I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for about 15 years, and it’s been amazing to see the rising interest in it over the past five or so. As happens with so many activities as they become popular, yoga today comes with a lot of extra stuff. Or it can. While hip clothes and gear have nothing to do with the actual practice of yoga, some new products come in really handy. One of these is the yoga mat strap.
No, a yoga mat strap isn’t a torture device. It’s a carrier for the most important of all yoga materials: the mat. This simple sling-like contraption makes it easy to carry your yoga mat over your shoulder while you’re also toting a purse, a water bottle, a child and/or some gluten-free vegan cookies for bribing your yoga teacher into taking it easy on you (just this once). It also allows you to hang your mat wherever most accessible (a closet, coat hanger, doorknob, etc.) so you don’t expend time and energy hunting around for it before your 6 a.m. class.
This simple design involves a little very basic sewing and can be created in about 5 minutes. It adjusts to fit any size yoga mat, and would also work for carrying and hanging any exercise mat or a picnic blanket or baby’s play blanket. You can buy similar straps relatively inexpensively, like this one from lululemon (available in a variety of colors) or the Gaiam sling available at Target.
But if you’re looking for something easy and custom, try the how-to below. I started with 2 ½ yards of black rip-stop nylon ribbon, purchased at my local craft store for about $2 a yard. It has a basic, gender-neutral look. White rip-stop nylon was also available, and you could also try any thick, heavy-duty trim or ribbon for more flair. And when you’re done with your practice, try cleaning up your mat using this simple recipe for a therapeutic yoga mat wash.