Yoga is a key part of the self-care and wellness routine for many of us. But travelling can often make it tricky to maintain these routines without access to the right equipment. Travel yoga mats offer a way around this. By taking your mat along with you, you can maintain a yoga practice anywhere! We all need to look after ourselves, and although we love to go away on fun adventures, there’s no reason to sacrifice our self-care routine while travelling when we pack well.
What is a Travel Yoga Mat?
Travel yoga mats are more portable than a standard yoga mat. They are made to go anywhere, whether it be to your local studio, retreat or overseas trip. They fold easily, are lightweight and have a compact design. They are made out of flexible, durable and often, recycled materials. Foldable yoga mats are easy to pack and carry, so they don’t have to be an optional luxury when heading away on short- or long-distance adventures.
When you don’t want to be hampered by the bulk of a standard yoga mat, foldable yoga mats offer a more compact and lightweight option. Standard mats don’t typically fold down well and are much bulker, which can make travelling with one a chore. Travel mats can be simply folded down into your carry-on or backpack and won’t take up much room in your main luggage either. Maintaining a yoga practice is easy with a travel yoga mat that will give you a space to practice and stretch while feeling supported on most surfaces.
Different types of travel yoga mat
Travel yoga mats are good for your mind, body and soul. Not only through yoga practice, but by buying the right mat you can also do your bit for the planet. Many are eco-friendly and made of renewable or recycled materials. Some mats are made from renewable tree rubber and/or are free of non-toxic ingredients or harsh chemicals and are biodegradable. If you want to send some feel-good vibes to the planet from your purchase, some companies even offer to plant a tree from every mat sale (e.g. Mikkoa).
Yoga travel mats types offer different versatility and levels of compactness depending on the material and overall design. Some have a smooth texture and don’t grip well, while they fold down to a compact size. Others with a more grippy texture, may only roll down, so have a larger size for travelling. Our pick would be those that have a smooth texture, good grip and fold down well. You need to weight up the options and find what’s right for you, the travelling yogi.
Some travel mats offer a soft towelling texture, with the added benefit of doubling as a beach towel! These have a luxe feel and may need to apply some spritz for extra grip, but you can replace a towel in your luggage with this yoga mat – that’s one less thing to pack for your trip!
Let’s Talk About Trade-offs
Travel yoga mats are made from more flexible material and are typically thinner than a standard mat, making them more portable for traveling. But you still need a slice of luxury on your journey – am I right? A thicker mat offers comfort and support, but this can come at a cost. The thicker the mat, the heaver it will be! You’ll need to weigh up the mat thickness and ask if it allows you to feel nicely cushioned as you move through postures.
A great foldable travel yoga mat is not only about whether or not it can be stashed in small places! It’s a trade-off between finding a mat that has the comfort that you desire, while at the same time offering a nifty choice for travelling. Thinner mats can be less reliable when it comes to the durability – will it last the distance when it comes to multiple use? Can it withstand repeated folding and transportation? Does it have a good grip?
What To Look For, in a Great Travel Mat
Let’s make your choice a little easier when it comes to preparing for your next adventure. Here’s a few key things that will help you decide which travel mat to go for:
- Check the mat weight and ask if it’s going to be light enough for your purposes. If you don’t have far to go, a mat that’s a little heavier might not be an issue.
- Check out the overall mat size when rolled out, along with the size when rolled up. How compact does it roll or fold down to and will it easily fit in your preferred carry on or main luggage.
- Find one that you love. There are some beautiful colours and inspiring designs out there, so chose the one that resonates with you. Your more inclined to spend time on a mat that you adore.
Taking Care of your Yoga Mat
Yoga mats can get seriously dirty if not cleaned often, and when traveling to faraway places, we encounter much more grime, moisture and sweat (if we’re honest!). You don’t want to make life hard when you’re on the move, so it’s best to give your mat a deep clean before you go.
When away, ensuring your mat’s sparkling clean is essential housekeeping. Your travel yoga mat can be washed under the shower or in the washing machine, usually with cold water. You may also spot clean obvious marks, with natural tea tree oil or white vinegar mixed with water. Then hang it up to dry away from direct sun, where it will take a day or two to dry.