What to Use Instead of a Yoga Mat? (12 Useful Alternatives)

What to Use Instead of a Yoga Mat

There is nothing more blissful and exciting than practising yoga in the lap of mountains! Are you out at your holiday destination and forgot to bring the yoga mat?

Well, that happens to me quite sometimes, when I’ve my luggage full, and there is no place to carry the mat! Do I miss the yoga schedule without the mat? Nope, and you should also not do that.

Whether you are out in a resort or camping with your friends, there is always something around you that you can use for practicing yoga. 

If you are still wondering what to use instead of a yoga mat? Here are the best 12 alternatives that yogis recommend. 

Top 12 Alternatives to a Yoga Mat

Yoga is a perfect blend of rejuvenation and relaxation of the body. It needs a few props as compared to other workout activities. 

Still, some poses are there that require you to lie down on the floor. Some folks think performing yoga is impossible without a yoga mat, but it’s not more than a myth!

The following list highlights all the readily available and straightforward alternatives for yoga mats that you can use in your yoga sessions.

#1. Grassy Lawns 

If you are willing to go all-natural, there is nothing better than grassy lawns. As per several studies, walking on green and lush lawns has plenty of benefits, such as it improves eyesight. 

Grassy Lawns 

Whether you are staying at a resort or camping in the hills, you can certainly find a green spot. What you need is a big piece of fabric that prevents your clothes from getting dirty, and you are good to go. 

However, I do not recommend doing a headstand on grass, as you may end up inhaling some dust. Instead, practice other basic poses such as the bridge pose to meet your exercise goals.

Benefits of using blankets 

  • It has plenty of health benefits 
  • Fewer chances of injuries 
  • You can enjoy the nature 

#2. Blankets 

If you want to take a yoga session to relax your body while on a trip and don’t have a yoga mat with you, a blanket can be the best alternative. 

Blankets

So, take it out, spread it, and enjoy the best cheerful yoga session you can have. Blankets serve the purpose of the yoga mats in the equivalent impeccable manner.

You can carry them anywhere and everywhere and that too, with just a few folds. Therefore, with blankets, you find convenience at its best.

Benefits of using blankets 

#3. Wooden Floor 

If you do not need any padding down there, you can make use of the wooden floor. The only pose that can bother you a bit is kneeling yoga; else, you can do everything on such floors.

Wooden Floor 

As a wooden floor is flat, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the balance. You can either go barefoot or use some good-quality yoga gloves to get an added grip.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is staying away from injuries. Falling off on a hard wooden floor can be painful. So do limited poses that you have mastered so far.

Benefits of using wooden floors 

  • They help you maintain balance.
  • You can easily stretch and practice different poses
  • No need to worry about grip 

#4. Folded Beach Towels

Imagine having a relaxing yoga session as the cold sea breezes soothe your body and the sound of the crashing waves soothe your ears. 

Also, the sand around you gives you the perfect aura of relaxation and calmness. Yes, beaches can be an excellent spot for you to conduct a yoga session, especially early in the morning.

Folded Beach Towels

But is it always convenient to carry yoga mats to the beach? Definitely, not. So, what can be the alternative for it? The essential for every beach visit, that is, beach towels are a perfect choice.

Carry beach towels to the beaches, spread them over sand, do all the yoga poses you want, and then use them on an excellent beach bath later. Beach towels serve more than one purpose. So, you can perform your yoga session at the beach without a yoga mat and can have a wonderful time.

Also, it eradicates all the inconvenience and excess baggage of carrying a yoga mat to the sea beach. Numerous types of beach towels available give you options to choose the best for your yoga session.

Benefits of using beach towels 

  • Easy to carry as you can readily roll up all the beach towels before taking them.
  • Serves multiple purposes
  • Cheaper than yoga mats 

#5. Yoga Gloves and Socks

Having an ideal grip is one of the most crucial things for doing yoga poses perfectly. You can make it through yoga gloves and socks.

Yoga Gloves and Socks

Yoga gloves and socks are the most desirable alternatives for a yoga mat for every yogi and fitness freak. There will be less or no chances of slipping when you have these special gloves and socks meant for the sole purpose of doing yoga perfectly.

