OMG! So I've been doing this all wrong and chances are, so have you!

There is a better, and in my mind, a right way, to roll up your yoga mat.

I know, I know, I can hear you already - what is she talking about? All you have to do is roll it up, right? Wrong!

I promise you, there is a method to ensure your practice surface remains clean and free from all that dust from the underside.

Before I jump in to let you know the right way - let's talk Yoga.

What is Yoga

Yoga, is a spiritual discipline originating from ancient India that focuses on bringing harmony between the mind and body. The word Yoga literally means union. It is the understanding and experiencing that you are one with everything. The practice aims to create union between the individual self and universal consciousness. This union and one-ness dissipates ego-driven thoughts and behaviours, creating spiritual awakening.

Yoga does not belong to any particular religion, belief system or community. It is universal and for all who wish to cultivate inner peace and well being.

Top 7 benefits of Yoga practice

  • Increased strength, balance & flexibility - Slow movements combined with deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles. Deepening and holding poses helps to build strength.
  • Management of stress - Yoga practice helps support mental health, creates a more positive, uplifting energy and builds mindfulness
  • Creates inner peace - Yoga has been described as meditation in motion. Yoga encourages you to focus on your breath, focus on the here and now and to shut out everything else. You will find that after your class you feel more peaceful and you have a different perspective on whatever was bothering you earlier.
  • Better body image - Yoga asks you to go inward to realise the true self. To see yourself without judgment and accept all parts of you. As you continue to practice yoga, you will see yourself as more than just the body and will slowly begin to drop comparison of yourself to others as you grow to love all of you, as you are, right now.
  • Better sleep - A Harvard Health article stated a national survey showed that 55% of people who practiced yoga had better sleep. Whilst there are specific, restorative poses to relieve tension and stress accumulated throughout the day, regular practice of yoga will help to de-stress the body and mind and will allow you to sleep more peacefully as your perspective on life will shift.
  • Relief from back pain - Our sedentary lives contribute greatly to back discomfort. Yoga helps to stretch back muscles and improve mobility in the lower back.
  • Being part of a community - Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and create a sense of belonging. It's about finding a tribe that is on a similar journey to inner peace, wellbeing and acceptance of the self.

The Yoga mat

Yoga is one practice that does not ask for a lot of gear however, for me, along with a yoga bag, a yoga mat is essential. Often, if you practice on carpet or rugs, it can get slippery and you won't be able to hold your poses correctly.

Yoga mats vary in thickness, weight and materials.

The thinner the mat, say 3mm thick, the more it allows for solid contact with the floor which helps with stability.

Thicker mats provide extra cushioning and are best for more therapeutic practices. Thicker mats are also more comfortable for forearm and kneeling poses and for yogis with tender knees or achy joints but they can be more difficult to balance on during standing poses.

What I've chosen to do is to have a thicker mat (10mm mat made out of rubber) laid down underneath a thinner mat (6mm mat made out of PVC) so that I can have the stickiness of the thinner mat (so I can hold my poses) but also the cushioning of the thicker mat.

Whatever mat you choose, make sure it is one that meets your needs.

How to properly roll up your Yoga mat

When you simply roll up your yoga mat from top to bottom, what you're doing is you rolling grit and unseen scraps and dirt onto your mat's clean, practice surface. Even the cleanest studio has germs that will stick to the bottom side of our mats. To help stop the transfer of dirt onto the top surface, follow the tips below - this works best for thinner mats:

  • With your mat laid flat, loosely fold it over to make the top end an inch or two shorter than the bottom. The clean top surface is now in the middle. DO NOT crease the folded end. Let it be loose
  • Start at the loosely folded end and roll from there
  • Roll your mat all the way up. What you'll find is that your practice surface is now in the middle and protected from the dirt on the underside.
  • Now your practice surface will stay clean and ready for you to use at your next Yoga session.

Our Yoga bag to accompany your Yoga session

I've seen lots of ladies bring in back packs to their yoga sessions only to be lifting everything out of the backpack to get to the items in the bottom. This can only be described as frustrating at best.

Our Yoga bags are horizontal in design so everything can be laid out for your to see and access very easily. They are large in size so they can easily fit your towel, water bottle, change of clothes, make-up bag and anything else that you need. Everything is there within reach.

Handmade using organic cotton they are not only stunning in design but incredibly practical and come in three beautiful colours: - mustard, turquoise blue and navy blue.

So if you don't have time to be rummaging around in back-packs, we have the solution for you.