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Did you know there are alternatives to using a yoga mat? It’s quite common for people to not have considered this. It’s because your mind is geared to imagine people practicing yoga on, well, a yoga mat.
But there are many alternatives you can use as a substitute to the yoga mat.
We will show you a few different methods you can use, even some DIY ones. Maybe you’re a beginner, or don’t have a budget, then this may help you.
What to Use Instead of a Yoga Mat?
Alternative #1 – Towel
This is probably the easiest to consider, as they are an easily accessible common household item. You can even roll them up and use them as a support tool for your yoga workout.
However, you will need quite a plush bouncy towel to avoid the hard wood flooring. Something to provide some cushioning as a barrier for supporting your joints. The downside is towels can become quite slippery, which creates an hazard for you during your session.
You could of course, buy a proper yoga mat towel, such as this:
IUGA Non Slip Yoga Towel
Not only a yoga towel but also a face towel and a water spray, thrown in as part of the package!
Here’s one reviewers take on it:
“So i just got the towels today (along with the mini spray bottle) and immediately took a hot power vinyasa class. Must say that this towel ROCKS!! Works wonders!! I have a PRO Manduka mat which is one of the best in the market yet I still find it somewhat slippery since I sweat a lot … this has been bothering me for a while now. But I can finally say my frustration is gone. Highly recommended:) – good price too! Especially because the yogitoe are like $65. You also get a hand towel!”
Alternative #2 – Woven Blankets
Blankets can also be used, as they are generally a bit thicker than a towel which will give your joints greater cushioning from the hard floor. Avoid slippery fabrics or comforters as they can be very slippy, especially on a polished floor.
It’s probably best not to try too strenuous poses on a blanket as it’s not a complete replacement for a yoga mat.
Alternative #3 – Fabric
If you take a trip to your local fabric store, you will easily find fabrics that closely match those of a yoga mat. You could even make a custom size yoga mat by taking the sizes you need with you. Or order from one of the many online fabric stores.
Woven or handspun fabrics are the best as these give traction and stick to the floor better.
Alternative #4 – Gloves and Socks
Another alternative you could consider are socks and gloves. Either purchase proper yoga socks and gloves or use your own gloves and socks. A ribbed or studded texture will be best, so they help enhance your grip, especially when wet
There are several yoga manufacturers that do sock/glove combos that are especially made for the rigors of a sweaty yoga session, so these are obviously first choice if you can afford them.
are our particular favorite
Here’s what one reviewer said about them:
“I bought these mainly for the socks to use in yoga. My feet get cold, but I also need the grip.
They are a Japanese brand, similar to the Japanese style “toe socks”, but without the toe tips. So they fit fairly closely to the way that the Japanese socks do.
They fit comfortably on size 7 feet. I do not know if they would fit on a foot much bigger. Maybe up to size 8 or 9, because they fit snug (not too tight though).
And the little holes had ample stretch to get my toes through, but they were snug around the base of the toe, especially during down dog and other moves that put pressure toward the forward part of the foot. I had to readjust them a couple times after some of the poses. I’m not sure how they would be if my foot were bigger.
The grip is just right – enough to grip, but not so much as to be “bumpy” on the bottom of the foot, which is something I don’t like in general with grip socks. I was pleased with that.”
Alternative #5 – Carpet
Only really applicable if you’re planning a home yoga session, but this is one of the easiest solutions for yoga mat alternatives.
You may already have carpet or a rug that may be ideal, but you may need to change the style of the carpet or rug depending on what type of yoga you are performing.
Long pile carpets are best for on-the-ground poses and low-pile carpet or rug is better from standing routines.
If your carpet isn’t fixed to the floor or the rug is small, please keep in mind that it may well slide around the floor. A quick fix is to slip a shower mat underneath the rug/carpet. This should keep it in place.
Alternative #6 – Wood Flooring
You can always consider practicing yoga on a wooden floor. It may however, not be the most comfortable surface to perform on. But it will help prevent sliding and be a suitable surface for your standing position routines.
The downside is that the hardwood floor will not be the most comfortable for and pose that requires you to put any pressure on your hands or knees.
We recommend therefore, that you use a padded mat or towels, blankets in combination with hardwood flooring.
Alternative #7 – Bathmats
This is really if you have no budget at all, but it’s a very inexpensive way to practice yoga. You should choose one that a rigid texture, and place it suction cups down on the hardwood floor.
Once you flatten out the mat it should be quite secure and provide a nice stable surface to perform on.
There are a few different approaches to using yoga mats, each with their own pros and cons. Of course, it comes down to personal preference and type of pose you plan on doing.
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