Check out these best yoga gloves, and practice different yoga poses without any hassles.

Benefits of using yoga socks and gloves 

  • No fear of slipping
  • The best and impeccably firm grip
  • Perfect yoga poses as your feet and hands do not lack moisture when wearing yoga gloves and socks.

#6. Carpet

If you think that the comfort you get in performing your yoga routines in bed is too much and distracts your concentration, then opt for the next alternative, a carpet. 

Carpet

The flood of comfort may allure you to relax more than letting you focus on performing your yoga poses impeccably. 

Therefore, you can easily change your choice to carpets. In addition, they offer you protection from the hard underlying floor, which alters the primary purpose of using yoga mats.

Also, they are available at your house, and you need not waste money on purchasing a yoga mat. This way you can save some money. 

Benefits of using a carpet 

  • They are readily available at your home
  • Comfortable like a yoga mat
  • You get a non-slip grip

#7. A Piece of Fabric 

A piece of cloth is something you can take everywhere, as it occupies minimal space in your luggage and is lightweight as well. Furthermore, you’ll find clothes in any hotel or nearby flea market. 

Piece of Fabric

There are a variety of yoga fabrics available on Amazon. If you are a frequent traveler, I’d recommend having one. Fold the cloth to achieve good thickness, and place it on the ground.

You’ll get decent comfort and support from this yoga prop. However, choose one made using woven or handspun fabric, as they offer better grip as compared to cotton and nylon. 

Benefits of using a fabric  

  • It is lightweight and portable 
  • Offers you good support 
  • Washable 

#8. A Bed 

A bed doesn’t just shower you with comfort while sleeping, but it can act as a yoga prop as well! If you cannot find anything, and the floor is really very hard to do yoga on, you can use the bed. 

Use Bed as Yoga

I do not recommend using the bed every day, but you can use it at certain times when there is no other option left. The best will make the yoga session bouncy, so be sure not to do poses that involve jumping.

Use cushions to get more support, and the headboard will support your body when doing a headstand.

Benefits of using a bed  

  • It is high on comfort
  • Provides good support to the body 
  • It is ideal for lying down and relaxing between different yoga poses 

#9. Yoga Blocks 

Most of the best yoga mats come with yoga blocks, and this is the time you can use them to the full extent. Just like the mat, these foamy and cushioned blocks offer you good support and grip to practice yoga.

Yoga Blocks 

You can use the blocks under hips, feet, back, or hands depending on the types of yoga poses you want to do. However, you should have a pair of blocks, as one block is of no use.

Benefits of using yoga blocks  

  • You can travel with them, as they are light.
  • Offer ultimate support to the joints like knees and hands
  • Protect from injuries 

#10. A Yoga Chair 

Certain medical conditions do not allow lying down on the floor, which means you cannot use a yoga mat. But that does not either mean you should not do yoga! A yoga chair is the best alternative in such cases. 

Yoga Chair

Specially designed to offer comfort, yoga chairs support your back and give you the freedom to practice different poses. 

Look for a super-durable chair that can withstand your body weight and can accommodate you comfortably. 

Benefits of using a yoga chair  

  • It helps you sit and relax while doing yoga 
  • Most chairs are foldable, so you can travel with them 

#11. A Bath Mat 

A bath mat is of multiple uses when it’s not wet, lol! The biggest reason to use a bath mat for doing yoga is that it is thick and protects your joints from striking on the hard floor. 

Bath Mat

Another perk of having a mat under you is the grip it offers. These mats don’t even slip when they are wet, so you don’t have to worry about falling off on the floor. 

It would be great to wipe off the mat with a cloth so that your clothes do not get wet, and then you can start practicing yoga. 

Benefits of using a bath mat 

  • They provide good grip
  • Bath mats are comfortable 
  • It can be used on any type of floor 

#12. A Yoga Strap 

Stretching becomes easier when you have a yoga strap. Also, these straps are compact and can easily fit inside your backpack. Using such straps has multiple benefits, such as you can use them to maintain good balance and do a variety of yoga poses. 

