During the summer hours, outdoor yoga can be hot on the hands and feet. Enjoying an outdoor practice during the sunnier months requires a yoga mat that doesn’t scorch you as you move through your flows.
It also requires a mat that can handle a few drops of sweat, if you know what I mean.
This summer, I’ve taken my practice from a hot yoga studio to the outdoor summer heat. I’ve practiced on multiple surfaces including wood, concrete, grass, sand, and vinyl using my natural rubber yoga mat to see what was best to keep things cool.
Turns out, it was changing up my mat that made the difference.
Don’t get me wrong, I love using my natural rubber yoga mat, both indoors and outdoors. However, when the sun is shining down and I’m looking for my body to benefit from the humidity and heat without redefining what a pedicure is, using a new mat is a necessity.
Out of all the yoga mats supplied by YogaAccessories, I selected these eight after a few hot summer months of trying them out:
This yoga mat is made of 100% organic cotton grown in southern and western India. The removable cover is washable, making this a nice surface for outdoor use.
Laying this mat flat, it lays nicely on top of a Mexican yoga blanket, so about the size of a toddler bed. I prefer a Thai Yoga Massage Mat for meditations and restorative yoga, but depending on the surface you place it on, it’s also great for a challenging sequence.
Love this mat! It’s perfect for summer travel as it’s double-sided with a microfiber towel-like surface and a thin natural rubber bottom. This mat can be folded and also used as a towel if ever desired, which is great because it stays put with that grippy bottom layer. I would avoid darker surfaces like black asphalt, which produce more heat than others, as this mat is thin and the heat will unfortunately still burn you on those hotter surfaces. When on the beach, make sure you even out the sand underneath before laying down this mat for a flatter practice area. When I’m done practicing on the beach, this mat also doubles great as a beach chair towel too!
Our yoga rugs are one of my absolute favorite products already because of the surface they provide. This eco-friendly cotton creates the perfect thick, canvas-like surface for any surface. During outdoor yoga classes, I like to lay this rug under my yoga mat to provide a barrier between me and the mud. Washing this rug is easy, but I would wash alone with nothing else as the dye can run initially. Hang to dry and it’s good as new!
It’s as squishy as it looks, providing a comfy airy surface to practice on. Almost an inch thick, this aero mat will definitely beat the heat. Balancing postures or inversions on this mat can be a little risky due to its extra padding, but I do find this mat to work well for a few Vinyasa flows. Easy to clean and carry, I sometimes skip the beach chair too and just take this mat!
Also a spongy material, our Gaia Eco Yoga Mat is made of an eco-friendly foam with a non-toxic composition and manufacturing process. Highly resistant to sweaty hands and feet, this mat is a great option for the hot summer sun. Unfortunately, the popular black color can be known to heat up faster than others, making this yoga mat a great material and surface for outdoor practice on a hot platform, but maybe not directly under the beaming rays.
A fabric that also ventilates for hygiene, this mat acts as a shield against harmful bacteria as well as an avoidance for allergy-prone yogis. The mini vents you see that cover this mat also keep its surface cool, but again I would avoid the hotter surfaces like asphalt as this mat won’t stand a chance on that surface. You’ll be playing “the floor is lava” very quickly. I enjoyed this mat on a porch or deck surface, as well as by the pool. It’s quick to dry too if anyone decides to splash some water on you. In fact, I would like to say this is probably my number one mat chosen for being waterproof. It’s almost even better soaked!
“Fluffy like waffles” is one of my favorite terms to describe this mat. It’s foamy closed-cell and biodegradable surface is designed to avoid germs, odors, and sweat from ruining the material. Extremely slip-proof for your practice, I enjoy the barrier this mat provides in between different surfaces. Even in the color black, this material doesn’t heat up very much at all, deeming this TPE yoga mat perfect to beat the summer heat! Did I mention it weighs maybe like two pounds tops?
Made of that same lightweight and biodegradable TPE material, this mat towel also introduces a second microfiber material for extra absorption and traction. During all seasons and environments, I find this mat towel to absorb moisture very well, allowing me to keep adhesion during the heavier sequences. It’s soft and surprisingly durable for its thin material. I’ve washed and used mine for a few years now, finding the look and texture to have remained perfectly in-tact.
Using our Hot Lite Yoga Mat on the beach, I enjoyed a Half Moon within my short sequence before realizing I had a small audience (haha)! The yoga block I like to use while traveling is our 4” New Zealand Pine Wood Yoga Block because it’s lightweight, hollow, and easy to keep clean. Enjoy your summer yogis!