Yoga Practice Rugs — Not Just for Ashtangis

This entry was posted on Mar 7, 2017 by Charlotte Bell.

yoga practice rugsAshtanga Yoga, developed by the late Patabhi Jois, is the foundation for many current popular yoga styles. Vinyasa styles such as Power Yoga and Flow Yoga were inspired by Ashtanga’s continuously flowing sun salutation variations.

While most practitioners use nonskid yoga mats for stability, in Ashtanga practice, Yoga Practice Rugs are the standard.

Here’s Why Ashtangis Love Yoga Practice Rugs

  • In Ashtanga, it is traditional to jump from one pose to the next in some parts of the sequences. Practicing jump-throughs on a nonskid mat can be hazardous if your foot—or feet—stick to your mat mid-jump.
  • Ashtanga Yoga is a rigorous practice. Copious perspiration is very common. Practice rugs, made from cotton, are simply more absorbent than nonskid mats. Once your hands and feet start to sweat, you’re less likely to slip on a fabric surface.
  • Tradition: In Ashtanga’s mecca, Mysore, yoga practice rugs are simply the tradition. Because Ashtanga Yoga is based in a traditional practice, given to Patabhi Jois by T. Krishnamacharya, using the traditional-style mat is a way of honoring the tradition.

Because practice rugs do not have a nonskid surface like most yoga mats, they are more likely to slide against the floor. Placing a nonskid yoga mat directly onto the floor and spreading your practice rug out on top solves this potential issue. If you’re using your practice rug for a flow practice, you’ll likely want stability and clearer contact with the ground. A Tapas Original Yoga Mat or the ultra-thin Tapas Travel Yoga Mat are good companions for your practice rug if you’re seeking stability.

Not Just for Ashtanga Practice

Even if you don’t practice a flowing style of yoga, the cotton surface of a Yoga Practice Rug can feel a lot friendlier on your skin in seated poses. The extra layer of softness on top of your regular yoga mat cushions bones and joints in Restorative yoga practice.

Whether you practice Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Hatha Yoga, Yoga Practice Rugs are a beautiful option for both flow practices and for seated and Restorative practices. Our Yoga Practice Rugs are made from 100% cotton and come in four different colorful patterns. You can read more about them here.

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.