Yoga Straps

Look for a good quality strap that offers ultimate stretchability and has bigger handles. You can even use a combination of a yoga strap and a towel/blanket to have a great experience.

Benefits of using a yoga strap 

  • They help you stretch better 
  • Perfect for traveling as they are lightweight

The Benefits of Alternatives Over a Yoga Mat 

Availability

What if you are new to yoga classes and a beginner? It is not always easy to find or purchase a yoga mat for yourself. 

However, the unavailability of yoga mats can’t stop you from doing yoga as the alternatives, as mentioned earlier, are the best substitute for yoga mats. 

Convenience

The alternatives for yoga mats are already available at your home. Therefore, you need not go anywhere else to find a mat for your yoga sessions. 

Also, there is no more trouble carrying the extra load of a yoga mat when the alternatives can serve many purposes altogether, including the purpose of helping you perform your yoga routines.

Saves money

When you have these yoga alternatives, you do not have to purchase another yoga mat. Use these alternatives for the time, you do not get back home or get access to the yoga mat.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Is a yoga mat necessary to perform yoga?

A: No, a yoga mat is not necessary for your yoga sessions. It is because the purpose of the yoga mats is simple. The primary goal is to protect you from the hard floor from getting injured while doing your yoga poses. 

Therefore, you can easily find an alternative that would protect you from scratches or sprains. The most common yoga mat alternatives being, a beach towel, any soft mattress, or even a carpet.

Q: Are the yoga alternatives as effective as a yoga mat?

Are the yoga alternatives as effective as a yoga mat

A: Yes, the alternatives for a yoga mat can ideally replace the regular yoga mats in your yoga sessions. 

It is because the alternatives serve the purpose of protecting you from the hard underlying floor and safeguard you from any physical injuries as yoga mats do. 

Also, some of the yoga mat alternatives offer extra comfort, which is an add-on to using yoga mat alternatives. 

Therefore, yoga mat alternatives are not just effective, but they can ideally provide you many additional benefits.

Q: Is my bed usable as a yoga mat alternative?

A: Yes, your bed can be the coziest and readily available alternative for regular yoga mats. Moreover, it offers you some additional benefits. 

You get the comfort of the soft mattress and an extra thick layer for your safety while you do your complicated poses. 

Therefore, along with sheer convenience, you get improved protection during your yoga sessions while conducting them on your soft and comfy bed. 

But I recommend not doing so, as the bed offers a high level of comfort and sometimes makes you lazy. 

Q: Will it be a problem if I do not carry yoga mats everywhere?

Will it be a problem if I do not carry yoga mats everywhere

Q: No, it will never be a problem if you do not carry your yoga mats everywhere. Instead, you can look for readily available alternatives for yoga mats.

Then, find out which alternatives suit your situation the best and serve your needs impeccably. 

Carrying a yoga mat everywhere will increase your baggage only; it is more convenient and easier to use its alternatives.

Q: Is it safe to do yoga on yoga mat alternatives?

A: Yes, it is indeed safe to conduct your yoga session on the yoga mat alternatives. In addition, some substitutes for yoga mats like your bed, a mattress, and blankets offer extra comfort and safety. 

However, there are some precautions you must always consider to be safe. For example, you must skip complicated poses while using options like a big rock, wooden floors, and rugged places. 

It is because they have a hard surface that does not facilitate the complex poses ideally. 

Final Thoughts 

Now, you must be aware of the best alternatives to yoga mats that you can readily avail yourself of almost everywhere. 

Even if you do not get a mat, do not let any situation stop you from keeping up with your regular schedule. The best alternative that I recommend is a blanket, thanks to its softness. 

Blankets help prevent injuries, and you can comfortably practice yoga in the absence of a mat. 

However, there is no permanent substitute to a mat, so you should try to carry a yoga mat if possible, else these alternatives are there to help. 

Avatar image of Amanda Deep
Written by

Amanda Deep

Hi there! I am Amanda Deep, an avid yoga practitioner, and fan. My love for the practice began more than 7 years ago when I was in college studying abroad in India. I found that at the end of a long day of sightseeing, learning about ancient culture, or exploring new places on my own, practicing yoga helped me to wind down and find peace both inside and out.

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