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Avoid Slippery Mats During Hot Yoga
As if hot yoga isn’t challenging enough, trying to find the perfect yoga mat that doesn’t turn into a slip ‘n’ slide the second you start sweating is a task made for only the most patient of yogis.
My initial foray into hot yoga nearly twenty years ago now was an exercise in naivete. I showed up to class in long boot-cut stretchy pants and a regular old sticky mat. My experience was as miserable as you can expect; highlighted by an unforgettable moment in which the teacher walked past me in Savasana and a drop of her sweat landed on my lips. Needless to say, I continued to return to the class unknowing at that time that yoga would in fact become my passion as well as my career.
Over time I learned to bring 2 thick bath towels to yoga. One to place on top of my mat so the sweat was absorbed and I didn’t slide, and then one to towel myself off at the end of class. This generated a LOT of sweat-soaked laundry and it was a tremendous gift when the lightweight and easily foldable microfibre towel for yoga was developed. That being said, for years I continued to struggle with whichever yoga mat I chose to use under my microfibre anti-slip mat. Frankly, they stank. No matter how much I rinsed them off, doused them in tea tree oil or wiped them with vinegar, it was like every yoga mat I tried would attempt to absorb the sweat and hold it captive. They were sticky and porous, which I appreciated in a regular yoga class when I wasn’t placing a microfibre towel over top, but not in a hot yoga class when I wanted strong cushion and sanitation!
It wasn’t until a few years back that I finally discovered a thick, professional yoga mat that maintained it’s superior level of quality over countless classes. It’s made by American company, Manduka, AND it’s 100% easy to clean. I honestly give it a quick wipe and it’s as good as new. No smell whatsoever. I have kept the same mat now for 5 years with no problems. Although it’s heavy, I have truly come to appreciate it’s durability as I’ve had mats made by other companies discolor, disintegrate and thin out in spots.
The particular mat I’ve come to love for my hot yoga practice is called the Manduka PRO mat and I prefer the thick 6mm version as I like the extra cushion for my knees. I use the black version as it shows zero dirt so even when I’ve hauled it on multiple airplanes to an exotic location like Costa Rica, it looks sparkling new.
I am, admittedly, a sweaty yoga student, so when I’m practicing a hatha class, I prefer a stickier yoga mat as my hands slide on the Manduka. That being said, my combo of Manduka PRO and microfibre towel is a match made in heaven for a hot class when my whole body is drenched. The best part? I can put my face on my mat in Child’s Pose and it smells like nothing. Stinky yoga practice be gone!