Thursday, 14 May 2009

Yoga Towels. Manduka eQua Vs Yogitoes

I was asked today which yoga towel I prefer, Manduka's eQua or the Yogitoes. I've had the Yogitoes for just about a month now so it seems long enough to be able to make a fair comparison with the eQua, which I've had about a year.

Let me say first that both are good quality products and will stop you slipping on your mat. I don't think you'd be disappointed in whichever one you were to buy. That said, if I had to choose just one, it would have to be.......

Manduka's eQua.

I used the Yogitoes solidly for a couple weeks after It arrived and was very excited about it, but I've found that in the last week or so I've been going back to the eQua.

For some of the extra curricular practice I do, I tend to pick up the Yogitoes. It grips right from the off and is good to go. But for a full practice give me the eQua every time. Yes, you may have to give it a spray with some water first, which might be a pain if your taking it to the Shala. But it grips the mat like a second skin and almost never bunches up. I started to find the Yogitoes bunching a lot, which became really irritating. It's because it grips a little too well to your feet as well as the mat. The equa is almost like suede, your feet just seem to glide over it when they're moving and yet when your standing or pressing your hands down and want some grip it stops you slipping just fine.
The Jump back is important to me as you know. When first learning it, you want all the help you can get. You don't want the mat bunching up every time you brush across it which can happen with the Yogitoes. Jumping through on the eQua is perfect, if your toes brush along the surface of the towel it's fine because of the suede like texture, they just slide right through. No mat burns on your toes with the eQua.

You do tend to feel the the little silicone bumps through the Yogitoes. You get used to it in standing but it can be irritating in forearm stands, that said I do like the feeling of extra grip for handstands.

There's more to the Yogitoes, it's a little thicker and will absorb more moisture perhaps, though the eQua absorbs more than enough for me and I'm a very sweaty Ashtangi. Best of all after my practice I tend to give the eQua a rinse out in the shower. When you wring it out it's almost dry right away, something to do with the microfiber. Can't say the same for the Yogitoes which will take much longer to dry and being thicker is harder to wring out.

If you do go for the Yogitoes avoid the ones with the emblem. Mine has the Japanese character for wood but my foot always ends up sticking to it such that I have to have the mat turned around, the emblem at the back.

Used to be that the eQua only came in bright green but now I believe it comes in a couple of other colours, I've seen the red one online which looks great. Also you can choose an extra long towel to fit the extra long Manduka. My towel is extra long but my mat is normal size, not too much of a problem as the towel just folds over the end and still seems to grip OK.
Stop press. According to Maduka's website they have a new improved design out now, looks pretty similar to mine but a little thicker and plusher.
And her's a link to Yogitoes website


  1. I'm always a bit ambivalent as to whether I like rugs or not.

    I spent ages being very against as I felt they upset the flow of the practice, especially if you use them for seated only and have to roll them out.

    More recently I bought a yogitoes for work travel and then a rug in mysore, after a long talk from someone who wouldn't practice without one. I'm still not sure I'm convinced, the flow does seem a bit off.

  2. Ahhh, I've always used mine Yoga towels for standing and seated so it doesn't interupt the flow.
    Always liked the idea of a rug and have a nice one but always ended up getting rug burns on my toes so dont use it.

  3. No rug, just like the ancients!
    My body is like a water fall, once the mat is covered in sweat drips (quite quickly), I need the rug to sop it up and help me to not crash after sliding in my sweat!

    Grimmly, I'm going to check out that eQua... don't know about it. I have 2 rugs- one is Prana, the other is something from BareFoot Yoga, or something like that. Both thick, both woven, heavy, good. I wet them pre-practice for good grip. I think the Yogitoes would bunch too much for me. They look light weight- doomsday for Nakrasana!

  4. Hey Liz (and all),

    Yeah, second that. I have a Barefoot yoga rug, and it goes with me outside (no mat, just the rug) and also, in sweaty summner practices, is a must-have over the mat.

    I rolled it out after standing once, in a led Primary, and yeah, it did disrupt the flow, but I took care to maintain careful Ujjayi and that kept me on target.

