Yoga Mat Holder Guide: Finding Your Perfect Fit
For yogis, having a designated mat holder for their trusty yoga mat is a practice essential. Yoga mat holders provide protection, organization, and ease of transport to keep your mat accessible for daily yoga anytime, anywhere. Read on to learn about the different types of yoga mat holders, their key features and benefits, what to consider when choosing a holder, frequently asked questions, and why a mat holder is a worthwhile yoga investment.
A yoga mat holder is a carrying case or sling specifically designed to transport yoga mats to and from classes, the gym, or practice space. Mats holders protect the mat from damage, keep it clean between uses, and make it quick and easy to carry, hold, and store. They come in a range of materials and styles, from simple tote bags to folders with shoulder straps or backpack-style holders. Key features include mesh ventilation, zippered pockets, padding for protection, and materials like canvas, nylon, or cotton. Choosing the right mat holder comes down to mat size, portability needs, and aesthetic preferences. A quality holder keeps yoga mats handy for daily practice.
Brief History of Yoga Mat Holders
In yoga’s ancient origins, practitioners would have just used a basic cloth for padding during seated or lying postures. With the emergence of sticky yoga mats in the 1980s, mats became a standard yoga prop that needed to be transported. Early mat holders were likely just basic bags to protect the mat. Companies started creating carry straps and handles directly attached to mats for easy carrying.
Then in the 1990s and 2000s, as yoga grew tremendously popular in the West, brands started making specialized sling-style mat bags, folders, and backpacks to meet yogis’ needs for sturdier and more stylish mat holders. This allowed bringing mats anywhere from the studio to work or travel. Now there is an abundance of holder designs and materials catering to yogis’ active lifestyles.
Popular Types of Yoga Mat Holders
There are several common styles of mat holders to consider:
- Tote bags: Simple yet durable canvas or cotton tote with shoulder strap for throwing over your shoulder. Offers basic protection.
- Foldable holders: Folding padded cases secure mat inside. Can be held by handles or add a strap. Streamlined but protective.
- Sling bags: Long fabric sleeve with shoulder strap slides over mat for easy carrying. Allows quick mat access.
- Backpack holders: Secure backpacks with shoulder straps and multiple compartments. Ideal for transporting other gear too.
- Hybrid bags: Over-the-shoulder messenger style bags with multiple pockets and openings for access. Combination of protection and utility.
Key Features to Look For
Today’s mat holders offer handy features like:
- Padding for mat protection and structure retention
- Moisture resistant lining or ventilation to limit odor and mildew
- Interior pockets for carrying yoga gear and personal items
- Exterior pockets for water bottles, keys, phones
- Shoulder, hand straps or handles for secure transport
- Roll-up or foldable designs for storage when not in use
- Locking zippers, clasps or Velcro closures for security
- Stylish colors and designs to fit your personality
Benefits of Using a Yoga Mat Holder
Investing in a quality mat holder has many benefits:
- Protects mat from damage, dirt, and moisture
- Prevents mat from unfolding or coming unrolled
- Provides cushioning to retain mat’s thickness
- Allows easy, convenient transport to the studio, gym, etc
- Keeps all your yoga gear organized in one place
- Provides secure storage between practices
- Allows quick mat access without unrolling
- Helps identify your mat at crowded classes
- Extends mat’s lifespan by protecting when not in use
Choosing the Best Holder for You
Consider the following when selecting a mat holder:
- Size – Measure your mat and choose a holder at least 2 inches longer
- Portability – If traveling often, prioritize lightweight and easy to carry
- Material – Canvas is durable yet breathable. Nylon provides water resistance.
- Structure – Foldable styles minimize space when stored but offer less protection.
- Extras – Do you need exterior pockets or gear storage? Mesh for ventilation?
- Style – Select a color and design that fits your personality
- Budget – Prices range from $15 basic sleeves to $100 for backpacks with more features
Get the holder with features to meet your specific needs and practices. With the right holder, your yoga mat can go anywhere!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some common mat holder questions:
How do I wash my yoga mat holder? Check label for care instructions. Most can be spot cleaned or machine washed on cold, delicate cycle. Air dry.
Should I bring my yoga mat holder to class? Bringing it keeps all your gear together. Some studios prefer you store mats on shelves, so check policies.
What if my mat won’t fit in the holder? Be sure to measure mat and allow an extra 2 inches for fitting. Wider or longer mats may require an oversized holder.
Do mat holders protect from mildew? Choose moisture-wicking liner material if concerned about mildew. Allowing to fully air dry before storing also prevents mildew.
Are yoga mat holder straps adjustable? Many have adjustable buckle closures to customize fit. Sling styles work for all sizes. Measure strap vs mat length if concerned.
For yoga enthusiasts, a quality mat holder is truly a worthwhile investment in their practice. Keeping a yoga mat properly stored and protected between uses helps preserve its condition. A convenient holder with comfortable strap options makes it easy to transport to classes, workout spaces, or anywhere else a yoga opportunity arises. With choices across design, fabric, and special features, yogis can find the perfect mat holder to meet their practice needs.