The thick yoga mat is great for sensitive knees.

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Jessica Biel Yoga Mat
Credit: Getty Images

Maybe it’s because I grew up watching 7th Heaven, but any advice or insight Jessica Biel offers up, I take — whether it’s investing in a pair of distressed Levi’s that are good for any weather or ordering up some under-eye patches that can de-puff the morning scaries away. She’ll forever be the wise big sister, at least in my eyes. So when the actress and producer announced her partnership with Gaiam yoga, I was ready to check out the brand for myself.

Playing soccer for most of my life (and getting the injuries that come along with the sport), has given me adult knees that are less than stable. At times, they’re so sensitive that even child’s pose during yoga can irritate them. So when I saw Gaiam’s thick, six-millimeter yoga mat (that has big sis Jess’s stamp of approval), I didn’t hesitate to buy it. Most mats are around four millimeters, so I hoped the extra cushion would give me some added support during my at-home yoga sessions. I’ve tested out thick mats before, but couldn’t find any that could function for hot yoga and vinyasa flows. Many didn’t even have a non-slip finish — Gaiam’s did.

Choosing from the 29 colorful design options was tough, but Gaiam’s calming purple ash leaf style called to me (see: it matched the color of my nails). Having a pretty mat also boosts my mood and helps me stay motivated. When I first purchased the thick mat, I certainly wasn’t expecting to use it as much as I am now while in quarantine, but this time has proven the capabilities and worth of this under-$30 purchase.

I use the mat for everything from HIIT workouts to morning stretches, and the aches I was so used to feeling prior have gone with the wind. I feel supported during yoga inversions thanks to the mat’s non-slip surface, and the thick material keeps my joints from feeling jolted if I’m doing hardcore burpies or jump squats.

And while I’m certain that I look nowhere close to as good as Jessica Biel does during her yoga sessions, I feel refreshed, confident, and capable with this mat, and that’s a big win in my eyes.

Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat, Ash Leaves
Credit: Courtesy

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