Yoga on Carpet: Is it a bad idea?


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Yoga on Carpet: Is it a bad idea?

Whether you’re on a budget and don’t want to buy a mat or just looking for the added comfort of a carpet, how practical is it to do yoga on a carpet? Some things to consider are the type of yoga you wish to practice. Additionally, if you choose to practice with a yoga mat on a carpet, things to think about would be mat thickness, grip, and material to name a few. This article aims to help in your choice of whether to practice yoga on a carpet and whether to practice with or without a yoga mat.

You can practice yoga on carpet. In fact, there are two options: One is to use a mat on a carpet. To prevent any sliding, try to use a mat of a sturdy material with good grip, that is not too thin. The other option is to practice without a yoga mat, which may be great for seated practices.

There are certain advantages to practicing yoga on a carpet. One is that the carpet may be some welcome cushioning for your joints, and the other being that a carpet may provide a warmer surface, especially when compared to cold tiled floors.

And yet, if a carpet is your only option for your next yoga practice keep in mind some of the limitations this may have.

If you choose to practice with a yoga mat, you will also need to have the right mat to help make your practice as comfortable as it can be. There is also the option to use a little hack, which I will also discuss below.

If you choose to practice without a yoga mat, there are two key limitations to keep in mind. One is that it may not be the most hygienic option and secondly, a carpet can’t offer good grip so any poses like downward-facing dog may become a challenge.

Let’s now take a closer look at both options and find out what option may be best for you.

Yoga on Carpet with Mat

Yoga on Carpet: Is it a bad idea?

There are three main factors to consider if you do choose to practice yoga on carpet with a yoga mat.

1. Good Grip (Top and Bottom)

A yoga mat with good grip is by far the best yoga mat available to anyone who practices a dynamic form of yoga. And this is also important if you choose to practice yoga on a carpet with your mat.

Sliding during yoga practice is by far the biggest concern for yoga practitioners, no one is able to rest in downward-facing dog when your hands are sliding and you’re gripping to keep them in place.

And so if you’re practicing on a carpet, you also want your yoga mat to have grip on the bottom side which is in contact with the floor, not just the top.

Why?

Well, otherwise you may be sliding all over the room during your practice. And so one thing you could do is roll out your mat on the carpet, and push it around with your hands. This will help you see if it will indeed stay in place during your practice, or if it will be sliding all over the place.

And yet, if your yoga mat does appear to be sliding all over the carpet there is a little hack.

How do you stabilize a yoga mat on carpet?

There are two ways to stabilize a yoga mat on a carpet. The first method is to use a yoga mat the is thick, has good grip (tops and bottom), and is made of sturdy material. The other method is to use a non-slip rug gripper. This will help your yoga mat stay in place during your practice.

If you want a video on how to use a non-slip rug gripper then check out the video below.

The key difference of course is that you will be placing it between your carpet and your yoga mat.

2. Ideal Mat Thickness

Yoga mats come in a wide variety of thicknesses. The thinnest is the travel mat at just 1mm thick, while the thickest can go up to 10mm thick.

When considering what yoga mat thickness is best to practice on a carpet keep in mind the type of yoga that you want to practice. And then, consider the thickness of the carpet and the yoga mat.

Why?

Well, let’s say I like to practice a dynamic form of yoga, like Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga. If my mat is thick and soft and the carpet is also rather thick, then I may have issues with my balance and my jump-throughs.

If I’m practicing something grounding, like Yin yoga, this may not be an issue.

And so the next part of the puzzle is the material of the mat.

3. Sturdy Mat Material

When looking for a yoga mat material that is ideal to practice on the carpet, be sure it is something sturdy.

The reason for this is that if the mat is thin and made of something soft, like TPE, this can make your practice less enjoyable as you may be sinking into it too much.

I wrote an article on yoga mat materials of all popular yoga mats. There I discuss the 7 main materials used in yoga mats. And so if I were to recommend a yoga mat material, I would say aim for cork or PVC.

So let’s try to put all the components together and find the best yoga mat to use if you want to practice on a carpet.

How can you do yoga on a mat on carpet?

As a general rule, use a yoga mat that has a combination of three characteristics. 1. Make sure it has good grip on the bottom to prevent any sliding. 2. Make sure it’s not too thin so your hands and feet don’t sink into the surface too much. 3. Make sure it is of sturdy material.

