Yogic Knowledge

The correct way to use a yoga mat! Which side is up?

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Any yoga practitioner needs a yoga mat since it offers a pleasant and secure surface for practise. To get the most out of a yoga mat, you need to know the correct way to use a  yoga mat, which side up? Yoga mats often have a smoother surface on one side and a non-slip surface on the other. Some mats, nevertheless, can contain markings for alignment or other characteristics that call for a particular setting. An overview of which side of a yoga mat should be facing up will be given in this article, along with a closer look of certain related subtopics.

Yoga mat which side up?

An essential component of yoga practice is using a yoga mat. It can be expensive most of the time, but with some research you can also find yoga mats at a decent rate. In addition to offering a non-slip surface that helps avoid injuries, it also provides joint cushioning and floor insulation. However, some common questions often arise such as which side of the yoga mat is up ?

It resembles putting on two pairs of shoes or wearing your clothes backwards almost exactly. You come out as the yoga newbie that you are if you don’t know how to lay your mat down properly. The incorrect side of the mat usage might also have very severe effects on your practice. You’ll end up slipping into positions you didn’t mean to take rather than providing a sticky surface on which you can get a grasp. There are some clues which might be helpful in knowing which side of the yoga mat  goes up?

  • The Nubbier Side: The majority of sticky mats have tiny textural nubs that are intended to keep you in place as you balance in positions like Tree and Crescent Lunge, among others. The side that should face your feet is this one. However, these imperfections typically only appear on mats manufactured of PVC, a material that resembles vinyl. If your mat has bumps on both sides, find the side that has the most noticeable bumps; this side should likely be facing up.
  • Worn-out side: It’s likely not the mat’s first time when you borrow one from a studio. If you look at the mat’s surface, you might see worn areas where feet and hands have rubbed against it. This “wear” indicates which side will work best facing up and giving you a grip.
  • The Shinier Side: Some polyurethane, rubber, and latex yoga mats don’t have nubs since the substance itself is sticky. These mats often have a shiny side that should be facing up for practice.
  • Go with the tag or logo: If your yoga mat is a well-known brand, check the label or emblem to see which side should be facing up. Typically, a little piece of cloth or a stamp is placed in one of the mat’s corners. Other yoga mats include a vivid pattern or design on the surface that indicates which side is up.

Let us now try and examine some of the  important related sub- topics to understand which side of a yoga mat faces up.

Types of alignment markings

Certainly! Here are some common types of alignment markings you may find on a yoga mat:

ParametersDescription
Centre lineA reference point for lining up your body during poses is the vertical centre line that runs down the middle of the mat.
Grid linesThe mat is divided into tiny areas by grid lines, which makes it easier for you to precisely place your body. These lines might be useful for making sure that positions like downward dog and warrior II are symmetrical.
Hand and foot placement markersSome mats feature little shapes or icons that show where your hands and feet should go during poses. Beginners who are still figuring out how to place themselves correctly for various postures can benefit from these marks.
Chakra symbolsYoga mats frequently have chakra symbols printed on them to aid users in connecting with their energy centres while practising. These images might act as a reminder to pay attention to particular body parts when striking poses.
Pose namesThe names of many yoga positions can be found printed on some mats, which is useful when practising. Beginners who are still learning the names and sequencing of various poses may find this to be extremely helpful.
Inspirational quotesTo keep practitioners inspired and focused throughout their practice, some yoga mats have motivational sayings or affirmations. These sayings can provide people motivation and inspiration.
Animal printsOn yoga mats, various animal prints, such as those that resemble a snake or a leopard, are occasionally used to symbolise various animals or to give a distinctive visual aspect.
Mandala designsMandalas are circular patterns that are frequently utilized in spiritual and meditation practices. Mandala patterns can be found on some yoga mats, which can aid practitioners in finding their inner selves and maintaining focus while practising
Nature-inspired patternsTo assist create a quiet and peaceful environment while practising, some yoga mats have patterns derived from nature, such as leaves or waves.

It’s important to note that not all yoga mats have alignment markings, and they are not necessary for a successful yoga practice. However, if you’re looking for a mat with alignment markings, consider which types of markings will be most helpful for your practice and choose a mat that suits your needs and preferences.

