Yoga Talk Podcast 16: Yoga Mats!

with Yoga International

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We explore burning yoga-mat-related questions! Where did yoga mats come from? How do you choose the right mat for you? How can we make them less slippery/stinky? Do we HAVE to practice with a mat? This week's episode solves these mysteries and more! 

Talking points include:

The History of the Yoga Mat

  • In ancient times, yoga was often practiced on kusha grass (we're not really talking asana practice here, though, but meditation practice).
  • The Bhagavad Gita talks about practicing on kusha grass, deerskin, and a soft cloth. (6.11-12)
  • The Gheranda Samhita mentions kusha grass, a blanket, and antelope or tiger skin. 
  • The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (1.12) says that “The Yogi should practice Hatha Yoga in a small room, situated in a solitary place, being four cubits square, and free from stones, fire, water, disturbances of all kinds, and in a country where justice is properly administered, where good people live, and food can be obtained easily and plentifully.”

Angela Farmer Develops the Yoga Mat

Sara Chambers, Founder of Hugger Mugger, Develops the Tapas Mat in 1990

How to Make Your Yoga Mat Less Slippery

What Are Yoga Mats Made of, and Why Do They Smell So Weird?

Non-PVC Options

  • Natural rubber, jute, and non-PVC plastics: Cork TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers) and PER (Polyurethane Environmental Resin)

Yoga Mats in the News! (Not Nearly as Often as Yoga Pants

Solutions for Travel!

  • Lugging a yoga mat around on the subway is hella annoying. 

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

Mats We Love

Yoga Mat Alternatives

The Benefits of Going Sans Mat

Send your comments, questions, and future show ideas to:

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Our intro and outro is “Namaste Nation” by The Householders. Listen to the whole thing on their Soundcloud page:


Audio and video downloads are available for Digital Members. Digital Members.

Related Topics

Yoga International

Yoga International

This content is presented by one or more of the talented and dedicated staff members that we've worked with throughout the years.  

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