Why More Grip Weaker Poses: The Tale of Goldilocks and Finding the Mat that's "Just Right"
More grip = Weaker poses! Sound like a contradictory statement? If you've ever wondered what grip is the best for yoga or what yoga mat has the best grip then read on and see why grippier does not always equal better.
The Tale of Goldilocks and the 3 Yoga Mat's
Have you ever heard of Goldilocks and the three yoga mats? Neither have we, but now a-days we bet Goldilocks and the three bears would take some time for a nice yoga practice . So if modern day Goldilocks entered the den to find 3 different mats with different grip levels this is what she'd discover...
Yoga mat 1: Grip that is too slippery (sweaty plastic mats, cork, or many yoga rugs)
Your grip is vital to safe practice. A slippery yoga mat is every yogis' nightmare. If you slip, you can't hold any poses and could get injured. Slipping can happen when plastic mats get wet. This is a major issue if you sweat or do hot yoga. Goldilocks would skip on this mat and probably hurt herself.
Yoga mat 2: Grip that is too sticky (plastic mats)
So if slipping is bad, the stickiest mat must be the best, right? Nope! Contrary to popular belief, stickier does not always mean better. Most plastic or non-rug mats fall into this category. When the grip is artificially sticky, your body relaxes into the pose and uses friction to hold instead of muscles. This strains your tendons and ligaments and can lead to injury or hyperextension. Goldilocks would feel supported but not realize she was hyperextending and not fully engaged in her poses.
Yoga mat 3: Grip that is "just right" (Öko Living yoga rug)
Yoga rugs have natural cotton or jute fabric with just the right amount of grip to engage your muscles. Plus the Öko Living mat has unique grip strips that give them the perfect support compared to most other yoga rugs that are flat. We tested different types of cotton and grip strip sizes to create the best grip. This medium grip will not allow you to push down full force on the mat and relax into your grip like plastic. The perfect grip will encourage you to engage your core, arms, and legs. This will take unnecessary strain off your ligaments and joints, reducing hyperextension that can happen on a plastic mat. It can take some yogis a little time to get used to the transition from plastic to cotton and relearn how to properly hold poses. Goldilocks would love the soft feel of this mat and find more strength and alignment finding it to be "just right".
Why Öko Living yoga rugs have the best grip
We tested many different types of hand-looming techniques and thread types to create the best level of grip.
The unique grip strips help give that extra grip boost many find lacking in other yoga rugs.
The grip is sweat activated on cotton threads and will not slip like plastic yoga mats when wet.
The grip strips also help to guide the alignment of hands and feet.
Foam mats flex a lot more and make balance harder. Meanwhile, cotton mats stay firm and don't shift under your feet or balance points.
Can you have a good practice with a plastic yoga mat? Yes, of course. Yogis who truly focus and study proper alignment and posing can get a great workout on any surface. At the end of the day, it’s about your skill and not any one tool. However, it can greatly help to have a good tool that naturally encourages strength and alignment even on your off days. Not to mention natural materials that are sustainable with herbal dyes that are wellness-boosting.
Not only are yoga rugs better for helping you build strength in your yoga practice, but they're also a more traditional, eco-friendly addition to your yoga practice!