A Cotton Yoga Mat for Restorative or Ashtanga Practice
Before the advent of the sticky yoga mat in the 1980s, students and teachers of all styles of yoga used a hodgepodge of different types of padding to shield themselves from the coldness and hardness of floors while they practiced. I remember using towels, blankets and quilts, discontinued carpet samples and foam sleeping bag pads. Most of what passed for yoga mats were made of fabric, and yoga practice was not what they were originally intended for.
Not long after she introduced the first Tapas® Mats to the yoga world, Hugger Mugger’s Sara Chambers, an avid seamstress, constructed her first mini-futon-style mat for floor poses. The Cotton Yoga Mat was, and still is, the epitome of luxury. A two-inch layer of cotton batting covered with upholstery-grade fabric, this mat is perfect for seated and supine poses, especially in styles such as Iyengar, Anusara, Hatha, Kundalini and Restorative yoga. Folded, it can sub for a shoulderstand pad in a pinch.
But the Cotton Yoga Mat is not our only fabric yoga mat offering. Hugger Mugger also offers Cotton Practice Rugs to place over your non-slip mats for Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power Yoga practices. Cotton practice rugs have been used for centuries for traditional Hatha yoga, and were likely the first mats ever used specifically for practice. Hugger Mugger’s cotton rugs are made in India and dyed in colorful, striped patterns. They’re substantial enough in thickness and weight that they adhere nicely to a non-slip yoga mat without bunching up like a towel would, and their cotton surface absorbs perspiration.
The care of each of these mats is slightly different. Here’s how you can wash each one for maximum longevity:
Cotton Yoga Mat
- The Cotton Yoga Mat has a removable, zippered cover. The covers of these mats are made from cotton that has not been preshrunk, so in order for them to retain their shape and size, they should be dry cleaned. Go to local.com and type in “eco-friendly dry cleaners” to find sustainable choices in your area.
Cotton Practice Rugs
- Cotton Practice Rugs are pretty thick and heavy, probably too much so for a regular household washing machine. We recommend hand washing these rugs and hanging them to dry. Because they are dense, they may take some time to dry. It is also safe to dry clean the Cotton Practice Rugs.