Before the lockdown took hold in early 2020, I was a gym girlie. But when my regular treks to the gym became off-limits, I started to explore other ways to get my sweat on—and I’ve been religiously working out at home ever since. While oscillating through various fitness phases, from running to weight training, I’ve discovered one piece of equipment that’s become an essential part of my daily workouts: my yoga mat.

Now, I’m not a particularly fussy shopper, but if I’m going to be using something everyday, I want to invest in a quality piece of equipment that I know is able to withstand wear without breaking down. Initially gifted to me nearly three years ago now, I’ve been using Gaiam’s Premium Yoga Mat virtually everyday almost daily since 2020, and I don’t see myself trading it in anytime soon.

Why I love the Gaiam Premium Yoga Mat.

I workout on a flimsy rug in my living room, so it’s essential that my yoga mat isn’t going to be moving beneath me while I jump around during HIIT workouts or try my hand at a headstand (not quite there yet, don’t ask.) But with a non-slip, textured surface, Gaiam’s Premium Yoga Mat has excellent grip, never crumpling up or moving around while I sweat it out. 

Lightweight and durable (remember, three years of use!), this slim pick offers 6 millimeters of cushioning, leaving me feeling supported throughout my practice without loosing my stability. In fact, I recently began integrating 30 minutes of yoga into my morning before the work day begins, and this is the only mat I trust to complement my newly flexible muscles. It has a wonderful grip for when I’m practicing my planks, and I’ve had no trouble keeping my arms firmly planted under my shoulders, no matter how sweaty they are.

Many yoga mats are made with harmful, toxic chemicals called phthalates, but Gaiam makes its mats latex and phthalates-free, so you aren’t causing inadvertent damage to your well being as you practice your daily movement. There’s something particularly comforting about a yoga mat created with your health in mind, and if it came down to it, I would certainly purchase again. But the best news? The company offers a lifetime guarantee on its yoga mats, so you know Gaiam stand behind the quality of its product. 

There’s no need to settle for a sub-par yoga mat when Gaiam’s $35, premium option exists. Non-toxic, no-slip, and well-padded for even your most strenuous HIIT sessions, this yoga mat has been with me through hundreds of home workouts and countless yoga flows—and I can’t imagine practicing tree pose anywhere else.