Hot yoga is an entirely different experience. You might push yourself to new heights of flexibility. In the middle of the most intense workout of your life, you might glimpse enlightenment. You might cry; you might laugh.
We can’t promise any of the above, but one thing we all know: you will sweat — a lot.
Your average towel isn’t up to par. So what kind of towel should you use for hot yoga?
Your Basic Cotton Towel Doesn’t Even Know How to Say Namaste
Sure, you sweat in a typical yoga workout, but nothing like a hot yoga session. Even if you have a yoga mat designed for hot yoga, you really need a hot yoga towel. Why?
A hot yoga towel will keep you from sliding around. Slipping and shifting on your mat is annoying. It can also a little embarrassing and very scary if you slip while doing a handstand. And sure, you aren’t ashamed of some sweat. It shows you had a good workout, right? Your hot yoga towel is going to keep the sweat at a confidence-boosting minimum. Plus, it’s good hygiene to stay dry, especially after the workout.
Your hot yoga towel also saves you money in the long run. It prevents your mat from soaking up sweat and keeps it new. Your yoga mat should smell like incense, not a gym. For a bonus, placing a hot yoga towel on top of your mat gives you a cushion. This provides support for joints and makes your WaterFall Poses a little less painful. You can also use it to prop yourself up for challenging poses.
Even if you practice regular room temperature yoga, you might want a hot yoga towel if you sweat a little more than your fellow yogis.
Isn’t a Normal Towel Enough?
A cotton towel won’t absorb the same amount of moisture; most hot yoga towels are made from microfibers that wick away the sweat more efficiently. Also, most towels aren’t designed to cover the length of a standard yoga mat. Hot yoga towels come in two sizes; the large size is standardized to cover your mat, and the smaller is just used to dry your hands and face.
A bonus to owning a hot yoga towel is if you ever forget your mat, a lot of hot yoga towels are thick enough to use as a mat anyway—no excuses for skipping a practice now.
What to Look for in a Hot Yoga Towel
Make sure your hot yoga towel is the right size and covers your entire mat. Choose a yoga towel with one side made with a sticky surface, so it clings to the mat for maximum protection against sliding around. Most hot yoga towels are made from microfibers, which provide the best absorption, but there are also natural materials. You can also find a design you like, like this popular tie-dye by Yoga Mate.
That’s all you need to know to smell like enlightenment instead of sweat.