Slipping On Your Yoga Mat? 3 Tips to Help

This entry was posted on Aug 3, 2017 by Charlotte Bell.
yoga mat

Up until the late 1980s, there was no such thing as a nonskid yoga mat. We practiced on an unpredictable variety of floors—wood, linoleum and carpet. We used outdated carpet samples instead of yoga blankets and neckties from a secondhand store for straps. Pretty primitive.

The lack of a nonskid surface made for a sometimes-frustrating practice. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) and standing poses such as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) were especially dicey. The effort to keep hands and feet from sliding out from under us and causing a crash landing kept us from fully extending in our poses. When sticky mats came into prominence in the late 1980s, they were a revelation.

Now, of course, nonskid yoga mats are ubiquitous. Mats come in all kinds of styles and are made from a variety of old and new materials. You’d think the problem with slippery surfaces would be solved. Unfortunately, due to differences in body chemistry and in each individual’s propensity to perspire, slippage still happens. And it can really wreck your practice and even cause injury.

3 Tips for Staying Put on Your Yoga Mat

There’s no prescription that works for every person, but there are some things you can do to avoid slipping on your mat. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Find the right mat: Because of the aforementioned differences in body chemistry, defining which mats have the stickiest surface is not a slam dunk. If your hands and feet don’t sweat much, you can likely use pretty much any yoga mat that’s designed to be skid free. But if you have sweaty hands and feet, here are some suggestions we’ve heard from our yoga community: 1. Sattva Jute Yoga Mat – The surface of this mat is textured, and the jute makes it more absorbent than standard mats. 2. Earth Elements Mat – This recyclable mat has a closed-cell construction that has a “dry-sticky” feel. Many perspiring yogis say this mat works well for them. 3. Para Rubber Yoga Mat – This natural rubber mat is probably the grippiest overall of all Hugger Mugger’s mats.
  2. Use a towel: Many practitioners of hot styles of yoga place a towel over their mats to absorb moisture. But bath towels can bunch up. The effort to keep your towel stable on your mat can interfere with the flow of your practice. Try a yoga towel made for use on top of a yoga mat. The Yoga Towel, a poly blend made from bamboo charcoal, has an eco-friendly nonskid backing made from PER, so that it stays stable on your mat. Note: It’s not only yogis who practice in a hot room who sweat and slip; many practitioners of mellower styles have perspiration issues too. A well-placed yoga towel can not only keep Hatha yogis stable, it can also provide a soft surface for seated and supine poses.
  3. Keep your mat clean: Dust and dirt on the surface of your mat can make it much more slippery. Also, some mats can be slippery when you first take them out of the package. Use PureMat Mat & Gear Wash (scented with lavender or lemon) to keep your mat in optimum condition.

If you have other ideas for preventing slippage, please join the conversation!

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

4 responses to “Slipping On Your Yoga Mat? 3 Tips to Help”

  1. Avatar Becky says:

    But what yoga mat is best for it not sliding on the floor? I need a super cushioned mat that grips the floor and doesn’t slide around. I’m not worried about me slipping or sliding… just my mat.

  2. Avatar Charlotte Bell says:


    Thanks for your question. There are a lot of factors involved here. Whether or not your mat will slide on a given floor depends partly on the mat and partly on the surface of the floor. So there’s no guarantee that one particular mat will never slide on every different floor type. That said, if you want super cushy and grippy, I’d go for the Para Rubber Yoga Mat. It’s our grippiest mat, and both sides of it are equally grippy.

  3. Avatar Lisa Matchett says:

    My husband gave me a your Nature Collection Ultra Mat for Christmas. I’ve used it once, but so far I hate it 🙁
    My hands and feet are sliding so badly that I can’t do the poses. I can’t tell him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem. So far my only solution is to secretly use my 20 year old mat and hope he doesn’t catch me 🙁

    • Avatar Charlotte Bell says:


      I’m sorry to hear you’re having this problem. You might try using a mat wipe on it, or you can try sponging it off with some water and a tiny bit of dish soap. Make sure not to use too much soap or it will absorb into your mat. Let us know if that works. If it doesn’t, you might want to contact customer support. They may also have suggestions for you.

      I hope this helps!

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