We’ve all seen the sign outside the hot yoga studio “Bring Your Own Yoga Towel” but we need to remember that these simple yet transformative pieces of textile are for all types of yoga and can help you in the most unexpected ways. Yoga towels are for use way beyond a sweaty intense flow, they are for all and every type of practice to help you with your grip and moisture management around any yoga mat. Adding a yoga hand or full mat towel to your toolbox can be a game changer and we are here to tell you why and provide some PRO tips.
What is a Yoga Towel for?
Fundamentally they provide 2 main performance characteristics:
1. Provide extra GRIP when your hands or feet start to release heat and moisture.
2. Absorb excess moisture aka SWEAT, from collecting on top of your mat.
Why do you lose Grip?
For some, grip is the most important aspect of their yoga mat. Depending on the class, the weather, how your body is feeling, time of day, your level of practice, how far into the yoga lesson/practice, the condition or the construction type of your yoga mat can potentially mean a loss of grip. Which for some is extremely frustrating. For some not so much. But as heat builds in your body and the muscles that are in use tire, the natural reaction is for the body to try and cool down by releasing moisture. Normally first through the hands, then arms, then feet and so on.
The yoga towel is a unique product as it works to provide grip as soon as it connects with moisture. Sweat activated GRIP. Making the hand towel a perfect companion for when GRIP is starting to be lost in the hands and a full mat towel when the body is fully heated and starting to drip onto the mat.
A few things to know or unknow.
• Everyone sweats. Even in the most gentle practice your palms or feet will heat, create and release moisture even at the microscopic level and when in contact with a non porous surface, for example a closed cell yoga mat slip can happen.
• Hand yoga towels are the most important towel you can have. Especially when you don't know how your class or practice is going to go. Maybe it's how you feel that day or how the teacher is guiding you or it's a new experience or class and you are working extra hard to follow. For a lot of yogis every class can be different and if you are expecting the unexpected, the hand towel can be the difference between a great class and a class challenged by grip loss.
• Full mat yoga towels are for hot or intense practices.
• Yoga towels must be damp for the grip to work. They do not provide grip when dry. Which is why we advise you to lightly mist your towel before practice to ensure activating the grip right from the beginning.
• All yoga towels have a purpose that can be different from each other. From sizes, to fabric, to construction, to grip on the mat, each one is made to enhance your practice and support a yogis needs, which can be personal and very different from the person next to you or who rated a product online. Understanding yourself and how your body reacts or how you like to practice can mean different towels are preferred by different people.
• Hand yoga towels are the most adaptable and important piece of equipment you can have.
• Yoga towels can also be used as a studio mat topper for increased hygiene and comfort if you do not want to bring your own mat. They are practical and lightweight to carry with you and easy to clean after use with all your other clothing.
• Lastly - yoga towels provide less grip when dry than a yoga mat. Any yoga mat. So if there is no moisture a dry towel has the potential to provide more slip than without. No moisture, no need for a towel.
Whilst practicing yoga is considered a low impact activity do not underestimate how much heat can be generated. Holding a pose or deep breathing for 3 minutes can raise your inner heat as much as a full salutation. There will be times that you begin to sweat, where your hands and feet begin to get moist causing you to slip. A performance yoga towel can help with this.
The majority of yoga mats are closed cell top surface which means moisture will not get absorbed in the mat and can create a moist layer between your mat and your hands. Thus creating the feeling of slipping. It’s normal. And everyone goes through it. A performance yoga towel can help in those times.
When do I need a performance yoga towel?
Full mat towels are for when your body sweats and drips from head to toe all over the mat. The towel absorbs the moisture falling from you thus activating the grip where you need it in the hands and feet and more importantly removing any pooling of sweat on the mat, making the class still comfortable as you lie on your mat for all floor based asanas. It’s never comfortable trying to relax in Savasana lying in pools of sweat. The yogitoes® towels have the most absorbency (higher saturation) compared to the eQua® Towel. If you sweat heavily during your hot yoga class and want to ensure absorption for comfort while you want a firm hold to the mat with the silicone nubs and a great grip for your hands and feet, we recommend the yogitoes®. The eQua® towels will have a faster and better first sweat activated grip but will start to weaken once it is saturated with sweat and might start to bunch under the feet when forced when saturated.
