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The Best Ways to Break in a New Yoga Mat

How you can stop your new yoga mat from being slippery?

Getting a new yoga mat is a bittersweet moment: you giving up your old, trusty friend in exchange for a new, not-quite-perfect-yet one. Often, new mats have a slippery film on them, which can bring a little too much excitement to your practice.

So how do you make the transition smoother?

Try these tips:


Like most things in yoga, the answer is practice. After enough vinyasas and warrior ones, the film will wear off naturally.


Many yoga mats can be fully submerged in water. If that’s the case with your mat, throw it in the washing machine (no spin cycle) with a few drops of mild detergent or submerge it in your bathtub. Hang dry inside over a shower bar or door to dry. However, before trying this, make sure you double check the manufacturers care instructions so you don’t void any warranties.


If your mat isn’t able to pop into the washing machine, try using a gentle surface cleanser or yoga mat cleaner. Judiciously spray down your mat and wipe with a clean towel. Rinse and repeat several times before hanging to dry completely.


Sometimes yoga mats need to soak up the sun, too. Lay your mat flat on a soft outdoor surface in direct sunlight for several hours. The sunlight works two fold by heating up your mat and breaking it down with UV rays. Again, you’ll want to double check your mat’s care instructions. This is not recommended with natural rubber mats.


Salt scrubs rejuvenate your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells and removing surface residue left behind by make up and moisturizers. Believe it or not, they work on your yoga mat the same way. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt on your mat, dampen the surface lightly with a sponge, and scrub vigorously with a cloth or soft brush.

If all else fails and your mat is still too slippery to practice on, try investing in a yoga mat towel. They’re towels specifically made to lay on top of your yoga mat to soak up sweat and add a layer of grip between you and your slick mat.

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