Yoga Design Lab

What's A Yoga Towel And Do I Need One?

Apr 09, 2024

What's A Yoga Towel And Do I Need One?

One of the beautiful aspects of the practice of yoga is that you can practice it anywhere, with or without anything. Yoga is an eight-limbed practice, which means eight components create the philosophy of yoga with one being physical, the asanas. Many props have been created to support your asana yoga practice, one being a yoga towel. A yoga towel is designed for the physical practice of yoga, but can also be used for your meditation practice. A yoga towel allows you to enhance your practice on your mat, especially in heated yoga, through being a stronger grip on your mat, soaking up sweat, and creating a hygienic barrier. A yoga towel is lightweight and portable. You can also fold a yoga towel to create a different prop for your practice or even as a portable yoga mat when you are on the go or traveling. You can also use your towel as a safe place to meditate. 

 

 

With the sweat and precipitation, it’s easy to slip on your mat, but with the mat towel you are able to grip on your mat without slipping. A mat towel allows for additional grip on your mat due to the microfiber material. This way, you can be focused on your mat without distractions that regard sweat. Slipping on your mat can cause serious injury, making a yoga towel imperative to avoid slipping and injuries. Additionally, the microfiber material allows for a quick dry. 

 

 

Yoga towels are lightweight and easy to carry with your yoga mat. It’s simple to fold or roll it up. This allows for easier clean up, especially if you have to run out directly after class. You can simply wash your mat towel with the rest of your yoga laundry. Because it’s so lightweight and portable, I love to travel with my yoga towel and use it as a mat, even! It’s perfect for on-the-go. 

 

 

Yoga towels provide versatility. Given that they are lightweight and portable, you can fold your yoga towel multiple different ways to create a new prop. You can fold a yoga towel a few times for additional joint support, as well. For example, let’s say you are in a crescent moon with your front knee over your front ankle and your back knee and toes glued into your mat. If your back knee is giving you discomfort, you can simply fold your towel, once maybe twice, and create an additional cushion for your joints. Additionally, you can fold your towel a few times and use it as a different prop. For example, you can place the towel folded up in the middle of the top area of your mat and lay on your back so the towel is between your shoulder blades. This will create more space in your heart and deepen your breath and posture. 

 

 

Apart from a yoga towel adding to your physical practice, it can also add to your meditation practice or pranayama, the practice of the breath. Having a safe place to stop and breathe is critical to get into your meditation or pranayama practice. A yoga towel can be laid out in full or folded once or twice and be a safe place to find stillness. I would recommend folding your towel twice and coming to a comfortable seat on your towel. Cross your legs and place one hand to your belly and one hand to your heart. Inhale and feel your belly and heart rise, hold your breath at the top, sip in a little bit of more air, and slowly exhale and feel your body deflate. Take a few more slow breaths as is. Continue to let your sit bones sink into your towel. Breathe into your safe place. 

Yoga towels typically come in two sizes – a mat towel size and a hand towel size. The mat towel size covers the whole mat while the hand towel size covers the space of planting two palms on your mat. The full mat towel size is a great addition to your practice for a full practice. The hand towel size would be a wonderful addition while you practice certain arm balances, like hand and forearm stands. 

 

 

I recommend purchasing and using a yoga towel. The YDL Yoga Mat Towel - Ultra-Grippy, Moisture Absorbing & Quick-Dry towel comes in multiple colors and designs. The towel is 72 inches by 24 inches, making it cover the whole of your mat. Each towel is remarkably lightweight, quick to dry, and absorbent. Each towel is made from 15 recycled plastic bottles, making it eco friendly. To wash your towel, you can throw it in the washing machine on a delicate cycle and tumble dry it on the lowest setting. If you are interested in testing out a towel, I recommend purchasing the YDL Yoga Hand Towel - Ultra-Grippy, Moisture Absorbing & Quick-Dry towel. It is ideal for wiping sweat from your face or hands or planting it on top of your mat where your palms would sit on your mat. The hand towel is 15 inches by 24 inches, so think about it taking up about the top fifth or so of your mat.

 

 

All in all, a yoga towel is a fantastic way to amplify your physical practice! With a yoga towel, the grip will be stronger on your mat and you will avoid slipping. A yoga towel is designed to soak up your sweat, creating a hygienic barrier between your body and your mat. Because a yoga towel is lightweight it makes it portable for traveling. You can also fold it up and create a new prop from it. Your yoga towel is your safe place so you can also use it as a place for meditation and pranayama. Try practicing with a yoga towel and comment what differences you see in your breath and your practice! 

By Samira Agarwal, RYT

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