8 Benefits of yoga mats with alignment marks

Using a yoga mat with alignment markings can provide a number of benefits for your yoga practice. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Improved alignment: Improved alignment is one of the main benefits of utilising a yoga mat with alignment markers. You may more easily attain appropriate alignment in each pose by using the marks on the mat to help you visualise where your body should be in relation to space. This can help you avoid injuries and make sure you’re benefiting the most from each pose.
  2. Increased awareness: You can learn to pay more attention to how your body is positioned in each posture by using the alignment markers on your yoga mat. You’ll start to internalise these alignment signals as you practise, which will make it simpler for you to maintain perfect form and alignment throughout your practise.
  3. Greater precision: You’ll be able to modify your alignment and placement in each pose more precisely if your yoga mat has alignment markers. You will be able to move more freely and dive deeper into each pose as a result.
  4. Consistency: You may keep your practice consistent by using a yoga mat that has alignment lines. You’ll be able to gauge your success over time and keep tabs on your advancements in alignment and form if you use the same reference points for every position.
  5. Increased confidence: You’ll feel more assured in your practice as you become more accustomed to the alignment markings on your yoga mat. By doing so, you may feel more at ease attempting novel positions and stretching your strength and flexibility to the limit.
  6. Enhanced focus: Your yoga mat’s alignment marks might assist you in maintaining concentration and awareness during your practise. The marks can help you maintain your concentration on your breath and your body rather than worrying about whether you’re performing the position correctly by acting as a visual point of reference.
  7. Improved balance: Your balance while performing each posture can be enhanced by using a yoga mat with alignment markings. The marks can assist you in locating your centre of gravity and maintaining stability in each pose by giving your body a clear point of reference for its placement.
  8. Reduced stress: Using a yoga mat with alignment marks can have a relaxing impact, which can help lessen stress and anxiety. The marks can ease your tension by fostering a peaceful and encouraging atmosphere for your practice.

Which side goes up in different yoga mats?

The orientation of a yoga mat can depend on the specific type of mat. Here are the different types of yoga mats and their recommended side up:

Manduka yoga mat: Manduka yoga mats are among the most well-known kinds available today which require a lot of maintenance and they also come with instructions on which side is up.

  • Manduka Pro and ProLite mats: These mats’ top surface, which is intended to offer exceptional support and grip, should be positioned facing up. The mat’s bottom surface contains a dot design that aids in securing it to the floor.
  • Manduka eKO mats: The eKO mat features a natural rubber construction with a textured surface that offers superb traction and grip. Place the mat with its top surface facing up.
  • Manduka GRP mat: The GRP mat has a highly textured surface that is designed to provide exceptional grip and prevent slipping, even in the sweatiest conditions. The top surface of the mat should be placed facing up.

Lululemon yoga mat:  A very common question arises about the lululemon yoga mat, which side is up? The regular Lululemon yoga mat  has a smooth side and a textured side and needs to be taken care of properly. When using the mat for yoga or other workouts, the textured side should be facing up since it is made to offer better grip and traction. To provide a firm platform for your practice, the smooth side should be placed face down on the ground.Check the directions that come with your individual mat, though, since some models may have slightly different usage instructions.

Liforme yoga mat: The top of the Liforme Yoga Mat includes a special alignment system that should be facing up while practising. The mat’s top surface is non-slip and has a texture that offers good grip, which makes it perfect for various yoga practices. Natural rubber surface on the mat’s bottom helps to keep it from slipping on the floor. The rubber surface of the Liforme Yoga Mat should be facing down on the ground, and the alignment lines should be pointing up towards you. This guarantees that you can practise on a safe, non-slip surface and that you can position yourself correctly.

Gaiam Yoga Mat: Typically, the Gaiam Yoga Mat has a smooth surface on one side and a textured surface on the other. Because it offers superior grip and traction, the textured side should be used facing up during practice, while the smooth side should be placed face down on the ground. The top surface of the mat is textured, which helps to prevent slipping when practising and offers a sturdy foundation for various yoga positions. The mat’s smooth bottom surface is made to grip the ground and keep it from moving around while you practise. You can typically determine which side is which on your Gaiam Yoga Mat by running your fingertips down the surface. The smooth side will typically feel more even and the textured side will typically feel slightly rougher or more textured. Check the guidelines or instructions that come with your specific Gaiam Yoga Mat before using it, since some models may have slightly different recommendations.

Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat: Natural rubber was used to create the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat, which features a smoother finish on one side and a slightly textured surface on the other. The mat should be used with the rough side facing up during practice and the smoother side facing down on the ground. Your grip and traction are improved by the mat’s textured surface, which also makes it easier for you to hold postures more securely and comfortably. In heated or sweaty yoga practices, it is an excellent option because it also aids in preventing slipping and sliding. The mat’s smoother side aids in floor traction and keeps it from shifting while you’re practising.

Look for the business logo on the textured side of the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat to be sure you’re using it properly. This will show which side of the mat during practice should be facing up.

How to Determine Whether a Yoga Mat Is Right Side Up?

