But what if you need to travel a lot and just have little space to pack a yoga mat in your suitcase? Or if you simply want to save some money and still do yoga? Do you really need to get a special yoga mat?
The answer is NO! Not every yoga class requires you to have a yoga mat. Today we’ll give you 10 alternatives that can replace your yoga mat easily. And we’ll answer the most common questions:
- What can be used instead of a yoga mat?
- Can I do yoga without a mat?
- Are the yoga alternatives as effective as a yoga mat?
- How safe is it to use mat alternatives?
What Can Be Used Instead of a Yoga Mat?
You’ll be surprised, but almost every plain surface can be used for yoga. So here is the list of things that can replace your yoga mat.
The question of how you make a homemade yoga mat should not worry you anymore because many things you have at home are good to use as a yoga mat. For example, grab a pair of blankets and fold them in a rectangular form, and you have got a convenient place for yoga. This option is suitable for beginner yogis.
Big Shower Towels
Large towels can be easily used as a yoga mat. Place it on a hard floor, and you are ready to dive into the yoga world. Besides this, rolled-up towels can be an excellent prop for some yoga poses, for example, Child pose, Lotus pose, etc.
Grass Lawn Next to Your House
Fresh grass on your lawn is an excellent surface to practice. It’s suitable for meditation and practicing some morning yoga. Doing yoga or standing on fresh grass barefoot stimulates acupuncture points on your soles. Walking on grass can be a nice massage for your tired feet.
Sandy beaches often become a nice place to do a couple of yoga poses. It provides proper grip, and you can do all of your favorite asanas with no problem and without a yoga mat.
A bath mat with an antislip effect will be a perfect replacement for a yoga mat. Moreover, it absorbs any moisture from your hands or the surface under you.
Yoga Socks and Gloves
Yoga socks are a popular accessory for yoga practice. Yoga socks and gloves ensure you won’t slip on tiles or marble floors. Order these accessories from any yoga shop. While wearing yoga socks, you do not need any padding on the floor. Practice standing asanas like Tree pose, Warrior 1-3, Chair pose, and much more. Surya Namaskar is also available to do in yoga socks and gloves.
Yes, you’ve heard it right! Your bed and mattress are very nice surfaces for yoga. Of course, some asanas like handstands or headstands cannot be done in bed as it’s too soft for them. But the bed is suitable for a little warm-up sequence with twists and breathing exercises. Plus, evening meditation with calming sequences becomes so sweet in your cozy bed.
Carpets are suitable for winter training. They provide enough grip and are warmer to lay on. However, they may not provide enough grip for more complicated asanas like shoulder stand.
A floor made of wood will be good for some flow sequences and standing poses. If you want to practice on the floor, take off your socks for better grip. Remember that if you have sensitive skin or knees wooden floor is too solid for your practice. Kneeling poses in such cases become very uncomfortable and even painful. So it’s better to choose another option or avoid kneeling poses.
Did you know that ancient yogis used only a cotton rug to practice yoga exercises? Floor and small rugs were a usual yoga mat 5000 years ago in India. And they still can be used today.
Can I Do Yoga Without a Mat?
Having said the above, the answer to this question is Yes. You can practice yoga without buying a yoga mat. But before you start any practice, you should consider what asanas you will practice because not all postures are safe to do without a proper grip on the surface.
So when you just begin your yoga journey, the asanas can be done without a yoga mat. However, with time as your practice become advanced, you’ll see that you require some padding to make your practice more comfortable.
Usually, yoga mats provide grip and proper cushioning, making the ground softer for you. This is another factor to consider when you want to do yoga without a yoga mat.
There are yoga mats of different thicknesses. The yoga mat alternatives like towels and woven rugs help to regulate the thickness of the padding for your needs. What cannot be done if we speak of the regular yoga mat.
Are the Yoga Alternatives as Effective as a Yoga Mat?
Yes! The yoga mat alternatives can ideally replace the classic yoga mat. As long as they provide enough cushioning, have correct dimensions, and ensure a firm grip for your level of practice. Plus, some yoga mat alternatives provide more comfort than a yoga mat which makes them more desirable for yogis. They are easy to pack, transport, and clean.
Is It Safe to Do Yoga on Yoga Mat Alternatives?
Yes, most of the above yoga mat alternatives are safe to use. However, there are some safety precautions that you should take while using them. This relates to performing some advanced yoga poses on surfaces like sand, soft bed, or wooden floor without the yoga mat.