The return of the warm summer months creates a plentitude of opportunities to soak up the sun during outdoor yoga sessions. Unfortunately, it also creates a plentitude of sweat. Even if you’ve never set foot inside a hot yoga studio, any time spent bending, posing and stretching during a heatwave could leave you feeling like you worked up a serious sweat at a hot yoga class. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider investing in a hot yoga mat.
One of the most common questions we hear from yogis thinking about buying their first hot yoga mat is “do I really need one?” While you could practice just about any type of yoga on any surface, you’ll probably have a difficult time staying grounded if you find yourself slipping and sliding through each pose. Here are 5 major benefits to incorporating a hot yoga mat into your practice:
1) Hot Yoga Mats Offer Versatility
Not all yoga mats are created equally. You can use hot yoga mats for any style of yoga, but you can’t necessarily use any style of yoga mat for hot yoga. Think about it this way - you can ride a mountain bike down the boardwalk for a beachside cruise, but you can’t necessarily ride a beach cruiser up a mountain!
The features that make a yoga mat attractive for one kind of practice could end up being a detriment to another kind of practice. Thankfully, you won’t have this experience with a hot yoga mat. The high-grip surface hot yoga mats are known for are universally beneficial - you may just need to spray down the surface to lock yourself into place if your flow isn’t working up much of a sweat.
2) They Help Prevent Injuries
If you’ve ever experienced a yoga-related injury, you know one thing to be true: it’s a serious downer. Not only are snapped wrists and twisted ankles painful, they could also do enough damage to keep you off the mat for weeks or even months. Needless to say, sliding around on a yoga mat that isn’t designed for a sweaty practice can make it pretty easy to get hurt.
The sweatier you get from flow to flow, the more likely you are to take an untimely tumble. Thankfully, a well made hot yoga mat will keep you as strong and steady as a tree. The grippy texture of a hot yoga mat holds you safely in place, no matter how sweaty you get.
3) You’ll Be Able to Focus Deeper
How many times have you found yourself in this situation: you’re deeply focused, lost in your connection with yourself and the world around you, only to be jolted out of this peace because you can feel yourself toppling over! There are already enough distractions pulling at your attention while you’re trying to settle into your zen - staying upright shouldn’t be one of them.
Fortunately, the stability provided to you by a hot yoga mat makes it much easier for you to hold your balance and your concentration. Not having to focus so much of your attention on preventing yourself from slipping means you’ll be able to focus on deepening your practice.
4) They’re Super Sturdy
Practicing yoga on a bare floor or towel might be convenient, but they aren’t exactly comfortable. Even a basic lightweight yoga mat might be too thin to provide stability for those with weaker joints. There’s a big difference between a productive soreness and a painful soreness. If your yoga practice isn’t making your body feel better over time, you may need a yoga mat that provides a little extra cushion.
The grippy material some hot yoga mats are made from is typically a bit thicker than yoga mats with smoother surfaces. Not only does this provide comfort, but it also provides sturdiness. The sturdier your hot yoga mat is, the more comfortable it will be on your knees, back, wrists and ankles as you transition between poses.
Pictured: Mindful Mandala Yoga Mat
5) They Make Cleaning Easy
If you’ve ever worked up a sweat on a standard rubber yoga mat, you know one thing to be true: it can be pretty gross. Trying to channel your inner zen while laying in a puddle of perspiration isn’t exactly a pleasant experience, nor is having to clean up and dry off your mat after your session. Practicing on a towel is an option, but it may not be the best one if you feel it folding, wrinkling or moving around underneath you.
A hot yoga mat made with microfiber suede (like ours!) plays the role of a yoga mat and towel in one. The soft surface soaks up sweat instantly, unlike rubber yoga mats that offer zero absorbency. In fact, a microfiber suede hot yoga mat actually grips even better when it is a little wet! Give it a quick spritz with a cleaning solution or a cycle through the washing machine, and it will be clean and fresh for your next yoga sesh.
Ready to Try a Hot Yoga Mat of Your Own?
As much as we might sing the praises of hot yoga mats, the best way to truly understand what makes them so great is to try one yourself. Practicing on a hot yoga mat provides a unique experience unlike practicing on a standard yoga mat or other surface. If your ideal yoga session is sweat-proof, slip-proof and stress-proof, look no further than a hot yoga mat.
Apeiron Yoga mats are made from natural tree rubber and cotton microfiber fabric, providing you with extra comfort and non-slip technology during your practice. Our durable and eco-friendly hot yoga mats are printed with water based inks to ensure an odorless, non-toxic, and fade resistant design that lasts in the washing machine. Our slip-proof and stylish hot yoga mats are designed to help improve your practice and inspire you to always Live Limitless - both on and off your mat!Ready to try a hot yoga mat of your own, but aren’t sure where to start? Think about what energizes you! Our designs are inspired by the stars above, earth below and life in between - shop our full collection to find the perfect fit for your practice!