Here’s a valuable piece of advice that took me years to learn: You can make anything fun and comfortable if you have the right gear. When I first started going to Bikram Yoga, I used a rubber mat I bought at a sporting goods store and a towel to cover the mat during class to catch some of my sweat from getting all over the floor. Bath towels and beach towels never seemed to be long enough. Either my head or both of my feet would hang over the edge of my mat and onto the floor. Not exactly the most comfortable feeling when I’m sweating out of each and every pore while lying on the floor.
Once I started practicing Bikram Yoga consistently, I started to pay closer attention to what the other yogis in class were using. Some had fancy beach towels. Others had these long, towel-like mats that seemed to fit them perfectly and never bunched up during postures like my towels always did. Finally one day in class after being fed up with my crappy mat and towel, I got close enough to a fellow yogi’s mat to see what the name on it was. This was how I discovered Breathe Mats.
Breathe Mats are the ultimate mats for those who practice Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga. Instead of needed to bring a rubber or sticky mat AND a towel that may or may not fit your whole body comfortably on the floor, you only need to worry about bring one mat. A Breathe Mat is a yoga mat and a large towel, wrapped into one. These types of mats are made from high quality pre-shrunk, color-safe cotton terry and polyester filler, making them super comfy to lie on. Breathe Mats come in two lengths – regular (72”) and long (80”). I prefer the long length because I never have to worry about my head or feet dangling off either end of the mat during class.
Breathe Mats wont bunch up during postures like towels do. The coated polyester bottom is pretty grippy and helps keep the mat in place during class on carpeted floors and on some rubber floors. If you practice in a studio with hardwood, faux hardwood, tile, cork or similar flooring, you’ll need to use a sticky/rubber mat underneath your Breathe Mat so you don’t slide all over the studio floor.
Once I started using a Breathe Mat of my own, I realized there were even more cool features. You can wash your Breathe Mat after every class, just like you would a towel. Breathe Mats are machine washable and dryer safe. Breathe Mats are waterproof and sweat-proof, which means you’ll never have to worry about leaving behind a puddle of sweat after class on the studio floor. It’s amazing how well Breathe Mats absorb all the sweat that comes off of my body in class. Trust me, I sweat…A LOT! There’s also a built-in Rabbit Flap at the end of each mat, designed to give you a solid, dry grip on your feet during the Rabbit posture.
Adding a Breathe Mat to my daily Bikram Yoga practice has definitely made every class I’ve taken since much more enjoyable and way more comfortable. I love my Breathe Mat so much, I’ve grown my collection to include three mats total. The more mats I have, the less frequently I have to do laundry in-between classes.
To learn more about Breathe Mats, see what they look like and order one of your own, visit the Breathe Mat website.