What is a Yoga Towel?

B. Miller

A yoga towel, also called a yoga mat towel, is a towel designed specially to fit on top of your yoga mat while you are doing yoga. If you find yourself sweating so much that you are slipping off your yoga mat, a yoga towel can be a simple solution. These yoga towels are often used during Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, but they can be used anytime during a traditional yoga practice.

When in a pinch, a yoga towel can serve as a temporary yoga mat.
When in a pinch, a yoga towel can serve as a temporary yoga mat.

You may have been using a beach towel or other oversized bath towel on top of your yoga mat, but chances are this towel is not the correct size and is not absorbent enough. Yoga towels are sometimes designed with little slip-resistant rubber pads on one side, so they stay put on the yoga mat as you are changing position. They are designed to be super-absorbent and to dry quickly.

A yoga towel is designed to fit on top of a yoga mat.
A yoga towel is designed to fit on top of a yoga mat.

A yoga towel should be the same size as your yoga mat to prevent slipping, and to not take up too much room if you are in a class with a number of other people. Yoga towels will allow you to relax and focus on your practice without worrying about slipping off your yoga mat if you get too sweaty. A yoga towel is also a more hygienic way to practice, because the towel can be easily washed and dried between practices.

Colored yoga towels.
Colored yoga towels.

If you forget your yoga mat or have limited travel restrictions, a yoga towel can function as a yoga mat in a pinch. They will fit more easily in a suitcase. If you carry your yoga mat in a yoga mat bag, however, you can just roll the towel up with the yoga mat and carry it easily. When you get home, you can wash the towel and it will be ready for another use.

Yoga can be used as a gentle way to lose weight.
Yoga can be used as a gentle way to lose weight.

Yoga towels come in many different colors and designs to match your personality and interests. You might choose a brightly colored towel to motivate you during a difficult class, or you might select a towel in a peaceful color or design to relax you during a meditation. It might be a good idea to buy two yoga towels if you practice frequently, so that you always have a clean one to practice with.

The halasana pose is a basic yoga stretch for the back that may be performed on a mat or towel.
The halasana pose is a basic yoga stretch for the back that may be performed on a mat or towel.

Yoga towels are more expensive than a standard towel, but most people believe they are worth it. They are generally between $20 US Dollars (USD) and $50 USD, but oversized or specialty (such as eco-friendly) towels might be more than that. They may be found in specialty stores, sporting goods stores or online.

Yoga towels are made specifically for the exercise, but are most commonly used with Bikram yoga.
Yoga towels are made specifically for the exercise, but are most commonly used with Bikram yoga.
Yoga towels are usually not necessary for traditional yoga or yoga that focuses more on mediation.
Yoga towels are usually not necessary for traditional yoga or yoga that focuses more on mediation.
A yoga towel can give good traction when practicing outdoors.
A yoga towel can give good traction when practicing outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon271045

Why are they so expensive?

anon93034

PadaPath makes a great hemp/eco nonslip yoga towel. You can get on from a retailer.

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