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I was given a gift card with the caveat "get something that supports your yoga practice," and I've been keenly interested in getting a towel for a while. I don't know of any good yoga accessory review sites, so when I googled for a comparison of these two towels, your blog popped up.

    I deeply appreciate the reviews and opinion, and am looking forward to trying out the eQua!

  6. Your Welcome, Jamie. let me know how you find it. I think they've changed them a little since I got mine, plusher they say. Not sure how i feel about that, best thing about mine is that i can rinse it out in the shower in the morning (is that gross?) wring it out and it's pretty much dry.

  7. I have a equis and yogitoes. I prefer the equis because you don't need to spray it down with as much water and it feels nice and smooth. I am thinking of getting a mysore rug. How is the mysore rugs in comparison to the equis? thank you for such a great blog

  8. Hi E. I have a rug but don't use it. I get rug burns on the toes from jump throughs and it beds a lot of spraying. Also it's a little difficult to wash and takes a long time to dry.
    I'd prefer to use a rug but I find them too much trouble.

  9. I am thinking of getting a mysore rug.I'm still not sure I'm convinced, the flow does seem a bit off.liked the idea of a rug and have a nice one but always ended up getting rug burns on my toes so dont use it.


  10. This is a really helpful post, which I've found well after the fact through a link in a comment on my (new) blog from Skippety. I've only been practicing Ashtanga about 10 months and have been searching for a solution to the blistering on the side of the feet while learning to jump through. I have been using a YogiToes but it might be worth the investment to switch up to the eQua, which sounds like a softer slide. Thanks! Also, p.s. I have been enjoying your blog for several months - I'm very impressed with your practice!

  11. Thanks KT, just had a quick look at your place, nice blog, I've added it to my blog list, hope thats OK. Had a look at your last couple of posts but am about to practice so am resisting getting stuck into your older posts untill later. BUT, duct tape silicone!!!, God you need an eQua, your poor feet. I had some of those rug burns for a while, even after I learned the move I would still get days where I'd brush the top of the mat, especially half way through the practice as you get tired. Know what you mean about the yogitoes too, nice towel but the equa is better for your toe problem. Until you manage to get your hands on one, a microfiber towel will do the job nicely and will make a nice spare see this post

  12. Thank you! I have a yogitoes towel and was pondering an eQua towel--and your rundown is so enlightening.

  13. Your welcome Christine, still using my equa's daily, never seem to use the yogitoes, in fact I'm not even sure where I put them.

  14. Hi Grimmly. Have been practicing for about 4 years and just upgraded to a Manduka mat but it is very slippery. They say it will improve with use but I have problems with my knee joints so don't want to risk falling. May get a towel to pop on top,also means I could travel with it to use on a gym mat for hygiene. Hate the idea of other peoples sweat! Thanks for review. x

  15. Hi,
    I like this review but am still not sure which towel to choose. I am mostly going to use it on top of a studio mat. So would I have to spray the equa at home first? They would not like me to do it there! The yogitoes seem to work better from a cold / non-sweaty start? I would also like a towel that could stick on any surface, i.e. not just a mat but maybe a carpet or laminate for some gentle moves while travelling? Wouldn't the equa without dots slip on those surfaces? Thanks for any advice you could give me. I cannot afford to get this wrong, as money is tight and it seems a large investment.

  16. Your right Sandra yogi toes does work better from a cold start. If I can't be bothered to spray my equal or have ran out of water i tend to have the equal at the top of the mat and then when my feet start to get sweaty I pull it down into place.

    there are some cheaper options, sometimes you can find a large micro fibre towel on ebay, I bought one cut it in to two, stitched the seam and ended up with two yoga towels for around $15. I've also seen towels with dots on ebay for much less than yogi toes, I bought two

  17. Thanks for your fast reply! What about a laminate / lino or carpet surface though? Would the equa stay in place at all? The yogitoes seem to say the dots would take of that. Thank you for your recommendation on the microfibre towels but I have been saving up, so would like the 'treat' of a brand name product.
    I will keep an eye on your blog, as it seems full of useful information. :)

    1. Not much difference between them on carpet , yogitoes marginally better but certainly better on a laminate floor. Personally i never liked the feel of the dotes so have barely used it



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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta