, and stable. I felt that I had plenty of cushion and I can envision this mat having a long life.

 I would highly recommend this mat and am so pleased to add it to my collection of well-loved mats.

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MattRecommended Yoga Products Reviews from Five Parks Yoga