So if absorption is the priority yogitoes® towels will support your practice the best, if fast grip is the priority then eQua towels will support your practice best.
A yogitoes hand towel is excellent for the heavy yoga flow practices where a solid hand or foot holding is required. The extra grip of the nubs of the towel will hold the towel in place in the positions where the grip is essential to the mat and yogi. For example, if you need the grip such as in Ashtanga yoga where you are moving with heat, but not dripping as in hot yoga, the yogitoes® Hand Towel is perfect for that extra grip when the heat starts to build up.
When you feel slip begin to happen, placing a yoga hand towel on the mat under your hands will absorb your sweat and provide the missing grip. As everyone is different this can also happen at your feet and so with its size you can easily move it around the mat to where you need the grip or your feet can use it when in warrior lunge poses for your front foot. The towel provides a barrier for sweat absorption and will add traction to sweaty palms or feet. It’s our favourite tool for any yogi as slip is the biggest physical challenge in yoga, every class and every person can have a different experience every day, so this simple tool that can be kept next to your mat like a block, strap, water bottle can help make your experience be a little more smooth. The eQua® yoga hand towel is the perfect accessory to any yoga mat.
Why only a hand towel and not a full yoga mat towel? A full mat towel is used for hot yoga. This means the yogi has to be warm and sweating all over to make the mat work as yogitoes® and eQua towels are sweat or moisture activated. If you only slip from the hands, the small amount of moisture on your hands will activate a hand towel keeping you in place.
> I practice various type of yoga and I slip immediately with dry hands = read our guide about slip to understand the cause and how to fix it.
If you are not warm or sweating or you are slipping immediately then read our Guide to Less Slip. As it is you and a full towel will only make it worse. You might have to work on your core basics, learn more about mat care or even avoid hand cream.
What is the difference between the yogitoes® and the eQua® towel?
The main difference is the feel of the towel, as both eQua® and yogitoes® towels will absorb sweat and offer excellent grip when damp. However, due to their design, they offer a different experience when practicing.
• The eQua® towel is a smooth and soft experience and it features a moisture activated grip.
• The yogitoes® towel is a textured and tactile experience because of the silicone nubs and has a grippy base in wet or dry conditions.
• The most trusted performance yoga towel
• Grips the mat with patented Skidless Technology that uses 100% silicone nubs
• Faster absorption
• Higher saturation
• Eco friendly, made from 4+ recycled plastic water bottles
• The most versatile performance yoga towel
• Amazing first sweat activated grip
• Good absorption
• Good grip to mat
This ultra absorbent, lightweight towel will help prevent slipping as your start to flow and sweat. When you start to notice that you need some extra traction during your practice, just lay the yoga mat towel over your mat or lay the hand towel on your mat wherever extra traction is needed. These towels have silicone nubs on the bottom to grip to your mat and keep you in place.
• Sweaty practices like hot yoga and functions as an absorbent layer between you and your mat
• Topper on studio mats for extra hygiene if you don't want to bring your own mat. It's practical and lightweight to carry with you and easy to clean after use.
Tips: Before beginning practice, lightly mist the top side of the towel to ensure superior grip from start to finish.
When laid down over your yoga mat, this high performance yoga towel provides a barrier for sweat absorption and will add traction to sweaty palms and feet. The eQua towels become slip-resistant when damp. Its soft, suede-like, microfiber fabric is ultra absorbent, exceptionally durable and incredibly quick drying to give you great traction during even your sweatiest practices. Designed with yoga in mind and easily transitions to a beach, surf, travel, gym or workout towel. The eQua® Towels also doubles as a germ-free gym towel to absorb perspiration, a meditation shawl to stay warm during cool sitting sessions, and a travel or hiking towel that takes up minimal packing space.
• Works great for all types of yoga including hot, vinyasa and power. Just lay your towel on top of your mat to enhance your yoga practice.
Tips: Before beginning practice, lightly mist both sides of the towel to ensure superior grip from start to finish or simply lay the towel over your mat when you start to notice you need some additional traction.
Photography: Manduka and @denisekellerofficial