Before loading-up on various hot yoga gear and accessories, you need a good mat. Is there a difference between a yoga mat and a hot yoga mat? The answer is maybe. Sorry about that. But it turns out that for most of us, a regular yoga mat can be used in hot yoga too. The most important characteristic of a yoga mat, be it for hot yoga or not, is the density of the foam on the inside. Foam density has a rating system but most sellers don’t include that data. They will list whether the foam is ¼ inch or a inch, but good luck finding the foam density rating.
Hot Yoga Mats
However, there are a few companies that have designed a hybrid “mat and towel” combination. With this kind of hybrid mat the outer surface is more like a towel than it is vinyl like most mats. That might sound like a good idea, but it’s not. As you know, hot yoga is about sweating and eventually, hopefully, you will want to wash your mat. I don’t know about you but the last time I put my yoga mat in the washing machine terrible things happened.
That’s why it is recommended that if you are going to do hot yoga for any period of time, then buy a good mat with high density foam, as thick as you prefer. Then, buy a separate hot yoga towel.
Hot Yoga Towel
Hot yoga absolutely requires a special hot yoga towel. This is not frivolous hot yoga gear item or accessory. Without a proper towel on the mat, bad things will happen. First, the amount of sweat on the mat will make it dangerously slippery. Believe it or not, it is possible to get seriously hurt during yoga. Placing your hand or foot down to support your weight, and then having it slip out from under you because the mat is soaked can and will lead to injury. We don’t want that, so get a good hot yoga towel.
Of course the biggest advantage of having a hot yoga towel is that you can put in the washing machine. If you are wondering why can’t you just use your beach towel or bath towel, then you are insane. Those towels will not do the job. The hot yoga towel is specially designed and has many features that make it ideal for hot yoga. First, the towel is the proper shape. It is made according to the same dimensions as mats. So, no many what your mat size is, you can find a towel to match.
In addition to that, the material the towels are made of can vary from cotton to synthetics like polyester or polyamide. What your preference is depends on how strict you are about natural fibers. The advantage of non-natural material like microfiber is that it absorbs water quicker than cotton. The disadvantage of course is, that it destroys the planet. So, the choice is really up to you on this one.
Mat Cleaner Spray
This is a required hot yoga accessory. Whether you buy a hot yoga towel or not, you will still want to clean your mat. Hopefully. If not for your own hygiene, then please, clean for the olfactory glands of your fellow yoga enthusiasts. Mat cleaner is easy and quick to use. After the mat is dry, just spray the cleaner on and follow the instructions.
Some of these yoga cleaners list ingredients such as organic lemongrass oil and purified water. Hmmm. To believe or not to believe, that is the question. That is up to you, as long as the mat is cleaned with something…please!
Hot Yoga Headband
The best hot yoga gear, or at least the most fashionable, is the headband. Headbands come in all kinds of colors, designs, and fabrics. But, there are really only two sizes. The regular size headband that professional athletes often wear is narrow at about 2 inches wide.
The best headband for hot yoga is one that is extra wide. The extra wide headband is more than double the width of a regular headband, and it can cover more of your head (of course). This can help lock in heat and make your body sweat more, if that’s what you want. The other great thing is that if you want, you can should fold the wide headband once or twice and make it whatever width you want.