Slippery Yoga Mat Solution

I find it curious that most yoga mats are slippery when you first buy them. Why is that?

Too many times I have been walking around a class seeing a student who thinks there is something wrong with them-self, like gravity has stopped pulling them down, because their hands will not stick to the surface of their yoga mat, and they are slipping along a straight slope right through Down Dog and out the door. Students, who are so eager that they just bought their own yoga mat are ready to skip straight to shavasana and never come back.

Perhaps someday I will produce my own line of yoga mats that are A)not sliperry, B) made from all natural materials, and three)do not smell like rubber. Or, if you are reading this and you are inspired to make such yoga mats, please let me know and I will purchase one. But, until that time this is my recommendation for what yoga mats I recommend and how to make the slipperyness go away.

What yoga mat do you recommend? The Manduka travel mat. It is heavy enough to practice on and light enough to carry. I should add that it is not a lite mat relative to others that are out there, it is only lite relative to the regular size Manduka mat. The reason that I prefer this brand of mat is because A) it does not smell B) it has the right amount of stickyness, because although slippery is miserable too sticky is also a nuisance.* and three) It is sturdy so you don’t feel the hardwood floor in your spine if you happen to be rolling around on your back.

*Well, it is the right amount of stickyness once you have washed it.

How do you wash your yoga mat? My friend and teacher, Elizabeth Silas, told me ten years ago that the best way to wash a yoga mat was with warm water and a little vinegar. I have never heard this from anyone else, but I still find it to be the best advice. To my understanding, white vinegar is a natural cleanser. The reason to use this over detergent is because detergent ATTRACTS dirt. That is what makes it detergent I suppose. It is very difficult to get all of the detergent out of the fabric of the mat so your mat will collect more dirt this way. So give it a good scrub with White Vinegar and Water and you will be standing on your hands in no time!

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About Joyce Englander

I teach weekly yoga classes in New York City, which focus on moving mindfully and gracefully with the breath. I believe that learning yoga is similar to learning a language, and the more you are around it the more fluent you become. This blog is an opportunity to share my thoughts and re-visit lessons from class; to create a bridge for students to translate their classroom experience into real life. I am interested in how practicing yoga can help to improve people's lives and reduce needless suffering.
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