We’ve all been there—you’re in Downward Dog and you can barely hold the pose because your feet and hands keep slipping. No matter how strong of a yoga practice you have, a slippery mat can make yoga nearly impossible. And if you practice, you know that yoga is hard enough without the added challenge of a slippery mat! In addition to making yoga more challenging, slipping can also increase the likelihood of an injury. That’s why a nonslip mat is so important.
But how can you tell if a mat is nonslip? Here are a few questions to ask when buying a non-slip mat:
Is the mat sweat proof or sweat absorbent?
The best mats are made to be sweat proof or sweat absorbent, so they don’t become slippery once you start sweating. That means that you’ll still have a good grip on your mat even in a sweaty yoga class. Look for these key words (sweat proof, sweat absorbent) in the product description. You can also read reviews and search for reviews that talk about a mat’s grippiness and how it performs in sweaty environments to determine if it is or isn’t sweat proof or sweat absorbent.
Does the mat require a mat towel?
If a mat isn’t fully sweat proof or sweat absorbent, it might require (or suggest) you to use a mat towel. A mat towel functions like an added nonslip layer. Some yoga mats are actually made with a top layer that acts as a towel, so it’s a mat and towel in one. Your best bet is to find a mat with the towel built in!
Is the mat made for hot yoga? There’s a difference between a mat being described as nonslip and being designed for hot and sweaty yoga. Some mats are specifically made for hot yoga, which means they will be able to withstand sweat better than those that aren’t. In fact, most mats that are designed for hot yoga actually get grippier the more you sweat! If you practice hot yoga, or you just sweat a lot when you practice any format of yoga, look for a mat made specifically for hot yoga. These mats will best support your sweaty practice.
Finding the perfect yoga mat can be overwhelming, but keep these questions in mind as you’re searching, and you’ll be able to tell the non-slip mats apart from the rest! And to be sure, give it a test drive. Get into a Downward Facing Dog, and make sure your hands and feet aren’t going anywhere!