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Is Your Sticky Mat NOT So Sticky?

I recently bought a new yoga mat because well, my hubby took the car that had my prized Black Mat in it. And I REFUSE to use the nasty, stinky, dirty, germ-infested public mats you can rent at the studio.

So I bought a new mat that's a little less thick and a lot less heavy - so I could travel with it.

I was psyched to try my first Down Dog on it. At first it was really sticky and grippy - so I could push into my palms and get a good stretch through my back.

But a few minutes later, as we started warming up, my hands and feet began slipping away from me. My Down Dog was turning into a LONG Dog. I was getting really frustrated, but I should have expected it with a brand new mat.

Want some tips to get rid of the slick, and achieve the stick? Then

  • Wash your mat. A lot of mats come with some weird (and smelly) chemical on the surface, so just take your mat into the shower and rinse it with warm water. Don't use any soap as this will just increase the slipperiness. Hang it over your shower rod to let it air dry.
  • That didn't work? Wash it in the shower again, but this time gently scrub it with a new sponge with warm water and NO soap. Let it air dry.
  • Still no luck? Use it and DON'T wash it. Sometimes your mat just needs to be used. Your sweat helps to break it in and it'll become more sticky.
  • Still slipping? Try a different mat. Not all mats are created equal and there may be another one out there better suited for your needs. You can always bring along a towel to place under your hands or a rug.

    But whatever you do - get this yoga mat problem fixed. Then you can spend more time relaxing and extending your muscles, not your postures.

Join The Conversation
Gladraffe Gladraffe 10 years
you can also throw your yoga mat in the washing machine, on gentle cycle, no soap. then air dry.
kevindineen kevindineen 10 years
My girlfriend got me ones of those Black Mats and they're awesome. Not slippery whatsoever - well until it's summertime in an Ashtanga class. Then I throw a rug on top of it. It's great because it's so cushy, especially for headstands. I take it in the shower with me to clean it - no joke.
Beaner Beaner 10 years
Another thing I learned - Wash your hands and feet right before class (I just run to the bathroom once I get there). If you have lotion on your skin, you'll be slip sliding everywhere... And it'll get on your mat and stay there, so the next time you take a class, your mat will be slippery. It's a vicious cycle.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Yeah, I'd steer clear of anything that contains oil - even essential oils. It's a mat disaster waiting to happen.
vigilante vigilante 10 years
I know exactly what you mean, Fit. I bought a bottle of mat cleaner ages ago, expensive stuff that smelled like melons. Smelled great but it seemed to have some kind of wax or oil in it, made the mat slipperier than heck. I always wondered if they put some kind of oil in there to make your mat look shiny? Shiny meaning that it made it look cleaner I guess. You should have seen me try to do DD on that. Fell flat on my face. Still have the stuff in my cupboard and I can't seem to give it away! Wonder if it works on floors?
Fitness Fitness 10 years
They also make products specifically designed to wash your mat - I haven't found much luck with any though - they clean my mat, but leave it slippery.
GolferGirl GolferGirl 10 years
Thanks! I'll do that.
vigilante vigilante 10 years
I always use bleach and water to disinfect mine. One tablespoon of bleach in a good tub of water (about two inches of water that covers the entire bottom of your bathtub) seems to work for me! Don't overdo it on the bleach or you'll end up with a crumbly sticky mat. No fun at all.
GolferGirl GolferGirl 10 years
Hmmm. Never thought about washing mine. Anyway of disinfecting it?
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