Yoga Mats on the carpet is something that sounds weird, but it isn’t. Some people are just put off by the thought especially after seeing most mats used on wooden floors.
Which then begs the question: “Can you use yoga mats on carpet?” And well, that answer is pretty easy:
You can certainly use yoga mats on the carpet if you don’t have wooden flooring. They work well though there is more cushioning and padding on the surface. It does depend on the style of yoga that you’re doing on the carpet, as using your yoga mat on the carpet is perfectly fine for Yin Yoga but very challenging for Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga since stability is reduced.
Indeed there are still exceptions to the rule and certainly times when you’ll gain benefits.
Using Yoga Mats on Carpet
While we may think the cushioning is working towards our benefit, it isn’t. What we need is a strong foundation, not a soft surface to perform our stretches with. This is why yoga mats are typically 3mm with mild variances. By having a yoga mat on the carpet, you’re effectively creating super soft padding which feels like a little odd.
The question is best answered when knowing how thick your carpet actually is. If you’re using very thin office carpet, then using a yoga mat on top of this happens to be no problem at all. You’ll feel a very mild difference between this and a wooden floor.
Where the problem really comes to the surface is those thick woollen carpets. If you live in a colder climate where your carpet is very thick (0.5″ or greater), then that softness is wonderful to walk on but terrible to use a yoga mat on. Strangely, some people’s mattresses can be harder than their own carpets.
Yoga When You Have No Wooden Floors
Essentially, you’re looking for a way to practice yoga at home when all you have is carpetted floors. Well, you have several options:
- Use the kitchen! Often we see on Instagram experienced teachers merely using their kitchen as the floor is hard. Mop and dry the area first before using.
- Find a spot outside. You may have a balcony or concreted area in your backyard. We’ve even seen some people using their own garages!
- Buy a project panel sheet. Your local hardware store will have long flat boards used for construction workers and those who build houses. These are very light but will need a large car to bring home. These shouldn’t cost more than $30 and you can find them in 4 feet x 7 feet sizing which is ideal for common yoga mat sizes. While they will have some mild flex, they will certainly stop the padding sensation that you’ll feel under your toes and make you more confident
- Buy rubber matting. Gym buffs have been using this stuff for years. One unfortunate downside is that the rubber does smell quite offensively for the first few weeks and could stain your carpet too. The real upside is that it’s easy to roll up and store away under the bed.
- Buy office chair carpet protectors. These are perfect for yoga mats as they don’t slip and can be stored away super easily. You’ll need to buy 3 or 4 and line them up for best results.
We have even seen a situation where someone took down their old door and used it as a yoga board. Others use their surf or SUP boards too! Either way, you have some options if you don’t want to venture out of the studio.
Using Carpet Only for Yoga
You can do yoga on the carpet and skip the use of a yoga mat entirely. By doing so, you’ll have direct contact with the ground. It does depend on the thickness of your carpet and its type.
Remember that regular use in one specific place in your home will start to ‘etch’ the carpet and leave marks. It’s akin to your furniture being in the same position for months and leaving a crease behind. You’ll be creating wear and tear on your carpet if you keep doing yoga in the same spot.
For those who are renting/leasing their home then this is a real cause of concern. The carpet has a real risk of fading and the replacement costs are very expensive. Let’s not forget the carpet burns you can accidently acquire if you come landing down hard from a downward dog, nor the slipping that often happens.
We recommend against doing yoga purely on the carpet. It’s OK to do ocassionally if you simply need to flex out, but shouldn’t become part of your regular practice.
Also remember that some people do yoga perfectly fine on the grass. With the rise of outdoor yoga classes which encourage students to bring mats, the asanas are changed to avoid those which could risk personal injury to students due to the instable base.
It’s best to do yoga with a yoga mat. This is what they are designed for. Now – not all of us have the luxury of a wooden floor at our disposal but hopefully we’ve shown you some cool tricks and ideas to have you stretching out without needing to worry about the carpet.
To close, this is only a small part of the bigger picture. Focus on bringing together all the pieces in your yoga and spiritual journey. Start with this loving, nurturing and safe space and begin to expand holistically.