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How to Break in Your Yoga Mat

The Best Ways to Break in Your Yoga Mat

Sticky yoga mats offer ample cushion to support joints and muscles, but during the first few weeks of use, it's very common for you to slip and slide around a brand-new high-quality mat. The very best way to break in your yoga mat and avoid slipping around is to simply use it as often as you can, but there are a few ways to expedite the process to make your mat feel like home sooner.

Try a salt scrub: Giving your new mat an "exfoliating" treatment can help break down the initial layer and help you find stability in poses. Sprinkle your mat with a mix of sea salt and warm water, and either wipe it down with a stiff-bristled brush (if you have one) or a cotton washcloth. When the weather is warm, some people have found that leaving their mats out in the sun on a hot day can help break them in too.

More than yoga: Don't roll up your yoga mat as soon as your practice is over! Stomp around with bare feet as you watch your favorite TV show, or move through a quick workout video on your mat. The more you use it, the more it will loosen up — you just need to get creative with how much you're using your mat. Hopefully, having your yoga mat out more will encourage you to be active more often.

Grab a towel: If it's difficult to get grounded on your new mat, laying a towel on top of it can help. Initially, you might have to readjust poses more often than you'd like, but it's the best way practice on your new gear and not feel held back. A big beach towel will do the job, but we're partial to the Yogitoes Arise Mat Towel ($64) that does a great job gripping on to a sticky mat. Far beyond the break-in period, you'll be able to use it during hot yoga and sweat-inducing Vinyasa classes. No more slipping or sliding around; you can just focus on your practice until you're able to break in your mat.

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