2.19.2014

Product Review: Barefoot Yoga Practice Rug (And a Giveaway!)

 I get several emails each week from company representatives asking me to review products on this blog.  I've been asked to review everything from sports drinks (gross!) to body-shaping undergarments (does this make my ass look... ass-shaped?),  but I only ever agree to review products that are relevant to my practice and yours.  So when a friendly rep from Barefoot Yoga Co. emailed me earlier this month to request a product review, I jumped at the chance.

Admittedly, I have used Barefoot Yoga's Mysore rugs in the past but historically have preferred the equa towels from Manduka for sweaty practice.  However, with my pitta fires greatly damped by 2nd series, the mat towels just aren't serving me as well these days, so I thought I'd give the Mysore rug another chance.

Barefoot Yoga claims to be the "original manufacturer and designer of the Mysore Practice Rug," and while I don't know if this is absolutely true, I do know that Mysore rugs are common among my students.  I've seen many of Barefoot's designs -- some more commonly than others -- and if you've spent any time in a Mysore room, you probably have too.  They tend to be woven with earthy tones and patterns, often dulled by years of sweaty hands and feet, but when I opened up the box from Barefoot and saw the new Gaya rug they sent me, I literally gasped with delight.

Gaya Mysore practice rug in its natural environment
This rug is beautiful.  It is tightly woven of 100% cotton in vibrant rose, coral, and black.  After a week of practice on this baby, I can tell you that it really does the job for which it is intended.  There are no ridges or seams, but the weave is course and highly absorbent.  With just a little spritz of water before the Surya Namaskara, the rug provides a perfect grip and, unlike microfiber towels, doesn't dry out before I manage to break a sweat.  It stays in place on my mat, even with a sloppy jump back, so there is no fussing with wrinkles or folds (and, consequently, no excuse to pause and adjust before confronting scary postures).

Rug pattern up close
I love the texture of the rug under my hands and feet, and appreciate that it doesn't stretch or leave little stirrup marks where my heels sit in Downward Dog like other rugs I've tried.  The colors are rich and inviting, and the stripes are nice for checking alignment and precision.  Most of all, I appreciate that even by the end of a sweaty 1st or 2nd series, I don't feel like I'm lying in a slushy mess.  The Gaya rug absorbs everything I throw at it without becoming saturated or feeling wet.

Bottom line:  Barefoot's Gaya Mysore rug is fun to look at, and it supports and simplifies my practice.  What else is there to say about a yoga rug? Not much.  

Giveaway Details

Like my rug? You can have one, too!  Barefoot Yoga Co. has generously agreed to give away a Gaya Mysore practice rug ($41 value) to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is leave a comment below with an idea of what you'd like to see from Damn Good Yoga in the coming year.  Do you want practice tips?  Philosophy?  More videos?  Natural health?  Be specific.  On February 26th -- one week from today -- I will randomly select a commenter to receive one of these fabulous rugs and announce the winner on the blog.  

Stay tuned and good luck!

UPDATE:  The winner has been announced!  Click here to find out if you're the one.

42 comments:

  1. Would like to see more yoga philosophy. Really like this blog. :)

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    1. Excellent! Thanks for the input, Jose. Good luck!

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  2. Hi Megan,

    I've been using a Gekko mat from Ashtanga Yoga Productions for a couple of years now, how do you feel the rugs compare to rubber mats?

    Also, more asanas of the week next year would be nice, I always enjoy those.

    Thanks,
    Carl Bringenberg

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    1. Hi Carl. I prefer to use a rug or towel over top of my Manduka mat. I probably wouldn't use a rug alone for Ashtanga practice because a nice, dense mat provides important support for joints. Mats alone can be a bit slippery, though, so I find that a rug/mat combo is the best way to go.

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  3. Hey there, I love your writing, but I would definitely enjoy more visuals of you explaining things like videos or photos, or even anatomy infos! I'm loving the rug, too, it looks great!

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  4. My favorite post is the one about digging holes... and committing to astanga. I would love to hear more on your perspective of how you step back on the mat... day after day after day. What makes you step back when you don't feel like it or you question the importance of the astanga practice?

