Yoga Towel Guide: Mat Hygiene and Improved Grip
Yoga towels have become a popular yoga prop to place on top of mats to absorb sweat and provide added traction during practice. These non-slip towels keep hands and feet from sliding out of poses, even during hot, intense flows when moisture builds up.
Read on to learn about the evolution of yoga towels, their features and materials, benefits for your practice, tips for choosing a towel that meets your needs, answers to frequently asked questions, and how it allows yogis to flow safely and confidently.
It emerged as a helpful accessory to place atop sticky yoga mats to absorb perspiration and improve traction. Made from absorbent microfiber, terry cloth, or antimicrobial materials, It comes in a range of sizes from full mat coverage to smaller versions just for hands/feet.
Grippy textures on the bottom surface and secure corner pockets keep towels anchored in place without bunching or shifting. Benefits of it include soaking up sweat, providing cushioning for tender joints, preventing injuries from slipping, and improving hygiene. Consider moisture needs, size, thickness, and cost when selecting a towel that suits your practice style and goals. It enhances practice by providing a non-slip surface for stability.
A Brief History of Yoga Towels
In yoga’s early origins, practitioners would exercise and meditate on simple non-slip rugs or basic mats. The rise of modern sticky yoga mats in the 1980s provided grip for poses. But as yoga grew more athletic and sweat-inducing, basic mats became slippery when wet. Small hand towels offered limited help. In the 2000s, companies started engineering moisture-wicking yoga towels with grippy undersides and corner pockets to fit atop mats.
These non-slip towels caught on with the expansion of hot yoga and power vinyasa styles inducing heavy sweating. Its selection expanded to cater to different needs – from full mat coverage to small personal towels just for hands and feet. Today’s yoga towel market includes absorbent and antimicrobial options tailored specifically to complement yoga mats and support safe practice.
Popular Yoga Towel Materials and Textures
It utilizes fabrics that are absorbent, antimicrobial, and grippy:
- Microfiber terry or suede – Lightly textured, soft, absorbent, and quick-drying. Provides cushioning.
- Bamboo rayon – Eco-friendly, moisture-wicking fiber that resists odor buildup.
- Cotton – Natural, breathable cotton offers absorbency. Lower drying speed.
- Polyester blends – Durable, smooth, and thin. Less absorbent than other fabrics.
- Silicone – Provides excellent non-slip grip even when soaked. Not very absorbent.
- Textured surfaces like ridges, dots, and waffling create traction and sweat channels.
Key Features and Benefits
Well-designed yoga towels offer features like:
- Built-in corner pockets to secure the towel over the mat and prevent shifting
- Non-slip grippy underside made from silicone dots, rubber, or textured fabric
- Absorbent terry or microfiber material to soak up sizable sweat pools
- Antimicrobial properties to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth
- Lightweight and quick-drying for easy transport and minimal odor retention
- Soft texture for a comfortable feel against bare skin in poses
- Large size to cover the entire mat or smaller just for hands and feet
Choosing the Best Yoga Towel
Key factors in choosing a yoga towel:
- Sweat Absorption – Heavy sweaters need ultra-absorbent terry cloth. Moderate sweaters can opt for microfiber.
- Size – Evaluate mat size vs. body coverage needs. The standard is 24 x 68 inches.
- Texture – Ribbed or dotted grips secure mat; flat terry offers cushioning.
- Portability – Light, thin towels pack up the smallest for travel.
- Durability – Look for quality stitching and materials that will withstand regular washings.
- Price – Ranges from $15 for basic versions up to $60+ for larger, name-brand towels.
Maximizing the Benefits of Your Yoga Towel
To use a yoga towel effectively:
- Choose the correct size for your mat and coverage needs
- Secure the towel properly with corners tucked under the mat
- Position high sweat zones like hands and feet over the towel
- Re-grip and reposition as needed if the towel shifts during practice
- Wash after every use in mild detergent using vinegar as fabric softener
- Air dry fully stretched out to prevent bacterial buildup
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some common yoga towel questions:
Q1. How often do need to be washed the towel?
Answer: Ideally, after every use to prevent odor and bacterial buildup from accumulated sweat.
Q2. What’s the best way to clean a yoga towel?
Answer: Machine wash warm with mild detergent. Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. Air dry.
Q3. Can it go in the dryer?
Answer: Air drying is best. If needed, use low heat and remove promptly to prevent shrinkage.
Q4. Are yoga towels machine washable?
Answer: Most are fine in the washing machine. Avoid bleach. Check the label to be sure. Do yoga towels eventually lose their grip? With regular washing, silicone and textured grips remain effective for many years. Terry cloth may pill over time.
It provides an invaluable non-slip surface to support stability, grip, and hygiene during yoga flows and postures. Whether practicing hot yoga where sweat pools heavily or gentler styles where hands and feet tend to slip, a quality yoga towel anchored securely to your mat is an excellent investment for safety and confidence. With the myriad of options now available, yogis can find the perfect yoga towel to meet their practice needs and style.