Yoga might not be able to fix all of life’s problems, but it comes pretty darn close. Feeling stressed? Can’t sleep? Sore? Yoga time. Need an escape from homeschool or screaming kids? A single yoga class will return you to the chill parent goddess you truly are inside (we’re projecting, but we’re hopeful). Give the kiddos something educational to work on and you won’t even feel that bad about sneaking away and closing the door. If you’re brave, get the kids involved. It has been known to make them sleepy— not a bad side effect.
Unfortunately, with all the gyms and yoga studios closed for now, it’s that much harder to get your Zen on regularly. Luckily there are a million apps and online yoga videos available at the moment—and even better, many of them are completely free.
All that’s standing between you and a more relaxed state is a good quality yoga mat so you can practice at home. (And maybe your stretchiest joggers which you’ve likely been wearing since last week.) We love a good yoga towel, too. If you haven’t tried one, it’s a thin towel coated with rubber on the bottom. You can put it in the washing machine and fold it back into the linen closet while not in use. Best of all, you can use it anywhere in the house AND also take it with you to class when the studios re-open. It’s easy to carry and super easy to clean.
Not sure which you need? Take a look at our favorites and see what suits you best. Now close the door, light a good smelling candle and breathe deep, mamas. It’s going to be a long month, but we’re in it together.
Free at-home yoga workouts on Youtube are the best and truly make yoga available to all without the fancy $30 a class price tag. (Thanks, Yoga with Adrienne and others!) The same goes for an at-home yoga mat. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot back out of your yoga practice, as this well-cushioned mat can attest to. At only $35, there’s still a lot to love, including extra thick material to cushion your knees or legs in any pose, plus a non-slip material and fun colors and patterns to keep you entertained when class drags on.
It might be budget-friendly, but it has over 4,000 positive reviews to back it up. One Amazon reviewer said, “Great mat. I used it for first time today, no sliding, perfect density, not too padded for balance poses and less wobbles but better low back support—I definitely recommend this and it’s very pretty.” Can’t argue with that!
Need something for yoga that you can throw down anywhere AND can throw in the washing machine at a moment’s notice? (That mysterious sticky mess on your mat? It isn’t coming off so easily, sorry, mom. Namaste.) Time to try a yoga towel. You’ll find it’s absorbent so you’ll slip less, even when things get sweaty. Use it aloneatop the studio’s communal mats.
This version from Manduka is eco-friendly and made from recycled bottles, very yogi! And it is a crowd favorite, with over 600 4.5 star reviews on Amazon. One loyal reviewer says, “I’ve struggled forever with slipping in my mat due to sweaty hands and feet. No other towel or other mat has helped at all. With this towel, I don’t slip at all! And the towel stays in place with the grips, which is excellent. The towel is very thin, but adds just the right level of cushion to my mat to not hurt my wrists and make everything much more comfortable. Definitely recommend.”
This crowd favorite mat has almost 3,000 4.5 star reviews on Amazon—so you know it’s got to be good. It’s generously padded for sore knees (or if you just like a little extra cushion as you shavasana.) It’s also versatile if you do other at-home workouts like Pilates in addition to yoga. At $120, it is more expensive than other mats, but might be a good investment if you really want to up your at-home practice until you get back to the studio.
Speaking of investment, like a new pair of your favorite shoes, it needs to be broken in or might be slippery to use. To do so, you’ll have to use it a lot before it becomes your favorite mat. One user sung it’s praises, saying, “I know it sounds very amateurish to blame a mat for stuff we cannot do, but then, the three practices I’ve had with this mat were far superior to the ones I had with my old travel mat or the cheap mats from the studio, as if it enabled me to sink deeper in a pose, or perform my transitions with more support.”
Practicing at home has plenty of benefits, mainly that you can start your day with yoga in your pajamas! There’s just one little thing missing that your online instructors can’t provide—hands on adjustments. If you find yourself struggling to figure out which foot or hand goes where on the mat and miss the instructor guiding you into place, this mat is for you. And even if you’re not a beginner, it can still help you have more precision in your movements and keep you from getting injured.
