You know it’s happened to you. You walk into the yoga studio, you begin to unroll your mat and lay it flat, or at least you think you do, but then those pesky little corners roll right back up. While this nuisance doesn’t really affect your practice, it can be an annoying distraction, nonetheless. But what can you do?
The easiest way to keep your yoga mat from rolling up at the end is to fold your mat before rolling it up. With the practice side of your mat facing up, first fold it in half, leaving a couple of inches of it exposed. Then, begin rolling your mat up from the creased center away from you.
This method is great as the practice surface of your mat never encounters the floor side, so it stays clean. In the remainder of this article, we’ll cover this technique in more detail, as well as other methods you can try. We’ll also discuss mats that are least likely to roll up in the first place and the best ways to store them at home to keep them nice and flat for practice.
7 Ways to Keep Your Yoga Mat from Rolling Up
Here are some techniques you may want to try to keep that mat flat for the duration of your practice:
1. Fold Your Mat in Half Before Rolling It Up
With your yoga mat practice-side up on the floor, take the foot end and fold it up toward the top, leaving just a couple of centimeters/inches exposed so that the mat aligns better when rolled up. Then, from the creased center, begin tightly rolling up and away from you.
Viola! Problem solved, and in half the time it takes to roll your mat the conventional way.
It’s worth noting, though, that this method can leave a crease in the center of your mat, depending on what kind you have. While this may bother you, consider the trade-off of the curled-up corners for the center crease.
From a hygienic perspective, this method makes the most sense, as the floor-facing side of your mat will no longer come into contact with the practice-side, and it will be tucked away from exposure to other hands, keeping it clean and ready for your practice. No more floor germs where your face, feet, and hands go.
2. Roll from Opposite Ends Each Time
If you typically roll your mat from the foot end up, try alternating rolling from the top of your mat down every other time.
You might also try flipping your mat over every other time, so you aren’t rolling it up on the same side each time; this will keep the curls a bit more at bay as they won’t be consistently reinforced by habitual compression of the same end each time.
3. Use Books or Other Weighted Items
You might try placing heavy books or other weighted items at the corners of your mat to flatten them out. Light on Yoga: The Classic Guide to Yoga is a good one, weighing in at over 540 pages long, as well as Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar, at over 500 pages.
Of course, you’d have to set this up ahead of time, as you’d need to remove the items before beginning your practice. Therefore, this method might be best for your home practice, as you’d likely not be lugging around heavy books to a yoga class just to flatten out your mat unless you are in a Yoga Teacher Training program.
4. Lay the Mat Flat for an Extended Period
Another method you might try is simply laying your mat out flat to allow the curls to settle out naturally; this can take some time, so as with the previous method, this one is best implemented at home.
5. Allow the Mat to Lay in the shadow of sun
Take the previous idea a step further and lay your mat out flat in the shadow for a while. The warmth will make the mat more pliable and relax the curled ends enough to flatten them out. Besides, who doesn’t love flowing through some sun salutations while basking in the warmth of the sun?
Note: long exposure to sunlight can damage the properties of the mat. While it is nice and pleasant to practice yoga in the sun, it is advised not to leave the yoga mat in the direct sun for an extended period of time.
6. Use an Alternate Source of Heat on the Mat
If no sun is available, you might try an alternate source of heat, such as a plug-in heater nearby or laying your mat out in a warm, heated room. Of course, it’s best to keep plug-in heaters a safe distance from your mat to avoid a fire hazard.
7. Hang Your Yoga Mat
To avoid creases of all kinds andkeep the practice side of your mat squeaky clean, try hanging your yoga mat. You can use a regular pants hanger with clasps on it, or you can even buy a yoga mat hanger, specifically designed to hang your yoga mat and keep it clean and flat.
Now that we’ve covered the best ways to get your yoga mat to lay flat without rolling up at the ends, you might be wondering about whether it’s worth investing in a mat that is less prone to rolling in the first place. Let’s explore that.
Yoga Mats That Lay Flat and Stay Flat
There are many different types of yoga mats these days, made from a growing variety of materials. How you choose the mat that’s right for you will depend on several considerations. But when it comes to mats that lay flat, here are a few that promise to meet that need:
- Routine Fitness Yoga Mat – Uniquely rounded edges keep the mat from rolling up when it’s flat on the ground, or getting dragged down when it’s stored vertically.
- Manduka PRO Travel Yoga Mat -This mat is thin and lightweight, making it the perfect yoga mat for travel. These mats are also made with sustainable natural rubber with a unique anti-skid top layer for an excellent grip.
How to Store Your Yoga Mat
How you choose to store your yoga mat will likely depend on the space you have available. However, there are better ways to store it if keeping it from rolling up during practice is a must for you. But before you store it, make sure it is properly cleaned after your yoga practice.
Here are just a few ways you can store your mat that will keep it flat:
- Hang Your Mat with a Hanger – You can use a high quality pants hanger; simply clip one end of your mat so it hangs straight. Nakata Hanger is made in Japan from high quality materials which will protect your yoga mat in the long term.
- Use Wooden Towel Rack – Drape your mat over a towel rod as you would with any towel. It will be folded over the rod in the center, leaving the ends of the mat hanging down, straight, and flat. When it’s time for practice, your weight on the mat will flatten out any crease in the center left after hanging on the rod.
Yoga mat keeps rolling up: Closing Thought
Now that you’ve taken note of some of these best practices when it comes to keeping your yoga mat flat, you can get back to your actual yoga practice.