Disclaimer: I was provided a STILLMOTION mat free of charge by Sequence in exchange for my review, but I did not receive any other compensation nor am I affiliated with Sequence. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
The STILLMOTION mat is an interesting and uniquely designed bit of "technology" for the modern yogi. Unlike other mats that have a layer (of varying thickness) of rubber or cloth to provide a place of practice, the STILLMOTION mat is composed of two layers: a soft, spongy outer layer for cushion and comfort, and a rubberized inner layer that provides additional cushion but also pokes through the top of the mat to provide additional gripping surfaces to increase stability. Between the very plush outer layer and the thick but soft inner layer, this mat is incredibly comfortable!
Additionally, the rows of rubber grippies poking out have a secondary purpose: arranged in straight lines, this grid actually helps practitioners visualize better alignment in poses. By providing a "ruler" of sorts, it is much easier to see where your hands and feet are in relation to each other when performing poses such as downward dog. Proper alignment can help improve form - which not only multiplies the benefits of yoga, but also reduces the risk of injury from incorrect distribution of weight.
My experience with the STILLMOTION mat has been a little more diverse than intended. Of course, I use it for yoga, and it's my go-to mat now. I LOVE the cushion, especially for seated poses - I've broken my tailbone a couple times, and there's not much you can do to "reset" it, so seated exercises have been a unique challenge for many years. This mat helps eliminate the pain from rolling over the injury; the cushion also helps my poor knees that have chronically struggled with less plush mats.
I also found the mat to stay put nicely. My initial reaction was that since the rubber was on the TOP but not on the bottom of the mat, I'd have better stability in poses but the mat itself would slide all over the floor. This was delightfully not so, even on slick gym floors. The mat didn't slide, nor did it stretch out with tension. As for the hand and foot grip - I'm not entirely sure it's much better than my old mat for stability until you get sweaty. The rubber seems to be activated by moisture, at least in my experience with the mat. Once my palms had a bit of a sheen worked up, I was much better able to feel the grip of the exposed rubber spots. I definitely found the alignment grid useful, though my flexibility still has a long way to go before I'm actually "properly aligned"!
Overall, I find the thickness of the mat and the no-slip bottom to be the biggest pros of this yoga mat: having the cushion and the stability makes it even more versatile. If I had to pick a con, it would have to be bulkiness! Because of the rubberized core, the mat doesn't roll up as nicely as other mats; instead it has to be rolled more loosely to prevent creasing, so it doesn't fit into many standard yoga mat bags, and straps tend to be too tight (leaving imprints along the surface). Fortunately, Sequence provides a mesh bag with every mat, which is more than ample to fit the rolled mat - but it still takes up a LOT of space!
Here's the best part: as always, I love being able to put products I enjoyed into the hands of my readers, and Sequence has agreed to give away a STILLMOTION yoga mat to a lucky reader! You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. Winner must be able to provide a valid shipping address and phone number. Giveaway ends 4/10/2015 at 11:59PM.
How has yoga helped change your life? Do you practice daily? What kinds of challenges have you faced during your practice?