The mat contains several alignment lines so you can keep your hands and feet evenly aligned and know where to put your back heel in standing postures. Plus there’s a lotus directly in the center where you can always go back to when you need to find your grounding again. It’s a bit more on the pricey side, but Amazon users swear by it, one writing, “I find the lines and guides on the mat helpful for alignments. Sometimes just a small correction makes all the difference in feel and avoiding injuries.”
This budget-buy yoga towel from Walmart will make you want to take on any sweaty Vinyasa style or Bikram class that comes your way. But keep in mind; a yoga towel isn’t just handy for yoga, no, no, no. You can use it for multiple purposes, too, like lying out at the pool or beach, for covering up a bench at the gym, or even as a blanket when you travel. Just make sure you wash it often. (It’s uber absorbent, so it will quickly air dry.)
If you are going to use it for hot yoga, one reviewer says it’s a game changer. “I’ve only used it two or three times so far, but it has been great thus far. It does not slip or move on my mat and I don’t even need to spray it down at all. Maybe because the room is extremely hot (I do hot yoga with it primarily), the towel just sticks to the yoga mat and hasn’t moved at all! Its actually somewhat difficult to move as it almost sticks to the mat, which is great, no one needs to be slipping around with all the sweat!” Hear, hear.
If you’ve got hardwood floors at home or just like a bit more cushion under you when you flow, you’ll want to go with a thicker mat. (Thick mats are a little harder to roll and transport to the studio, but super handy for your home practice.) This version from Sivan Fitness is designed to be comfortable for all bodies out there and can be used for all types of workouts.
And you can even get double use out of it as a camping mat!
It’s got over 6,200 positive reviews on Amazon, too. One user said, “Having never had a yoga mat before, I was not sure what to expect. I definitely wasn’t sure how much good it would do with my plus size body. I am so pleased with it, I am getting one for my husband. It provides an amazing amount of cushion, is long enough for my entire length and then some. New to yoga, I feel the width helps guide me spatially.”
Any 2-in-1 product is a good idea for moms, it means one less thing to forget, right? Well, we are happy to report that this genius mat from Yoga Zeal functions as a two-in-one mat AND towel combined, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your yoga towel again. The faux suede towel layer is already woven in the mat itself, so just spray it down with a little warm water before class and you’ll be good to go. Plus, if you prefer a bit of color in your practice, the mat designs like sunrise moon and ocean waves are gorgeous.
This mat got tons of positive feedback from yogis on Amazon, with one writing, “I love this mat, it is lighter weight than my other hot yoga mat, so the first time I felt it move under between the floor and the mat. But now that I’m used to the lighter weight, it is fantastic for hot yoga (I go to Corepower and do HPF, CP2, and Sculpt.) I bring a small hand towel and no longer fuss with a mat towel. I sweat a ton and don’t slip during flows. I love it!”
With families stuck inside for the foreseeable future, we could all truly use some Zen. That’s why you should turn on some kid-friendly yoga and let the kids butterfly pose and dog to their hearts content. For some extra incentive, get them their own little mats (adorable!) so you can all practice together. These kids mats aren’t too expensive and come in fun patterns to get any kid excited (prickly pears, unicorns and seahorses amongst them). The size is perfect for little bodies on the move.
One parent reviewer on Amazon said, “At first I thought my daughter could just use one of my old yoga mats, but it was too big and hard for her to manage. I got her this yoga mat and wow – she loves it. It’s small enough for her to roll-up herself (less work for mom!) and she loves the cute birdie design. Pair this with Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube and I get 30 minutes of quiet and a kid who is more relaxed and ready to focus on the tasks at hand. Two thumbs up!”
Need some more ways to take a breather? Check out more of our favorite wellness guides.