Yoga is a fantastic method to keep your body and mind in shape, but it’s crucial to have the proper tools to practise safely and comfortably. For anyone who practises yoga, a yoga mat is a necessary piece of gear, thus it’s critical to know how to use one properly. How to identify if a yoga mat is facing the proper way up is a typical query from users. Here are some suggestions to help you determine your yoga mat’s top side:

  • Look for markings: Some yoga mats come with markings or logos that indicate which side is the top. This may be a simple logo or an image of a person doing yoga. If your mat has markings, check to see if they are visible on one side only. If they are, that is likely to be the top side.
  • Check the texture: Most yoga mats have a slightly different texture on the top and bottom. The top side is usually smoother and provides better grip, while the bottom side is slightly rougher and provides better traction. Run your hand along the mat to see which side feels smoother. The top side should feel smoother to the touch.
  • Check for stickiness: The top side of the yoga mat is usually stickier than the bottom, which helps prevent you from slipping during your practice. Try pressing your hand onto the mat on both sides to see which side provides more grip. The top side should feel slightly stickier than the bottom.
  • Check the thickness: Some yoga mats have a thicker side and a thinner side. The thicker side is usually the top side, as it provides more cushioning and support for your joints. Check the thickness of your mat on both sides to see which side is thicker.
  • Look for alignment markers: Some yoga mats have alignment markers printed on the top side to help you align your body during poses. These markers are usually lines or dots that run along the length of the mat. If your mat has alignment markers, the top side is likely to be the side with the markers.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Some yoga mats come with instructions on how to use them, including which side is the top. If you have the manufacturer’s instructions, refer to them to determine which side is the top.
  • Check the color: While not all yoga mats have different colors on each side, some do. If your mat has different colors on each side, the top side is likely to be the more vibrant or attractive color.

Quick tips on how to roll your yoga mat correctly

Rolling your yoga mat correctly is an important part of maintaining your equipment and ensuring that it lasts for a long time. It can also help to make it easier to transport and store your mat. Here are some tips on how to roll your yoga mat correctly:

  • Begin with a fresh mat: Make sure your mat is clean and sweat- and dirt-free before rolling it. Use a mild soap and water solution or a commercial yoga mat cleaner to clean your mat if it gets filthy.
  • Half-fold the mat: Fold your mat in half starting at one end with the top side facing you. Make sure the mat is folded properly and that the edges are straight.
  • From the folded end, roll the mat: Starting with the top side facing in, roll the mat from the folded end. Maintaining the edges in line, roll the mat tightly.
  • While rolling, straighten the mat: Make sure to straighten out any creases or wrinkles in the mat as you roll it. This will guarantee that the mat rolls up smoothly and assist to prevent damage to it.
  • Finish by exposing the top side: Make sure the top side of the mat is facing out once you have completed rolling it. When you unroll the mat for your subsequent practice, this will make it easier for you to find the top side.

FAQ’s

How do I determine the top side of my yoga mat?

The side of a yoga mat with a slightly raised or textured surface is often the top side. This aids in improving grip and preventing slippage while practising yoga. Usually, the bottom side is flatter and smoother.

Which side of the yoga mat should I be using for my practice?

It is crucial to practise on the top side of your yoga mat, yes. This will provide you increased traction and grip, assisting you in keeping your balance and stability during your practise.

If I want a smoother surface, may I use the bottom side of my yoga mat?

Although technically possible, it is not advised to practise on the bottom side of your yoga mat. The bottom side may not offer the same level of traction and grip as the top side and is not intended for usage during yoga.

How can I tell if I’m utilising my yoga mat’s top side?

By touching the surface, you can quickly tell which side of your yoga mat is the top side. The bottom side should feel smoother than the top side, which often has a somewhat raised or textured surface.

What if my yoga mat doesn’t have a clearly marked top side?

If your yoga mat does not have a clearly marked top side, you can determine which side to use by feeling the surface. The side that feels slightly textured or raised is likely the top side, while the smoother side is the bottom.

Can I flip my yoga mat over to use the other side?

While you technically can flip your yoga mat over and use the other side, it is not recommended. The bottom side is not designed for use during yoga, and it may not provide the same level of grip and traction as the top side.

How can I practise yoga while preventing my mat from slipping?

Make sure you are utilising the top side of the yoga mat to prevent slipping while practising. To increase grip and avoid slipping, you can also use a yoga cloth or mat spray.

Should I treat each side of my yoga mat differently when cleaning it?

No, regardless of which side you use, you should clean your yoga mat using the same procedure. Simply follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations, or wash the mat with mild soap and water.

Conclusion

Yoga mats offer much more than just soft padding for your body on rough surfaces. When utilised properly, they provide assistance. So,be sure you keep it clean, store it appropriately, and replace it when wear and tear begin to show.

In the realm of yoga, remember that in most cases, the grippy side is meant to face up, providing traction and stability during your practice. So unroll your mat, find your balance, and let the journey unfold with the right side up.

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Devina Prasad

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