Practising yoga should be a peaceful and rejuvenating experience, but that is hard to accomplish with a slippery mat. Focusing on your practice and improving techniques can be nearly impossible if you cannot stay firmly in position.
Yoga mats can be slippery for a few reasons, such as improper technique, your particular mat is not suited for your type of practice, or the practice surface. Regardless of the reason, it can be an extremely frustrating experience—however, no need to worry, as there are many ways to prevent slippage.
Slippery mats can be embarrassing and even dangerous because if you slip in the middle of a compromising yoga pose, you could seriously injure yourself. This article will detail a few reasons that your mat might be slippery, go over some helpful remedies, and end with a few recommendations for less slippery mats. By the time you finish reading this, slippery mats will be a thing of your past.
First, it could be an issue with your pose alignment. This tends to be an issue for beginner yogis because it can take some time to learn the technique. After a year or so of consistent yoga practice, you will be much more comfortable distributing your weight properly, using your core, and significantly improving your balance. These improvements will help with your control and reduce the mat slipping.
Fear or Worry of Slipping
The second, which is related to the first, is that you are afraid or constantly worry and fear of slipping, which can cause a sloppy form. I know that slipping can be a little scary and certainly embarrassing, but remember that almost every yoga has slipped before. Getting comfortable with the idea of a potential slip will allow you to focus on your pose and technique.
Material of the Mat
Another reason it could be slippery is the mat itself. Some of the more popular mat choices are made of Polyvinyl Chloride, also known as PVC, which is used because of its natural grippy texture. However, many yogis try to avoid this material because it is toxic to humans and the environment. That said, many of the more eco-friendly options can be extremely slippery before they are broken in.
Use of Lotions or Oils
Lastly, your mat could be slippery as a result of your beauty regime. Many of us use lotions and oils to maintain healthy, smooth skin. However, these can wreak havoc on a yoga mat. Not only can they accelerate the degradation of the mat, but they can also make it very slippery, especially when combined with sweat.
How to Prevent and Reduce Slipperiness
Hopefully, you are not overwhelmed by the many possible reasons that your mat might be slippery. Fortunately, most of these slippery problems have pretty simple solutions. This section will go over some helpful remedies for decreasing and hopefully eliminating slipperiness all together.
Time and Regular Practice
The simplest solution is time. Practising on your mat regularly will naturally reduce the slipperiness. Some mats are made with a slippery coating that prevents sticking during manufacturing, which unfortunately affects your practice. Just like your favourite pair of shoes, these mats need some time to be broken in. With time and practice, this coating will come off, and you will have a grippy mat.
Use a Salt Scrub
Many advanced yogis know the drill when it comes to breaking in a slippery mat. For many, a salt scrub does the trick. Simply combine warm water and sea salt, apply it to your mat and gently wipe it down with a soft bristle brush or a soft towel. Do not wipe vigorously, as it can damage the mat. Rinse it off and leave to dry completely before rolling it back up.
Due to their absorbent nature, this can take a day or more. Be patient because it is important not to roll it up while it is still damp, as it can cause mould and bacteria growth.
Avoid Using Lotions or Oils Beforehand
Ensuring that your hands and feet are free of lotion and oils is a super quick and easy solution. When these are mixed with your sweat or other moisture, they become extremely slippery. Either delay your moisturising routine until after your practice or keep a pack of baby wipes with you for a quick wipe down before a session.
Use a Yoga Towel
You can also use a yoga towel as a barrier between you and your mat. A yoga towel is a special towel made to absorb moisture and help with grip. This Yogitoes Mat Towel is affordable and comes equipped with special grip dots to prevent slipping and sliding. It is also made sustainably with recycled plastic water bottles and will last a long time. A yoga towel will help you during the break-in period, but it will come in handy in your practice for years to come.
Recommendations for Non-Slippery Mats
I get it, we all want to ensure that our money is being well spent. Yoga mats can range in price from five dollars to well over one hundred dollars. This significant price range can make it difficult to determine just how much money you have to spend to get a quality mat. This section will go over a few recommendations for the best non-slippery mats available.
Jade Yoga Harmony Mat
The Jade Yoga Harmony Mat is a great, moderately priced option and comes equipped with many great qualities. First, it is made with natural rubbers, which offer a superior grip compared to the synthetic alternatives. You can also feel good about buying from this company because they are committed to giving back to the environment. In the last sixteen years, they have planted over one million trees in their Trees for the Future program.
IUGA Textured Mat
For a much more affordable option, check out the IUGA Textured Mat. They come in various colors and are reversible for those who like a bit of flair in their mat. To combat slipperiness, they equipped their mats with a textured surface on both sides, keeping your hands and feet from sliding as well as keeping your mat from sliding on the ground.
It is also lightweight for easy travel and durable, so you can expect it to last a long time. Lastly, it is made with Thermoplastic elastomers, or TPE, which is the latest and greatest in eco-friendly yoga mats.
Hugger Mugger Mat
Lastly, the Hugger Mugger Mat is definitely worth checking out. It is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but it is well worth it. Like the Jade Yoga mat, it is made of natural rubbers, which make it surprisingly grippy and durable, and long-lasting. Some users report a rubbery smell, although it dissipates with time. It is also a bit heavy, making it difficult to transport, but it would be a great mat for yoga practices at home.
Hopefully, if you opt to continue practising with your current mat, one of the remedies above will help you as you break it in and improve your technique. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong if you decide to get a new mat. You will certainly be pleased with one of the recommendations above.
It might not be easy to specify which of these many factors could contribute to your yoga mat’s slipperiness. Regardless of the reason, know that slipping is completely normal. Nearly all new yogis deal with this and will almost always improve with time, so be patient.