Elevate Your Practice with the Outdoor Yoga Mats: Find Your Zen in Nature

Elevate Your Practice with the Outdoor Yoga Mats: Find Your Zen in Nature

Step into the serenity of nature and elevate your yoga practice with our latest blog dedicated to the perfect companion for your outdoor flow – the Outdoor Yoga Mat.

Discover the freedom and grounding that comes with practicing yoga outdoors, and learn why the right mat can make all the difference. From durable materials designed to withstand various terrains to features that enhance stability and comfort, we'll explore the key factors that make an outdoor yoga mat your ticket to a transformative practice in the embrace of nature.

Can I use a yoga mat outside?

Yes, you can use a travel yoga mat outside, but there are some considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Surface: Ensure the surface you place the mat on is relatively clean and free from sharp objects that could damage the mat. Grass, sand, and flat rocks are popular outdoor surfaces for yoga. If on sand or at the beach, be prepared for your mat to get a bit sandy.

  • Material: Some yoga mats, especially those made of natural rubber, can degrade faster when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. If your mat is made of such materials, try to practice in shaded areas or ensure you don't leave it out in the sun for too long.

  • Slippage: Outdoor surfaces can be more unpredictable than indoor ones. If the ground is damp or if you're on a slightly uneven surface, the mat might slip a bit. Ensure your mat has a good grip on both sides.

  • Cleaning: After using your yoga mat outside, you might want to clean it more thoroughly than usual, especially if it came in contact with dirt, sand, or moisture.

  • Thickness: If you're practising on a harder surface outdoors, like concrete or a rocky area, you might want a slightly thicker mat to provide more cushioning.
  • Outdoor-specific mats: Mikkoa produce yoga mats specifically designed for outdoor use. These mats might have features like increased durability, UV resistance, or enhanced grip for outdoor environments.

  • Wildlife: If you're in a natural setting, be mindful of insects, small critters, or even larger animals that might be around. It's also a good idea to check your mat for any insects or bugs before rolling it up after your session.

  • Weather: If it recently rained or if there's morning dew, the ground might be damp. This can make some mats slippery or might not provide the ideal surface for practising yoga. 

Remember, practising yoga outdoors can be a delightful experience, allowing you to connect with nature and your surroundings. Just take a few precautions to ensure your safety and the longevity of your yoga mat.


How do I protect my yoga mat outside?

Protecting your travel yoga mat while using it outside is essential for its longevity and to maintain its functionality. Here are some tips to help you protect your yoga mat when you're outdoors: 

  • Choose the Right Location: Opt for flat surfaces to prevent uneven wear. Avoid placing your mat on sharp or rough objects that could cause tears or punctures. Consider using a blanket or tarp under your yoga mat for added protection, especially on surfaces like sand, dirt, or grass. 
  • UV Protection: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade certain yoga mat materials. Use your mat in shaded areas when possible, or limit its time under direct sunlight. Some yoga mats are made with UV-resistant materials, so if you regularly practice outside, it might be worth investing in one.

  • Water and Moisture: Avoid using your mat on damp ground or shortly after rain. If you do, make sure to dry it out thoroughly afterward. Moisture can cause certain mats to degrade and can also become a breeding ground for bacteria.

  • Cleaning: After using your mat outside, it's a good idea to clean it more thoroughly than usual. Remove any dirt, sand, or leaves that might have accumulated on it. Use a gentle mat cleaner or a mix of water and mild soap to wipe down both sides, then let it air dry.

  • Use an Outdoor-specific Mat: Consider getting a yoga mat designed specifically for outdoor use. These mats are typically more durable and may offer better traction on uneven surfaces.

  • Rolling and Storing: Before rolling up your mat, ensure it's free from debris. Bits of rock, sand, or twigs can damage the mat's surface if pressed into it. Store your mat in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 
  • Protect from Wildlife: Keep an eye on your mat if you're practicing in a natural setting. Birds, bugs, or other creatures might decide to pay a visit! Check your mat for any insects or bugs before rolling it up.

  • Additional Grip: If you're concerned about slippage, especially on grass or slightly uneven surfaces, use a yoga towel on top of your mat for added grip and stability. 
  • Mindfulness: Always be conscious of your surroundings. If you’re practicing in public areas, be aware of other people, pets, or potential interruptions. 

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga outdoors while ensuring your mat remains in good condition.


What yoga mat doesn't get hot in the sun?

