A Guide To Choosing And Using A Yoga Blanket
What Is A Yoga Blanket?
A yoga blanket is simply a fancy term for a single-layered piece of cloth that can be used for Yoga. It’s appropriate because it’s neither too thin nor too thick, and it supports asana practice well.
Basically, any blanket that is a little thicker than a regular blanket can be used as a yoga blanket.
A yoga blanket is used for the following purposes:
- staying warm while relaxing or meditating;
- Hands, knees, and any other bony areas should be cushioned;
- Supporting Yoga positions that your body isn’t quite ready for
Though yoga blankets have been around for a long time (ancient yogis didn’t have those slick non-slip yoga mats, ya know), we should all give B.K.S. Iyengar credit for popularizing them.
Top Picks: A Guide To Choosing And Using A Yoga Blanket
Use A Yoga Blanket In Different Ways
This is by no means an exhaustive list of yoga blanket applications.
While you’re more likely to see a yoga blanket in more soothing yoga courses like Iyengar, Yin, or Restorative Yoga. The most inventive yogis employ it for strength and mobility. Some brands like the Lotuscrafts yoga blanket is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable and quality product.
The following are the most common ways to use a yoga blanket from your yoga bag in a yoga setting.
Maintain a Comfortable Temperature
In Yoga, this is the most obvious usage for a blanket.
Simply drape the blanket over yourself in a final relaxation stance or while meditating. It’s not only soothing to feel the blanket’s pressure on your body, but it’s also warm and inviting.
Just make sure you don’t fall asleep!
Knees, Elbows, and Wrists Should Be Cushioned
Even if you’re in perfect health, your knees and other bony areas will welcome some extra attention.
Cat/Cow, Low Lunge, Bird-Dog, Camel Pose, Side Forearm Plank, and other stances are examples of this. Fold the blanket and lay it beneath your knees or elbows.
Alternatively, you can simply lie down in Savasana and rest your head on the blanket.
Gain Height In Seated Positions
Do you have trouble keeping your spine straight while seated? Stretching your back and tilting your pelvis forward can be accomplished by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket.
Really, give it a shot. (Sitting on the blanket also makes seated Forward Fold and Cobbler’s Pose simpler!)
Common Yoga Props Should Be Replaced
In Savasana, for example, a tightly folded yoga blanket can be used as a bit of bolster to open the chest or to support your knees or neck.
Instead, a thick, densely woven yoga blanket can be used if you don’t have a yoga mat.
I can even see myself utilizing a rolled yoga blanket as a yoga block to bring the floor closer to me in challenging yoga postures.
Additional Uses For A Yoga Blanket
A yoga blanket does not have to be used exclusively for Yoga. A yoga blanket’s multifunctionality is what makes it such a fantastic yoga item. So have fun with it, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Here Are Some Other Ways You Can Utilize a Yoga Blanket:
- Cuddling in comfort (probably the most obvious one)
- Bring personality and style to your house or yoga studio.
- Cover a couch or a beloved chair.
- Use it as a beach blanket or picnic blanket.
Choosing A Good Yoga Blanket
A high-quality yoga blanket is a wise purchase and considerate present. Not only will it improve your yoga practice, but it will also keep you warm and toasty for years.
Just don’t fall into the trap of purchasing the lowest item you can find.
Why? Because no one knows how much workers who loomed this blanket are paid or whether they are working in a safe workplace.
Second, the less expensive an item is, the less environmentally friendly it is to produce (as a rule).
Third, don’t hold your breath for high-quality work. The dense weave will most likely be too loose to support you in dynamic yoga poses, and there’s a reasonable risk it will unravel and snag.
I recommend keeping these three points in mind when choosing a yoga blanket.
Cotton. Cotton yoga blankets are the most recommended and the softest available.
Cotton is also one of the most durable fabrics. Its manufacturing is one of the most environmentally-friendly (compared to synthetics production). Even better for the environment and the workers who create your blanket is organic cotton. It is, nevertheless, at least 20-30% more expensive than ordinary cotton.
What’s the disadvantage? If you wash a yoga blanket cotton in hot water, it will shrink. This type of blanket is not best to use in hot yoga sessions, where you would need to increase the room temperature. Plus, when you get a new yoga blanket, it’s likely to drop some cotton threads.
Wool. Wool yoga blankets are dense, thick, and ideal for the cooler months.
Wool is significantly more environmentally friendly than cotton, which requires a lot of land and water resources.
The issue with wool, though, is that it isn’t vegan-friendly. So, if you’re not a fan of animal-derived items, you’ll probably want to pass on this one.
Wool, unlike cotton, is more prone to pilling over time.
Blends. The cheapest and long-lasting yoga blankets are those constructed of a cotton-polyester-acrylic blend. They’re also frequently available in bright hues that don’t fade after several washes.
Look for yoga blankets produced from recycled materials to reduce your environmental effect.
