Doing yoga at home makes it easier to work it into your day-to-day life, but in today’s modern world, carpet is a lot more common than a hardwood floor which is not ideal. Many people have difficulty or resistance with practicing yoga on a carpeted floor. Typically in yoga studios, yoga is performed on mats on top a hard, smooth surface. Doing it on a carpeted floor presents unique challenges, but is absolutely possible, and may even improve your yoga overall. There are several pros and cons for doing yoga on carpet as well as some expert tips to ensure a successful practice on this soft surface.
Can You Do Yoga On Carpet?
Yes, you can definitely do yoga on carpet, with a few caveats. Yoga is most often done with a yoga mat on an even, sturdy, hardwood floor. This is an ideal stable surface for staying grounded and balanced while holding yoga poses. For many, practicing yoga on the carpet is more convenient but many yoga practitioners caution against it.
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The below pros and cons can help you decide if and how to practice on a carpeted surface. This decision will also rely on the type of carpet you have in your home. A short fiber carpet on a thin pad will create minimal issues, while fluffy fibers on top a thick pad will exacerbate these issues.
Carpet Yoga Pros:
- A padded soft carpet will provide cushioning for your body and reduce pressure on your joints.
- It’s warmer than a hard surface like a wood floor, so you will be more comfortable in colder months.
- Practicing yoga on the carpet has less traction than a mat which can make your muscles work harder, thus building more strength.
- The shape of a yoga mat does not define or limit your practice and you have more freedom to explore and play.
- If you’re looking for a challenge, the added difficulty in balancing can help you advance your practice.
- This might be your only home practice option, so it’s better than not practicing yoga at all.
Carpet Yoga Cons:
- Practicing balance poses on a carpet is very hard and the lack of support under your feet or hands can be frustrating and possibly lead to injury.
- Moving through a series of yoga poses directly on a carpeted floor can cause friction burns, scratches and irritated skin.
- Carpeted surfaces tend to be a bit uneven, so you may experience discomfort when a bump or uneven spot presses into your body.
- Carpet isn’t the most hygienic to practice on. You’ll be close to the ground in many yoga positions, and a musty or grimy carpet can affect the quality of the air you are breathing as well as dampen your mood.
- If you practice directly on your carpet, your sweat and body oil gets absorbed by the carpet’s material, and will require more frequent cleaning.
- Repeatedly practicing in the same spot can prematurely wear out or damage your carpet.
Do Yoga Mats Work On Carpet?
Yes, you can definitely use a yoga mat on carpet, and several of the common carpet issues can be remedied by using a yoga mat. They can also create additional problems and the wrong type of yoga mat can make these problems worse. When you’re in the market for a yoga mat for your at-home studio, you’ll want one with firm material, good traction, and proper thickness.
Choosing a Yoga Mat for Carpet
The best yoga mats for use on carpet have a three things in common. Look for these features and traits when you are shopping for a yoga mat to practice on top of carpet.
- Good Traction — Yoga mats can move and slide on your carpet, so look for mats that have some grip or texture on the top as well as the bottom. This will keep them from sliding around, especially if you practice a faster paced vinyasa style.
- Sturdy Material — Yoga mats can bunch up on the carpet, so flimsy PVC mats may create a lot of frustration. Instead, go with a firm, dense and stiffer natural material like rubber or cork. This will also help with balance in your yoga sessions.
- Thickness — A thinner yoga mat on carpet allows you to stay more connected to the floor, and minimize balancing issues. But extra padding can help prevent joint pressure, and give your body an extra workout. A thin mat is more likely to bunch up during your practice.
It’s not always easy to find a room with a nice wood floor to practice yoga in. Many yoga enthusiasts who use a home yoga space are stuck with a carpeted room, but this doesn’t have to be a problem. With proper attention and consideration, practicing yoga on carpet can be just as good as practicing without carpet. If you continue to struggle with this, you can purchase a portable yoga floor or build your own yoga board for carpet practice.