It’s exciting to get a new yoga mat! So often, however, this enthusiasm wears off as soon as your asana practice begins and your hands and feet start sliding around.
New mats, even those labeled as “non-slip”, can be slippery! Downward dog can feel unbearable and standing poses precarious. With a little maintenance, however, you can strip away that slick factory film and enjoy a safer, steadier practice.
Here are a few tips:
1. If it’s not too slick, keep practicing and lift the coating away
- I’ve had quite a few mats that were easily “broken in” after a few solid practices. If your mat isn’t so slippery, try this method.
- If you’re hands are the only thing slipping, lay a strap across the top of the mat. In downward dog, place the heels hands of the hands on top of the strap.
2. Homemade mat spray for semi-slippery mats
- This simple spray can help remove the slippery coating. It can also be used to clean and disinfect used mats.
- To make, mix in a spray bottle:
1 cup water
¼ cup alcohol
about 30 drops tea tree oil
about 30 drops eucalyptus oil
Spray a fine layer of the tonic on the mat and wipe down with a rag or paper towels. Repeat as needed.
3. When all else fails, toss it in the washing machine
- Sometimes the methods above are not enough. If this is the case, place your mat in the washing machine with a very small amount of detergent (preferably all natural variety). Run on a regular or gentle cycle.
- After, let the mat air dry (I like to drape it over a sturdy shower rod or towel rung) or put it in the dryer on low heat. (LOW heat is very important!!)
Sophie Herbert is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student), a singer-songwriter, and a visual artist. She has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India; teaches yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan; and recently released her first full-length album, "Take a Clear Look." Please visit her website at SophieHerbert.com.