How Often Should You Replace Your Yoga Mat?

Yoga can be a gentle form of movement, but that doesn't mean that the mat you flow on can last a lifetime. If you are new to yoga or have several years of practice, you may not know when it is time to replace your yoga mat. The good news?  Your mat will tell you.

Here are the signs you need a new yoga mat, how to care for it and make it last longer, and what to look for when buying a new one.

When should you replace your yoga mat?

The lifespan of a yoga mat depends largely on the quality of the mat and how often you use it. In general, you can expect a carpet to last for about a year.

Of course, that depends on the type of mat, the cadence of the practice, and the style of the person using it, says Molly Dilg, CorePower Yoga Senior Leader in the Pacific Northwest area.

Signs you need a new yoga mat

Since the lifespan of a yoga mat can vary, it's best to be on the lookout for warning signs that your mat is ready to be removed. Here are four telltale signs that it's time to replace your mat.

Your carpet thins

When your carpet starts to thin out, usually around your doggy hands and feet / boards, Dilg says it's a good time to buy a new one.

"This will improve your balance and prepare you to celebrate another beloved rug and the practices it supports," she says.

You start to notice wear

If you notice that the upper level is starting to loosen, Marije Paternotte, Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Facilitator at BE Mindfulness Studio, says it's time to splurge on a new rug. The same goes for holes in the carpet or "bald spots," which are common in areas where you place your hands and feet.

You are slipping all over the place

A good quality mat prevents it from slipping (even when sweaty!) And keeps it from moving all over the place. If you notice your feet moving or your hands slipping, it might be time to replace the mat.

Your carpet stinks

If you've scrubbed and cared for your carpet regularly and it still has an unpleasant smell, it's time to find a replacement. All that time in contact with sweaty feet can make even the most durable rugs lose their appeal.

How clean is your yoga mat, really?

If you're the only one doing poses, it's safe to say that your yoga mat is only as clean as the body doing it, according to Dilg. But if the carpet has multiple users, the cleaning factor is a bit risky. Where you practice also determines the germination factor of your carpet.

"If you only use the yoga mat at home, it is probably much cleaner than when you take it to a yoga studio, walk around barefoot, and then climb on the mat," says Paternotte.

Regardless of whether you are a solo yogi or share a mat, exercise surfaces, like a yoga mat, harbor dirt, germs, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and more. 1 That is why you need to be careful when cleaning it after each use. And if you use a shared mat in a study, it's a good idea to disinfect it before and after each class.

What to look for in a new yoga mat

If your current mat has seen better days and you are looking for a new yoga mat, there are a few resources to consider.

Support and Thickness

The thickness makes a big difference in the life of a yoga mat. In general, Paternotte says that the heavier or thicker the rug, the stronger and more durable it will be. Y

You may also consider a thicker mat if you have sensitive joints or sensitive knees, ankles, wrists, or elbows. The thickness can range from 1/16 inch thick for a travel rug to 1/2 inch thick for a premium carpet.

Anti-slip

When doing a crescent pose or eagle pose in a hot studio, the last thing you want is to have your feet slip under you. That's why a sticky mat with great traction to prevent slipping is ideal, especially if you practice hot yoga.

Portability

If you travel a lot with your treadmill, Paternotte suggests purchasing a lightweight mat (less than 5mm thick) that is easy to transport and will fit most bags.

Ecological

Since the practice of yoga goes beyond the mat, Paternotte recommends that yogis purchase an ecological mat. Most yoga mats are made of PVC or vinyl, but it is not the most environmentally friendly material. When shopping for a rug made from sustainable materials, consider purchasing one made from natural rubber or jute.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about how to clean your yoga mat 

Source: BrettLarkinYoga

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