If I were to recommend a yoga mat on the carpet, I would recommend two very different mats. One is made of PVC, while the other is made of cork.

1. Manduka Pro

This is the yoga mat I have had for the past 11 years. I absolutely love this mat as it’s thick, solid and offers exceptional grip. You don’t need to worry about replacing this yoga mat as you’re most likely to have it for life.

It is 6mm thick meaning that it offers great cushioning for your joints.

Features to love about the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat:

  • Mat for life as it offers a lifetime guarantee
  • 6mm thick, meaning that it offers great cushioning of sensitive joints
  • Comes in two lengths, regular 71 Inches and extra-long 85 Inches
  • Made in an emissions-free facility

2. Luxury cork yoga mat

The Luxury cork yoga mat is highly rated on Amazon! Plus, not only is it made of cork meaning it is sustainable, but it is also an incredible 6.5mm, meaning that is a rather thick and sturdy yoga mat.

Features to love about the Luxury cork yoga mat:

  • Slip-resistant menaing it offers great grip
  • 6,5mm thick, meaning that it offers great cushioning of sensitive joints
  • It promises to stay forever flat when rolled out
  • It requires minial cleaning

Yoga on Carpet Without Mat

Yoga on Carpet: Is it a bad idea?

There is of course the other option, of not using a yoga mat on your carpet.

So this then begs the question:

Do I need a yoga mat on carpet?

As a general rule, you don’t need a yoga mat on a carpet. This is particularly true if you want to practice grounding practices. However, there are 2 key limitations to practicing without a mat: 1. A carpet may not be the most hygienic option and 2. A carpet won’t offer good enough grip.

And so we’ll now look into these in more detail.

A carpet may not be hygienic

According to the American Lung Foundation: “Carpets may trap pollutants like dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt, and dust. Toxic gases in the air can stick to small particles that settle into carpets. These pollutants may become airborne during renovations, vacuuming or even daily activities like walking on the carpet.”

And so keep in mind that a yoga practice may involve a lot of close contact with the carpet.

That is one of the key advantages of using a yoga mat: That it is a small enough surface that can be cleaned regularly.

As a side note, I wrote an article on how to clean a Lululemon yoga mat. This same technique can be used on most yoga mats so be sure to check it out if you’re interested.

A carpet doesn’t offer good enough grip

Having a surface that offers good grip can make all the difference to a yoga practice.

Indeed, anyone who has ever done a downward-facing dog on a slippery surface will tell you how much harder and actually frustrating it can be!

Carpets weren’t designed to offer grip for our yoga practice. And so if you practice any type of yoga that requires good grip, well then you are most likely going to be disappointed.

However, a carpet can be a good solution if you want to do a seated meditation or a gentle seated practice.

Conclusion

It is worth considering the type of yoga you want to practice.

If you are aiming for a dynamic yoga practice, then aim to get a good quality yoga mat like the two recommended above. These will offer good grip for your practice and are sturdy enough to stay in one place. Of course, if they still slide consider the hack I mentioned with the non-slip rug gripper.

Alternatively, if you are mainly aiming for meditation practices or some gentle stretching, then practicing on a carpet without a yoga mat may be a good enough option. Just keep in mind the lack of hygiene that your carpet may offer.

Related questions

Can you do yoga on a mat on carpet?

As a general rule, you can do yoga on a mat on a carpet. There are three things you may need to keep in mind. Firstly try to use a mat with good grip to prevent sliding. Secondly, aim for yoga mat thickness that caters to your practice, and lastly, get a sturdy material to prevent moving around.

How do you do yoga on the carpet?

There are two ways you can do yoga on a carpet. If you use a yoga mat, you can practice any type of yoga, as long as your mat doesn’t slide over the surface of your carpet. If you don’t use a mat, perhaps consider a practice that doesn’t involve downward-facing dog, as a carpet won’t offer any grip.

Can you use lululemon yoga mat on carpet?

Yes, you can use a Lululemon yoga mat on carpet. Especially if you use the Reversible 5mm mat, this is thick enough to provide a stable base for your practice. Additionally, its rubber base may provide enough grip to help prevent you from sliding all over your carpet during practice.

Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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