So i got a new yoga mat for my birthday. I was all excited, unrolled it and then proceeded to almost smash my face in downward dog as my hands just about slipped right out from under me. As I fumbled around like a cat on a waxed hardwood floor, I thought to myself "self, we gotta get some traction here or your gonna hurt yourself even more than you already do with this yoga thing." But how? HOW??

Some people in my class had different thoughts on the matter. Some said, "oh dont worry, it will get a lot stickier as it wears in and dried out a little." Others, "I've had success just throwing it in the washing machine." AH... that sounds like a good ideas, except that the instructions on my mat say clearly NOT to wash it, as it's made from organic rubber. So most likely it would just spontaneously combust in the washer or some such thing... what to do?

Well, here' s a tip for all you that can relate to this scenario. VINEGAR. Yep, throw equal part vinegar and water in a bucket. Scrub that baby down on both sides and let it air dry. It will get sticky like one of those little rubber spiders you used to throw at the wall to watch it climb down. I was amazed. The only down side is a) it starts to get slippy when you start sweating and b) it smells like vinegar.

So theres one way to get your mat sticky. Anyone have any other tips?

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Replies to This Discussion

I've not heard that one, as I wash my mat in cold water with mild detergent (and air dry). However, vinegar is the ultimate non-toxic cleaner. Nice discovery.

But, I do have one other thought on mats: don't buy one of the extra-thick and squishy types. People often buy these, thinking they'll have a more comfortable yoga experience. However, it's better for your wrists (downward dog, handstand, arm balances) to have a thin mat, so that you can make full contact with the ground. Full contact with the ground means focusing pressure / weight at the root of the fingers, which relieves pressure in the wrists.

I learned all this from personal experience (problem with thick mats).

wow... good info. i might have to get another one. it is one of the slightly thicker mats. thanks for the tip!
Thank you! I'd been wondering about that, even asked a yoga teacher for suggestions.
Super sticky now? Does that make it Downward Spider ? ;>
Vinegar makes sense. Maybe you could try adding a bit of essential oil of lavender, or even better cedar. Mmmmm....
Namaste'
Rubbing alcohol mixed with water an a little dish soap. Or, get a blanket or towel to place over it. Or, you just hold onto the outsides of your mat in downward facing dog until it gets dirty enough to keep you from slipping.
I've used mild dish soap and witch hazel. I think the witch hazel works a little better. Just add some into a tub of water, scrub a little, rinse, and hang to dry. You can also mix in essential oils to make it smell good!

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