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Monday 16 November 2020

11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Whether you’re a yoga devotee, a part-time ‘sometimes’ partaker or you simply bought a yoga mat once with the intention of breathing better, but you’ve done nothing but sigh at the sight of it…fear not! I have just the info you need to re-imagine your yoga mat, fall back in love with it, or even make you want to purchase more!
11 Different ways to use your yoga mat

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

If you follow me on social media you will know that I have recently fallen in love with a form of exercise called Gyrotonic. Although different, its not TOO dissimilar to the underlying principles of yoga and pilates and certainly benefits the body in the same way. When living in London, I used to do yoga and pilates every single day at home – in between my nursery practitioner job and my Nanny job. Working with small people (or even just having small people!) can really take its toll on your body and there are so many benefits to stretching. Every lunchtime I’d go back to my Balham flat, unroll my yoga mat and (usually) stick on my Darcy Bussell DVD and make way for a few stretches and poses before heading off to start round 2 of my day. Fast forward a few years, and add in a couple of children and I’m lucky to find a ‘lego free’ area of floor space to pop down my yoga mat! However, you know how much I love to re-use every day items and incorporate them into play as well, so here are a few ideas for you of different ways to use your yoga mat… some for the kids, some for the adults….
yoga mat on the beach

Yoga Activity mat

Whether you already have an amazing print on your yoga mat, or whether you decide to paint one you already have – gym mats are a brilliant way to bring activities to life! Take this alphabet yoga mat for example….
alphabet yoga mat

You can pop this on the floor and challenge your Early Years child to find and jump on the correct sound or letter – active phonics and literacy at its best!! It is anti-slip so you don’t need to worry about them skidding on printed letters or tripping over resources.

Another fab learning idea is to use a rainbow printed yoga mat – this is perfect for little ones, either to find and jump on a colour you call out, or use it as a sorting mat. Ask your child to collect toys from around the room and place them on the correct colour on the yoga mat.
rainbow yoga mat
This space themed yoga mat is brilliant for an interactive space topic. You could use these loose parts planets to act out a space scene, or these 3D planets to teach your child all about the solar system. Don’t forget to add in a spaceman pegdoll or a rocket ship too!
space themed yoga mat

Yoga mat Playdough mat

Yoga mats can also work well as a mat for playdough play – and I know just where to get the best gluten free playdough to bring this activity to life! How about incorporating a colourful yoga mat as a template for playdough making such as this pacman mat which could also double up as ice-cream role play.
pacman ice cream yoga mat

Slip mat for a balance board

A few months ago we invested in a Balance Board from Capikooa – it has been a huge hit, but with laminate flooring it can move around a little bit. This is where a yoga mat could come in handy as a slip mat. Here is an example of a yoga mat being used as a balance board mat…

capikooa balance board with yoga mat

Yoga mat Backdrop

Whether you’re looking for a photography backdrop, a flat-lay image or a backdrop for play in a role play area or a playroom, there are some amazing printed yoga mats which are perfect for this. Imagine using this dinosaur mat in a dino themed play area!
dinosaur t rex yoga mat

Yoga mat Sleeping mat

When I used to work in a nursery in London, all of the children used to nap in the afternoon on mini yoga mats on the classroom floor. This is a perfect re-use for your yoga mats at home, especially if you want to separate nap time and bedtime. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to children! Pop your yoga mat under your sleeping bag when camping for a bit of extra support and insulation.

Knee pads

Whether you’re a gardener, or simply a parent who ends up getting on the floor with your children all the time – you’ll know how hard this can be on your knees! Kneeling on carpets can give you super dry skin on your knees , and hard floors can bruise. Cushion the pressure with your yoga mat, and keep your bottom dry when working outside too!

Door mats

If you don’t have a porch at home for shoes and buggies, you’ll know how hard it is not to bring wet and dirt into your home from your pram wheels or your shoes – especially on a rainy day! You can use an old yoga mat next to your doorway to wheel your pushchair onto so that you don’t ruin your floor or carpet.

Table mat

Not necessarily as an actual tablemat, but putting your yoga mat on the table underneath a table cloth will prevent the cloth from slipping, or being pulled off by pets or children!!

Picnic mat

Nit too dissimilar to the garden kneeler reasoning – yoga mats roll up and stay in your car ready for an impromptu picnic in the park….minus the soggy backside or prickly grass! Perfect for babies and often much softer than a blanket too.

Bath mat

Don’t have an anti slip mat in your bath? Perhaps you’ve gone away on holiday and forgotten to take one? Simply roll your yoga mat out in the bath and hey presto! A non slip bath for the little ones!

Sunshield for the car

And finally, if you take my advice of leaving a yoga mat in your car for picnics (or even just as a boot mat!) it’s a great bit of kit for shielding your windscreen on a superhot day when the sun is beating down and you don’t have hours to wait for your steering wheel to cool back down before you can drive home!

Have you found any extra uses for your yoga mat? 

Sarah x

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