    Also, I don't currently use a rug or towel because I have been holding out for the rug of my dreams- what a beautiful rug!!

    Thanks for the blog!

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  5. I've been intrigued by rugs versus mats for a while now simply because I imagine they travel so much lighter. My tired shoulders want to leave my heavy luxurious mat at home and travel with a rug, so your review was convincing and helpful.

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  6. This post is interestingly timed for me. I have been contemplating/researching this very thing lately! I am back on my mat after a long hiatus and I discovered my old mat did not suffer the neglect well. My hesitation was not knowing how grippy a cotton mat could be so I super appreciate your review Megan. Seems like this might be my new mat whether I win or not.
    Another thing I have really come to appreciate/rely on in your blog are the Natural Health tips. I have tried most of the things you have advocated and my life is enriched for the experiences. I use DE in my professional life and in my chicken coop but I never imagined I could use it on myself! Single best purchase I have made this year. Thanks again for all the sage advice!

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    1. That's wonderful, Mo! I'm so glad you're trying the natural health tips, and especially the DE. It's a miracle product, for sure. I get so many compliments when I use it on my hair and face, and it costs next to nothing. Pretty much a no-brainer. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  7. I would like to see practice tips. Sometimes the slightest little adjustment can make such a difference. So tell us what little tricks you use for different postures.
    I would also love some philosophy ... always learning.
    Thanks.

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  8. So kind!

    I'd like more naturel health / beauty inspiration please

    @ohsogawjess

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  9. You write so well no matter what topic you pick. I always enjoyed your more personal posts about practice, especially on how you managed and healed from injury. Of course there's a time and a season for everything though. Xo.

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    1. Hi Erica. I miss writing those posts, too, but that's the kind of thing that takes a free morning and an empty mind, neither of which are quite so available to me now. Being a student is keeping me busy. Hope to get back to the deep work this summer. Thanks and good luck!

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  10. I'd love that rug! I love the feel of mysore rugs for practice and that one sounds fab! I have a rug already, but have been thinking strongly about getting a second one to be able to wash the other one more often, especially in winter. On your blog, I love the asana of the week, so more would be great, with tips (!) perhaps even looking at some transitions too...I do love your personal reflections on your practice, but I understand how writing about that can become boring, as you alluded to before....I do think more yoga philosophy would be interesting. Love the blog though, so keep up the good work!

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    1. Transitions are a great idea! I love to play with transitions, too, so maybe I'll try to write a bit about that soon. Thanks for the ideas!

      I actually enjoy writing in a more personal vein and sharing my practice that way, but like I was saying to Erica above, that kind of things takes time that I just don't have right now. Hopefully soon. Thanks, Jacqueline!

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  11. Oh I know one! The Best Place to Practice Yoga! That is interesting, You should post it here!

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  12. Hi Meagan:) Thank you so much for this, it's beautiful, I am a Mysore rug lover myself. I am beginning 2nd Series, so I would appreciate some helpful tips and maybe some realizations along the way:) Thank you! Om Shanti

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  13. Yay! I love these rugs! Mine started out as purple but now after 15 years it's definitely worn down.

    Personally, I would love to see more videos. I practice at home and sometimes just need a little inspiration. :)

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  14. I would love to see videos. They inspire me. Its fun to watch and learn new techniques.

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  15. I would love to read more about natural health. I've recently been seeking out tips and recipes to live a healthier life, which is how I discovered your blog :) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    Erin
    fairyfractal at gmail dot com

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  16. I love the free online yoga classes - so more of those would be great. Also would love to see more giveaways. Those are great.
    toni marie caravello
    reannenny@aol.com

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    1. Thanks, YogaMommy. I'm working on a 30-45 minute hip opening class that I hope to have up on the blog soon. Keep your eyes peeled for that.

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  17. I really love your Asana of the Week posts and just overall thoroughly enjoy reading (and watching) what you post.

