You unroll your brand new yoga mat for the first time to discover that it has a tacky feel that you weren’t expecting! What gives?
Yoga mats are sticky because they are designed to allow you to hold yoga poses without slipping. In many yoga practices, poses are held for several breaths, or longer, so it is important that there is enough grip to keep you in place and avoid injuries.
Beyond that, yoga mat grip allows you to relax into a pose more fully. If you have to concentrate on not slipping, it would be harder to calm your mind and settle into a position like Warrior 2, for instance.
Read on to find out which mats offer the most grip, how to maintain the tackiness of your yoga mat, and what to do if the stickiness of yoga mats bothers you and distracts you from your practice.
Where to find sticky yoga mats
Some brands offer mats that offer extra grip to help you stick postures and relax and settle into poses easier and longer.
Gaiam offers the Performance Ultra-Sticky mat that actually has a different texture on each side so that you can pick which one works best for you. At 6mm in thickness, it has enough cushion to help keep your sit bones happy in Easy Pose. Read more about this yoga mat here on Gaiam’s website.
Hugger Mugger offers a sticky mat that is equally tacky on both sides, giving you a non-slip surface that won’t let you down! It is also a generous 6mm thick, cushioning your joints. Read more about Hugger Mugger’s Para Grip Yoga Mat here.
How to keep a yoga mat sticky
If you have a yoga mat that isn’t sticky enough to offer you enough grip, there are ways to bring out that tacky feeling that will keep you in place!
To make a yoga mat sticky, use a wash cloth or spray bottle with soapy water to clean the surface, then rinse clean. Thin mats can be washed in a washing machine. Once wet, the mat will need to be hung up to dry. If you don’t have time to wash your mat, you can sprinkle it with baking soda, wait a few moments, and shake off the excess.
Other ideas are to use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to clean the surface or your yoga mat and restore that tacky feeling. This solution can sit on your mat for an hour and then be rinsed away. Essential oils can be added to the mixture to improve the smell, although once hung up and dried, the vinegar smell will dissapate.
For a quick and easy way to keep mats sticky, you could use a mat wash spray. These sprays are designed to keep your mat free from dirt and dried sweat, which can reduce the tackiness, and can have the added benefits of killing bacteria and adding a pleasant scent to your mat.
Mats that aren’t sticky
So what if you are a person that HATES the feeling of a sticky yoga mat? No problem!
A natural cork yoga mat may be perfect for you. Cork offers a non-slip surface that will help prevent injuries that could come from sliding on your mat, but unlike PVC mats, they don’t have that sticky or tacky feeling that some people dislike.
Cork mats are generally double-ply with a layer of some kind of rubbery, non-skid material on the floor-side of the mat to keep it in place. Find a gorgeous cork mat here from Gaiam.