Sticky yoga mats offer ample cushion to support joints and muscles, but during the first few weeks of use, it’s very common for you to slip and slide around a brand-new high-quality mat. All Yoga Mats tend to have a manufacturer's coating on them which can take a little while to wear off with use. This coating is to prevent the Mats which are cut off large 30m rolls from sticking together from the pressure on the material nearer the central core and cardboard tube on the rolls. If you find yourself sliding you might think you have bought the wrong mat.
The best way to break in a new yoga mat is to practice on it. Like many questions in the yoga world, practice is the best solution. The more you practice on your new yoga mat the more you will wear away the slippery film. If your mat is double sided I suggest you choose a side to break in, marking the other side. This way you know which way is up, otherwise it will take twice as long. The more you practice, the quicker your mat will build up traction this may take a few weeks of daily practice.
Another option to try and break down the surface finish is to try a salt scrub: Giving your new mat an exfoliating treatment can help break down the initial layer and help you find stability in poses. Sprinkle your mat with a mix of sea salt and warm water, and either wipes it down with a stiff-bristled brush (if you have one) or a cotton washcloth. Once you’ve exfoliated the entire mat surface, make sure you wipe your mat thoroughly with a dampened cloth to remove all traces of the sea salt. Allow it to dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated room.
When the weather is warm, some people have found that leaving their mats out in the sun on a hot day can help break them in too. (Do not leave any Natural Yoga Mats like the TPE or Rubber Mats in the sun as it will actually break the Mat down!).
Don’t roll up your yoga mat as soon as your practice is over! Stomp around with bare feet as you watch your favourite TV show, or move through a quick workout video on your mat. The more you use it, the more it will loosen up you just need to get creative with how much you’re using your mat!
Another option is to use our Asana Anti-Slip Yoga Towel with Silicone Dots. These are Professional microfiber towels with anti-slip silicone dots; super soft, extremely absorbent, anti-bacterial, hygienic and robust. The dots on the underside provide excellent traction when pressure or weight is applied and offer a secure and stable anti-slip surface. The towel can be used as a replacement for a yoga mat or as an additional absorbent, anti-slip layer putting a clean, hygienic layer between you and your mat and could be useful to use while breaking in your new Yoga Mat. Also useful to use during hot yoga and sweat-inducing Vinyasa classes. No more slipping or sliding around; you can just focus on your practice until you’re able to break in your mat.
One last thing to consider if you still can’t break in that Yoga Mat and no-one likes to admit it, it is that you sweat a little more than some people, so you may need to try applying chalk from a ball or Liquid Chalk to help reduce the slippage in class. Lots of Studios have chalk balls you can use, but unlike chalk balls, Liquid Chalk means no dust and little mess.