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  18. glad you're doing reviews! yoga mats and rugs are an investment, so it's nice to get the scoop from someone who's a committed yogi!
    as far as the blog goes, your writing is excellent and i enjoy the variety. i'm with some of the other peeps, too...how bout some yogic philosophy? :)

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  19. Thanks for offering this lovely mat to the world! I like the asana of the week feature; I'd love to get that in my Facebook feed every week. I also enjoy occasionally practicing with a little guidance, as in a led practice. I would very much enjoy led primary series videos, perhaps each with a different focus and cues(count, breath, drishti, etc).

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    1. Hi YouChick. I've been meaning to get the Asana of the Week back up and running for some time, and it's been a popular response to my request, so I'll try to do that ASAP. Thanks and good luck!

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  20. Love your blog-would love to see some more videos and natural health discussions- thanks for the great giveaway!

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  21. I found your video on first series very inspirational. I practiced after watching it and felt immersed for the first time in ages. I would love to see more videos.

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  22. Definitely yoga poses and flows! Crossing my fingers for this giveaway...

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  23. Would so enjoy more (continuation of) practical tips with anatomical inclusion. Things I suppose I'm personally working to strengthen and integrate in my practice and instruction. Asana of the Week was so great too.

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  24. Hi, I follow your blog from Italy and I really love it :)
    I would like to see more of your beautiful free yoga classes videos!
    Thanks,Anna

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  25. How serendipitous! ... Or it could be fate! I've just discovered your blog late this very evening after returning home from yoga teacher training. I was looking up "Utpluthih," to learn more and was linked to your post from 1-06-12. 100 breaths in Utpluthih, huh? I shall give it a try! I've been practicing and practice-teaching Ashtanga diligently for about 2 months now, after years of off again on again personal practice in various styles. Now feels deLightfully different. It's like what Kiki describes in some of the videos you posted and what you bring up in some of your blog conversations. Once a person begins making healthy choices and feeling the space and lightness those choices invite, they become stronger, more energized and feel more alive and engaged with the body. I'm excited and committed to creating more of this essence in my life, I can feel my body changing, and my mind becoming more calm. Happening upon your bountiful blog feels exciting. I'm grateful for the new resource. So, in hopes of challenging myself to continue finding my growing edges, what I want to see more of on your blog is your take on getting into more advanced Ashtanga asanas, or series of asanas, including transitions. Arm balances, inversions, and deep core work. How do you teach these? I would also love to read about Ayruveda, and "living your yoga" when it comes to "real life challenging/taboo/societally ignored topics." Cause I'm into radical communication and social justice and I think it's important to talk about issues that don't get talked about. And relate it to yoga. Yoke it all together for us! And be well. Om Shanti. Love and Light, Amelia Mae

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  26. I would like to see more classes and tips!

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  27. I would love to see some photo series of common alignment issues with suggestions of how to properly align. For example an image of a shoulder where you can see the muscles before and after being properly aligned in an over the head position. Then we could really see the anatomy change and learn proper alignment. -positions of hands feet alignment of the back or butt or stomach.

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  28. I'd love to read what to think about in different postures.
    Photo and videos would be great to.

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  29. I would love to read more about merging yoga within everyday. I am a "former" athlete who thought I practiced yoga for 11 years, until I started into Ashtanga in August. From an athletes mindset, your workout is something you power through. I was a gym rat for many, many years...with the mentality that you get in and get out. With Ashtanga, I feel like I need to be "in" more than just showing up to Mysore practice. I would love to read more about incorporating it into everyday life...and truly getting more out of the practice.
    Namaste

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  30. I would like to see more about bringing it all together, living yoga inside and out, on the mat and off the mat, taking it with you all day long anywhere you go. Thanks!

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  31. I've been using one of their rugs for a few months and I love it. The only issue I have with it is that you get no traction unless it's damp. I've been soaking it before my class and it works great.

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  32. I'm new to the blog, so I'm not sure! I always love advice about how to make yoga part of my everyday life: mindfulness, devotion to practice, gratitude, and the like.

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  33. I would love more practice tips; as my partner and I aren't able to make classes a lot, I find them really helpful. Thanks for the great blogging!

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