It’s not always easy finding the right yoga mat for your particular body and practice; everyone is truly unique! However, one thing we highly recommend is having patience with your new mat, before giving it the boot.
Nearly all mats on the market today, including the eco-friendly yoga mats, have a breaking in period. This period can vary, depending on the mat, usage, exposure to certain elements (think sun or salty, ocean air), and extra steps the owner can take to speed up the process. New mats nearly always have a factory layer on them that needs to be wiped off, prior to usage. The factory layer is there so that when the mat is unrolled for the first time, it doesn’t pull itself apart. The layer can be easily wiped off with a wet towel.
Here are a few other options for removing the factory layer and speeding up the breaking process:
- Wipe the mat down with a heavily diluted vinegar/water mix or biodegradable soap/water mix. This will help remove the factory layer, as well as eliminate common mat odor. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly, as to not create a new slippery residue on the surface.
- Salt Scrub – wipe your mat down with a mixture of salt and warm water, using a cotton cloth. Then rub again with just warm water to remove any excess salt.
- Leave the mat unrolled in a very warm room for a few days to help the surface become stickier.
- Use your mat! Working the material via your practice and wiping it down after each use will help break in the mat.
Normally, mats will get better and better the more you use them. If you’re having trouble finding a new mat that provides enough stickiness, even after the breaking in period, you may want to consider an alternative. We suggest using a Mysore Practice Rug or Skidless Yoga Towel, both of which can be used in conjunction with a mat. Another option would be the Yoga Grips, which are also great for traveling.
Please always feel free to contact us via email or phone for yoga mat advice.
This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on March 31, 2010