As soon as you decide to give yoga a try , what's the first thing you think about doing? Buying a mat. (Or heck, maybe even hand painting one . ) But you don't have to own a premium, top-of-the-line number in order to get pumped to practice. In fact, you don't even need a mat at all. With these options already lying around the house (or backyard), you can start your flow on a soft, cushy surface without dropping any extra cash.
1. Beach Towels
They aren’t just for lounging by the pool! Beach towels also happen to provide the perfect surface for yoga. Layer a few on a hard floor to create a base that'll feel downright blissful in child’s pose.
2. Woven Blankets
Grab those extra throw blankets, fold them into a long rectangle and —voila! — you've got yourself a yoga mat, no purchase necessary. Just note: While these should provide enough cushion for simpler poses, they're not a total yoga mat replacement if you're in a more advanced practice. (You also don't want to use slippery fabric, like sheets, as that could lead to an accidental fall.)
3. Your Bed
Believe it or not, you don't have to get out of bed to start your day with yoga . Sure, it's not as stable as the floor, but just think of it as extra balance and core work. If you've got a fan whirring above you though, steer clear of standing poses and stick to ones that have you lying supine.
4. A Grassy Lawn
Outdoor yoga encourages us to reconnect with our environment, and there’s no better place to do it than your own backyard. A grassy lawn will give you an earthy massage for your bare feet, and it serves as a soft landing spot during your sun salutations.
5. The Beach
Between the soft sand, rhythmic waves and rays of sun, the beach is the ultimate place to practice yoga without a mat. Plus you can do your whole flow in a bathing suit and then cool off in the ocean. Sounds like heaven, right?
Cooler months may limit your practice to the indoors, but that just means you can flow on a cushy carpet in your home. Just add soft music and candles for total serenity.
7. Grippy Socks
People like traditional yoga mats because they help their feet grip the floor. But a pair of grippy socks can do the exact same thing. Slip them on if you want to do yoga on tiled or hardwood floors.
8. A Bath Mat
A clean bath mat makes for a surprisingly good place to practice yoga. After all, it’s designed to stick to the floor, it absorbs moisture and it feels cozy beneath your feet. Triple win!
9. Wood Floors
While it may be uncomfortable for kneeling poses, a wood floor can provide a stable surface for any standing postures and arm balances you want to try. We recommend flowing barefoot though, as wearing socks could cause you to slip and slide.
10. Nothing at All!
There’s no rule that says you need a barrier between your body and the earth to practice yoga. In fact, practicing without any sort of mat can ultimately help you build strength and flexibility. All you really need is your body, your breath and a willingness to try. Namaste!