Maciver enjoyed sitting in the lotus pose on this mat and focusing on his breathwork. He thought this mat would be best for meditation and winding down after a particularly challenging yoga session. Meanwhile, Brines von Melle was taken with the quality, which she thinks is perfect for Yin and Restorative yoga. “I think this mat is good for a bedtime routine – including deep yoga breathwork and meditation. Or even to just read a book on or watch TV. You’ll still be reaping the benefits when you’re stationary on it.”
Pros: No-bending needed; good for travel; relaxing
Cons: Go version is short – if you want the full experience you’ll need to go for the standard size
Price: £469 | Check price on Higherdose
Homedics Stretch + Heat Back Stretching Mat
Best for massage
Another alternative – OK lazy – option, the Stretch + Heat (£300) isn’t a yoga mat, but does provide a series of surprisingly good yoga inspired back stretching movements. By inflating and deflating seven controlled air chambers the mat contorts your body into various positions and can really give your back a stretch. It also has the benefit of being heated.
There’s a choice of seven movements to experience including Twist, Flow, Energise, Stretch, Unwind and Recover, and much like Yoga Nidra or ‘sleep yoga’, all you have to do is lay back and concentrate on your breathing.
When WIRED first tried this mat we found the sensation a little odd, but after a few attempts the ‘Unwind’ setting worked for us. Maciver thought this mat was great for use after a long day and to include as part of your “self-care wind down routine”.
“The mat works well with a happy baby pose,” he says, “and the material is soft and comfortable to lay on. I think it’s good value for money as it brings a luxury salon experience home.”
Brines von Melle thought this was a bit “gimmicky”, but was pleasantly surprised by its performance. “As someone who is really into movement, I was a bit judgmental thinking I would rather make my body stretch powered by my body. But I actually got really into using this mat and found it very relaxing. I think it’s something you’ll want to use in a calming environment.” In short, this mat takes a little getting used to, but once you master the art of laying down and doing nothing, you’re onto a winner.
Pros: Great for de stressing; good for spinal movement; useful if you are stuck at the desk all day
Cons: Pillow is a little unstable; no storage bag
Price: £300 | Check price on Homedics