October day’s have been unseasonably (or I guess now seasonably) hot where I am in the world. The mornings are blissful glimpses into a future of scarves, hot tea and quickening my shivering steps into work, but as my day unfolds up the temperature creeps, matching the steady pace of the hours flitting by.
In my evening Hatha class I cursed my earlier self for not bringing my water bottle as the room was getting increasingly stuffier as my fellow yogi’s appeared. Smiling, unwrapping ourselves from now unnecessary jackets, we started our flow. Warrior 2, Peaceful Warrior, Extended Side Angle, back up to Triangle, Reverse Triangle and then there it goes…slip! With all the trumpet of a suctioning fart, off my right foot goes, shooting to the back of the mat. Luckily I was next to the wall so I could steady myself but that slip made my heart like the end of school bell. After that first slip, the rest of my limbs took my foot’s mutiny as fair game; my hands were slipping out from under me so quickly my Downward Dog was off on a run around the local park. As a cardholder to the Sweaty Betty club, I wanted to share some tips I use at home to keep my asana game strong and rooted during the toasty summer (and early autumn) months.
Investing in a good yoga towel will pay itself back in dividends if you are a sweater. I not only use mine to wipe my forehead and mat down after I practice, but I also lay it across the top of my mat if I’m doing a particularly heated flow. Doing this helps my palms root down into one place as the towel I use is a microfibre towel, so it absorbs all the sweat without being slippy itself, but if you would prefer some all over coverage for feet too, you can order a full length yoga towel which just lies as a topper to your mat (think like a duvet cover for your mattress).
I got my hand towel from Manduka (in a matching purple for my mat, of course) and I couldn’t be without it. Here are a couple more options if you want to shop around before you commit:
This Yogamatters full length mat towel features non-toxic silicone dots to help you grip as you go, recycled polyester so you can buy a little more guilt-free and comes in a whole heap of groovy patterns! Do note that it currently isn’t available in the USA, Canada, Japan or Australia, so is more for my European fam.
Shandali Hot Yoga Sticky Fiber Towel got some of the best reviews online, so I couldn’t not include it here. With it’s eco-silicone ‘web-grip’ bottom, this mat won’t be going anywhere, plus it’ll cover your whole mat too!
Yoga Gloves and Socks
For those yogis who are on the go and want that Spiderman experience, yoga socks and gloves are the way to go for you. These would be better if you prefer practising outdoors or have a very active practice, however do be aware that some of the socks have individual toe separators which may not be comfortable for some toe types, so do look into them before you invest.
ToeSox have got some love over on Amazon and are currently sitting pretty at the best rated yoga socks on the market. They have a patented design of non-slip grip sole with individual toe covers which are designed so you can achieve those perfect ‘yogi-toes’, plus the open top helps your foot breathe a little easier. They come in a whole range of colours and are made with 90% cotton…groovy!
When you start in yoga it’s incredible to see how many parts of your body get strengthened along with your core, upper body and lower body. My wrists are now so much stronger, but if I had the option in the beginning I would have chosen to get something which could lessen the load a little for me. Enter, wrist assured gloves. These little bad boys not only help you not slip but have a wedged gel pad on the palm to help ease the discomfort that can come with an active practice. They’ve made the pad 30% thinner than previous models so it shouldn’t interrupt your connection to the floor, but will give you the support you need!
If, like me, you’re a fan of a combo, I’ve found you the perfect mix and match set for your glove and sock needs! Order your YogaAddict gloves and socks through Amazon and avoid the faff! They are a little more simplistic in style but they make up for it with affordability, coming in at under £12 for the two. The cotton blend can make your hands very warm so I wouldn’t invest if you have a very active practice, but if you need something for a hatha practice or you live in a slightly cooler climate but want to feel the reassuring grip beneath you, these could be for you.
Keeping your mat clean when you are a sweater is very important as you want to make sure you are looking after the health of your mat as much as possible, plus, if you are leaving sweat all over it, chances are it will be slippier when you return. There are loads of yoga mat sprays out there and I’ve picked a few just for you.
Here we’ve got the most positively reviewed spray you can find on Amazon – the people love it! It doesn’t leave a slippery residue (a god send to us sweaties), is kind to your mat and the sweet blend of lavender helps ease stress and improve sleep; what a bonus! It even comes with a towel for you to wipe down your mate after use, so you get two for one with this handy spray.
If you want to support the smaller business, look no further than the Namaste Crystal Yoga Mat Spray from Meadowlark Botanical on Etsy (my second spiritual home). This cleaner is made with crystal-infused mountain spring water, blood orange, rosemary and basil oils and a whole heap of love. Plus, for our plastic conscious crew, the bottles are recyclable and BPA free so you can feel good about your purchase. With free shipping when you spend over $35, how can you go wrong?!
For those hands on yogis who love learning a new skill, why don’t you try making your own spray yourself? I make my own at home (but I am definitely investing in the Namaste Crystal Yoga Mat Spray soon) and there is nothing more satisfying than cleaning down your mat after a difficult practice with your own concoction. You also get the added benefit of reusing any spray bottles from cosmetics, meaning you are reusing and saving on your waste – what more could you want? Of course I had to pay homage to my home girl, Yoga with Adriene, on her blog you can find your own DIY Yoga Mat Spray tutorial. Have fun and get creative!
I hope these suggestions have helped you on your way to a less slippery yoga session and has empowered you to make choices that help benefit and shape your practice as you continue on your journey.