Sangha Session 21: "How have you repurposed your old yoga mat(s)?"

This Sangha Session is part of our ‘Can You Practice Without Plastic?’ campaign to reduce the amount of plastic being created by the yoga industry. Hashtag: #plasticfreeyogarevolution.

In the campaign we are discouraging the purchase of PVC yoga mats due to their toxic impact on the environment and us. Not only is PVC toxic, but it is non-biodegradable and cannot be recycled.

Many people are looking for ways to re-use their old PVC mats. There are millions of them out there that are desperate for a new purpose in life! :slight_smile:

My pup will be undergoing surgery for a torn ligament in her leg soon. Our home will need to be completely non-slip for 8-14 weeks. My old yoga mats fit perfectly in our hallway and provide her the non-slip surface she needs.


I’ve rolled up old mats and secured the edge with strapping tape. Then I sew a cover (or slip on some pillow cases) and use them as bolsters during my yoga practice. They work great!!

I’ve also cut them to size and lined the dog’s crate with them—-seems all of my dogs love the feel of a yoga mat under them.


I use an old mat to kneel on when I’m gardening. Or as extra cushion under my new mats.

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I practiced yoga for 30 odd years without a mat. My daughter bought me a mat about 10 years ago but to be honest, I often forget to get it out for my practice. How do you know when a mat needs to be replaced?


Great ideas!

Yes, old mats are great beds for dogs and scratching mats for cats - and to make bolsters. I never thought of that. I have found them useful for anytime I need to kneel or lie on the ground, like painting, gardening or changing the oil in my car.

A friend of mine uses old mats to pad his roof rack when loading his kayak. There are so many great uses! Yes, some people don’t ever feel like they need a mat if they have a good carpet to practice on. You know a mat needs to be replaced when it gets quite worn down, loses its grip and even starts to flake.

I put mine on the dresser in my toddler’s room now that he is too big for a regular changing table, but still needs to be changed. Soft easily cleaned surface for him and it protects the furniture.

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I use half a mat when I go out sketching and painting to sit on and/or lay out my paints. I also use a smaller piece as a sit mat when I go distance walking, instead of having to sit on the damp ground to have lunch.
I also use the ribbed kind as non-slip mat under my sewing machine.

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i used my old mat underneath my dogs food and water bowls so they don’t slide on the floor. It works great. The other one my husband uses in the garage when he works on our vehicles. They also work for putting by doors for boots and wet shoes to dry!


I forgot to mention I use a lifeforme mat it’s pvc free and biodegradable. A bit pricey but worth every penny! If I am doing a sweaty practice I won’t slip because the mat is very well made and the lines really help with alignment. I highly recommend and I am a user only o have no affiliation with that company. I just love their mats!

@La.negra.jarocha Great idea! I wish I thought of this when my son was young.

@lynne.porter Oh yeah, great uses of an old yoga mat.

@shawnroudebush Uh huh. I like those. And, by the way, I am a big fan of Liforme too. It’s the mat I use the most. Great grip, support and the company is fully dedicated to being environmentally friendly.

Thanks, team!

I have several mats that are in good shape and clean but have lost their stickiness. Is there a non-toxic way that I can restore it, and/or create some stickiness on one mat that never has had enough? I don’t feel like they have reached a point I need to get rid of them, but they sure could be better!

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I don’t believe there is a way to bring back the stickiness, unfortunately. I may be wrong, but I haven’t found one. Good luck!

I use my old yoga mats for camping. They work great as extra insulation underneath an airmattress or sleeping pad.