The Must Have Yoga Accessory: A Yoga Hand Towel

The eQua® yoga hand towel is the perfect accessory to any yoga mat - this simple aid that can be kept next to your mat like a block, strap, or water bottle, can help make your practice experience a little more anxiety free and remove any doubt or fear about “slip”.

Let’s be honest, everyone sweats! Even in the most gentle of yoga practices your palms and feet will heat, create and release moisture, more for some and less for others, it is a natural reaction as your body works to cool down.

Grip, or lack of grip i.e. “slip”, is a challenge we will all face at some point in our yoga practice and it can vary depending on the class, the weather, how our body is feeling, the time of day, our level of practice, how far into the yoga lesson/practice, to name but a few variables. We are all unique and we can each have a different experience every day.

Our default practice partner, our yoga mat, will also be different from person to person and it too will react to its environment and our practice. Through use the original surface of our yoga mat will have changed and become unique to us and our movement, and the grip that it offers will also change during our practice as our body heats and releases moisture.

Despite practicing yoga being 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. So there will be times that you begin to sweat, where your hands and feet begin to get moist, causing you to slip, which for some of us is incredibly frustrating, and for others not so much of an issue.

The fear of slipping can often be an inhibitor to our practice, but it does not have to be.

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. This can also happen at your feet too and so with its size you can easily move it around the mat to where you need the grip, i.e. your feet can use it when in warrior lunge poses for your front foot.

The eQua® yoga hand towel is designed to be sweat activated and therefore provides a barrier for sweat absorption which will add traction to sweaty palms or feet when grip is starting to be lost. N.B. Once your eQua® towel is saturated with sweat its grip properties will weaken and it might start to bunch under your hands and feet when forced.

eQua Hand Towel in the colour Coral placed on a Black PROLite 5mm yoga mat - Manduka | Eco Yoga Store

If you sweat heavily during your yoga class and want to ensure absorption for comfort while maintaining a firm hold to your yoga mat we recommend using a yogitoes® yoga hand towel - these towels have the most absorbency (higher saturation) compared to the eQua® hand towel, and with the addition of silicone nubs on the underside of the towel will hold the towel in place on the mat providing great grip for your hands and feet.

What are the differences between the eQua® and yogitoes® towels? - 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.

So if absorption is your priority yogitoes® towels will support your practice the best, but if fast grip is the priority then eQua® towels are the answer.

Note: 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.

Both of these yoga towels are also available in a full yoga mat length version too - full mat towels are for when your body sweats and drips from head to toe all over the mat. The yoga 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!

Yogi kneeling on her Yogitoes Mat Towel placed on her yoga mat lifting the corner of the towel to show the silicon nubs that grip the mat - Manduka | Eco Yoga Store

The solution to “slip” does not have to start and stop with a yoga towel, there are some other things that you can do to minimise the issue and help you stay in your pose too, and here are our top tips to help:

Keep a Firm Foundation - In positions like downward dog, distribute weight evenly by pressing firmly through widely spread fingers and toes.

Engage Your Core - When your core is relaxed, your body compensates by adding pressure in unnecessary places, often causing slippage.

Skip the Lotions - Certain things you put on your body can affect its chemistry and how much oil and moisture it produces, they can also resurface with sweat and make it more difficult to grip your yoga mat. So try to avoid using skin products earlier in the day before your yoga practice, and only apply after.

Break In Your Mat - Like most items designed to perform and last, high performance yoga mats can take some time to break in, and during that period, slippage can strike! The best way to speed up the process? Practice more!

Clean the Right Way - Using multipurpose cleaners or body soaps on yoga mats leaves a film that promotes slippage. Keep mats fresh and film-free by using a proper yoga mat cleaner after each practise:

PRO Series Yoga Mats - All Purpose Mat Wash & Refresh
eKO Series Yoga Mats - Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Restore
GRP Series Yoga Mats - GRP Yoga Mat Restore
TRIBE Series Yoga Mats - Eco Clean

Grab a Towel - At some level, everyone benefits from the use of a performance yoga towel to absorb sweat (from both you and your mat) and to help keep your practice in place.

Yogi using an eQua Hand Towel placed on their PRO 6mm yoga mat to stop their foot from slipping in a pose - Manduka | Eco Yoga Store

We will all “slip” at some point, it’s natural, and how much “slip” affects us is dependent upon too many variables to have a definitive answer, but a yoga towel will go a long way to alleviating our issues.