When practicing yoga outdoors, especially under direct sunlight, having a mat that doesn't get too hot is crucial. While no mat can be completely immune to the heating effects of the sun, some materials and colors fare better than others. Here are some tips to find a yoga mat that won't get excessively hot in the sun: 

  • Colour Matters: Light-coloured mats will reflect more sunlight and tend to heat up less compared to dark-coloured mats, which absorb more sunlight. Opt for pastels, beige, or light grey colours.

  • Material: Natural rubber mats tend to absorb heat and can get pretty warm under direct sunlight. TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) can also get warm but might be a bit more resistant than natural rubber. Closed-cell mats (like some types of PVC mats) are less absorbent and might be less susceptible to heating as compared to open-cell mats. 
  • Special Outdoor Mats: Some yoga mats are specifically designed for outdoor use and might have features like UV resistance. While they might still get warm, they are designed to be more tolerant of outdoor conditions. 
  • Yoga Towel: Using a yoga towel on top of your mat can provide an additional layer between you and the mat. The towel might heat up, but it can be easily adjusted, shaken out, or even dampened to cool down. 
  • Temporary Solutions: If you have a regular yoga mat and are concerned about the heat, try placing it in a shaded area, under an umbrella, or using a pop-up tent or canopy. This way, you can still enjoy outdoor yoga without direct sun exposure on your mat. Wetting the mat slightly before use can also keep it cool for a while. 
  • Mat Thickness: Thicker mats might retain the coolness a bit longer than ultra-thin mats, offering a slight buffer against the heat. However, they might also take longer to cool down once heated. 

When shopping for a yoga mat for outdoor use, it's essential to read reviews, especially from those who've used the mat in similar conditions. Also, keep in mind that while some mats might be more resistant to heat, no mat is entirely heat-proof. Always test the mat with your hand before stepping onto it after it has been under the sun, to ensure it's not too hot.


What is the best surface for outdoor yoga?

When practising yoga outdoors, the surface you choose can significantly impact your experience, comfort, and safety. Here are some of the best surfaces for outdoor yoga, along with some considerations for each: 

  1. Pros: Soft, natural, and gentle on the joints. 
  2. Cons: Can be uneven, wet, or hide small objects like twigs or stones. Insects or bugs might be an issue in some areas. 

Sand (like at a beach): 
  1. Pros: Soft and adaptable. It molds to the shape of your body, which can be beneficial for certain poses. 
  2. Cons: It can be challenging to maintain stability in some postures. Sand can also get hot in direct sunlight and may stick to your mat. 

Wooden Deck:
    1. Pros: Flat and stable, which is great for balance. 
    2. Cons: Can be hard on the joints. Ensure there are no splinters or rough patches. 

    Flat Rocks or Stone: 
    1. Pros: Stable and can be cooler than other surfaces if shaded. 
    2. Cons: Hard and possibly uneven. Ensure the rocks are stable and won't shift under your weight. 

    Concrete or Asphalt: 
    1. Pros: Flat and stable. 
    2. Cons: Hard and can be tough on the joints. These surfaces can also become very hot under direct sunlight. 

    Yoga Platform: Some outdoor retreat centers have platforms specifically designed for yoga. These are often made of wood or another solid material and are elevated slightly off the ground. 
      1. Pros: Designed for yoga, they are stable and provide a good grip.
      2. Cons: Can be hard, so you might need a thicker mat or extra padding. 

      Outdoor Mats or Carpets: Using an outdoor carpet or mat as a base can provide a more even surface on natural grounds like grass or sand. 
        1. Pros: Provides a consistent surface and can be placed over various terrains. 
        2. Cons: Might not be as stable as other surfaces, depending on what's underneath. 

        General Tips: 
        1. Yoga Mat: No matter the surface, always use a yoga mat for grip, cushioning, and to define your space. 
        2. Check for Debris: Before setting down your mat, always check for sharp objects, debris, or anything else that might be uncomfortable or harmful. 
        3. Extra Cushioning: If the surface is particularly hard or uneven, consider using a thicker mat or placing a blanket under your yoga mat for additional cushioning. 
        4. Stability: On unstable surfaces like sand, certain poses might be more challenging. Listen to your body and adjust your practice as needed. 

        Ultimately, the best surface for outdoor yoga is the one that makes you feel most connected, comfortable, and safe. Experiment with different locations and surfaces to find what works best for you.

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