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Shit I Bought and Liked: Yoga Edition (Round 2!)
A lot of you already know about my long-standing love affair with this perfect yoga mat. Cushy but stable. Easy on the knees. Remarkably durable! Mine has held up to three and a half years of yoga, pilates, sculpt classes, weights—just about every single workout I’ve done from home since March of 2020—and shows no signs of quitting anytime soon (here’s my original review if you want a real blast from the past).
But if you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve heard this all before—by now you probably already have the mat! Today’s rec is similar though, in that it’s another Alo find that is simply several cuts above the rest.
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I recently got back into hot yoga and it’s been amazing—I could write a whole newsletter about it alone. After the initial discomfort, the combo of power yoga and heat feels so good (at least to me!)—I highly recommend giving it a shot, especially when the temperatures start to drop.
But the thing about hot yoga is that you SWEAT (I’m talking full hair wash after every single class). And when you sweat, your mat gets SLIPPERY. Most studios offer rentals for full mat-sized towels, and of course you can bring your own, but as you learn very quickly, most towels (even the ones designed for yoga!) tend to move around as you move. They bunch up around your feet and hands during every pull/pivot/plant/turn (hi CorePower fans!), and halfway through the class you get tempted to ditch it, only to lose your grip or your footing between your sweaty body and your sweaty mat. The whole ordeal is very frustrating—enough to take you out of your flow, aka the whole point of going to a yoga class in the first place.
After my first couple classes (and unimpressive towel rentals), I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some research. Everyone on Amazon basically had the same complaints of the towels there, even the ones from the big yoga brands. The same was true for Lululemon. I had all but forgotten about Alo until I remembered how much I love their mat.
Sure enough, Alo makes their own mat towel. It’s more expensive than the other ones I saw (and not just by a few bucks either). But it was also distinctly different—the entire bottom side is covered in grippy material (in a tiny diamond pattern—not just little dots), and the reviews seemed to rave about how it never moved. After days of agonizing over price comparisons, I decided to give it a shot.
From the very first class, it hasn’t moved ONCE. Now I’m able to go to hot yoga, sweat to my heart’s content, and focus on enjoying the flow instead of spending the whole time trying/failing to keep my grip on a bunchy towel. It might not change your entire life, but it will certainly change your yoga practice!
Now, aesthetically, I have a few notes. The black isn’t nearly as dark as it is in the photo—when it arrived I thought they had accidentally shipped me the navy. And I wish the logo was tonal like it is on the mat. But those complaints are so minor compared to how much better this towel has made my yoga experience.
Care is super easy too—I machine wash and air dry after every class and it dries super quickly. I’ve only had it for about a month now, so I can’t fully speak to how it holds up over time, but it’s still just as grippy after 10+ washes. What I do know for sure is that having this ready to go has made my in-person yoga experience so much better.
Speaking of workout gear, here are some other things I’ve been loving lately: APLs are a longtime Shit I Bought and Liked favorite—I found them here in a bunch of sizes/colors at the best prices I’ve ever seen (IMO they run true to size and today’s the last day to catch the sale!). I’ve been seeing this Amazon workout top everywhere so I had to try for myself. It’s comfy, cropped-but-not-too-cropped, and under $25—a win all around! If you’re in NYC, I’m newly obsessed with Heatwise—they’re heavy on the hands-on assists, which I will never turn down. I know I just talked about these workout tees in the last newsletter, but they really are my favorite (just be sure to size up!). I will almost certainly be grabbing the long sleeve version the minute temps drop. All my at-home yogis need these blocks. Yes I caved and bought Alo’s mat bag too—if you commute to class on foot, it’s a huge help.
That’s all for this week! As always, if you have any questions/ thoughts/ requests/ workout-wear recommendations, I’m always a comment, email reply, or DM slide away! (I’m serious about the workout wear recommendations! Where are our favorite sets from these days?! If it’s comfy and flattering, please send it my way!)