Handmade Mexican Blanket. “Mexican Blanket” has become practically interchangeable with “yoga blanket.” B. K. S. Iyengar reportedly traveled to Mexico and brought back a set of Mexican yoga blankets, which have since become a feature of every yoga studio.
Traditional Mexican blankets are frequently imported directly from the country. These are usually constructed of a cotton-polyester-acrylic combination and are handwoven.
The vibrant colors and ethnic Mexican patterns distinguish a typical Mexican blanket. Mexican blankets in plain hues are becoming more common these days.
Mexican blankets are also known as Falsa blankets, Serape blankets, and Saltillo blankets.
Indian Yoga Blankets. Hand-loomed Indian Yoga Blankets are made in India. Cotton has traditionally been used to make them. This type features a much tighter knit and no fringe than Mexican Yoga Blankets.
Felted Yoga Blankets. Wool is used in Felted Yoga Blankets. This type of yoga blanket has a little more “give” when you put pressure on it instead of cotton and blends. These yoga blankets may not support, but they are incredibly dense, thick, warm, and comfortable.
Yoga blankets are now available in various sizes, and there is no right or wrong answer.
Getting a blanket large enough to cover you in Savasana is a good rule of thumb. (It’s also more practical in real life.) The greater the blanket you need, the taller you are.
Remember that a large yoga blanket mesaures allows you to be more creative because you can fold or roll it into different forms. However, getting from one stance to the next will take longer because you’ll constantly be altering your huge blanket.
4 Cleaning And Care Tips For Your Yoga Blanket
Maintain the condition of your yoga blanket, and it will provide you with years of service. Really. If you take proper care of your yoga blanket, it can last a lifetime.
Before cleaning or washing your blanket, make sure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep in mind that some blankets (especially those made of wool) should only be dry cleaned. If this is a deal-breaker, read the wash cycle directions carefully before reaching for your wallet.
General Guidelines to Keep Your Yoga Blanket in Tip-Top Shape
- Save energy and avoid shrinkage, bleeding, and fading by washing by hand or in a cold, mild setting. That’s a win-win situation!
- I know that hanging your blanket to dry takes a lot longer than tumble drying. However, you’ll reduce the chances of unraveling threads and snagging.
- Avoid ironing, bleaching, and other similar processes.
- Use a gentle detergent.
The Best Yoga Blankets
Practicing yoga can build strength and flexibility. Exercising regularly, cortisol levels (your body’s main stress hormone) may also decline.1 Additionally, yoga may slow age-related brain decline, minimize lower back pain, and reduce anxiety, among other benefits.234
Whatever kind of yoga you practice, props such as blocks or bolsters can assist in properly facilitating poses. However, one of the most versatile props is the yoga blanket. When flexibility is restricted, it fills the void and assists in cushioning some poses (such as shoulder stands). Warms you up as you enter Savasana and can be used in place of a yoga block.
“Using a yoga blanket provides additional support during your practice,” explains Erika Driscoll, a certified yoga instructor at CorePower Yoga in New York City. “I find it beneficial because it increases flexibility and allows you to sink more comfortably into restorative positions,” she adds.
9 Best Yoga Blankets
According to our research, here are the best yoga blankets on the market.
Benevolence LA Premium Mexican Blanket
This cozy, hypoallergenic serape was our top choice overall. Because it is produced from high-quality recycled fibers and will completely cover your practice space with its 50 x 80-inch dimensions.
It’s plush and soft, weighing in about three pounds, and was created to complement your mat days. However, its durability and support are ideal for your next camping trip or beach picnic; it could be used as a picnic blanket.
Weight: 3 pounds
Size: 50 x 80 inches
Material: Recycled fibers
Benevolence LA Authentic Mexican Blanket
This classic handcrafted Mexican blanket measures perfectly for average yogis. It is designed in brilliant hues, which will aid you during your practice. We adore that it is produced from recyclable materials and designed to become softer with each wash.
As part of Benevolence LA’s Fight Poverty Collection, the company will give $1 from each blanket purchase to “Water Mission,” an organization dedicated to ensuring equal access to water.
Weight: 3 pounds
Size: 50 x 75 inches
Kakaos Cotton Yoga Blanket
This soft-to-the-touch cotton blanket is strong enough to accommodate your favorite yoga poses. It weighs three pounds and is 60 x 80 inches, making it a very adaptable yoga mat.
Our favorite feature of the machine-washable blanket is that it can also be utilized as a gentle toss to keep you warm.
Weight: 3-4 pounds
Size: 60 x 80 inches
Hugger Mugger Recycled Plaid Yoga Blanket
We adore how soft and scratch-free this wool-free blanket is constructed from recycled polyester and acrylic fibers. One of our larger picks has a thick and firm cushion that provides a great elevation in seated poses, which helps loosen up the hips more easily.
Plaid is a classic and eye-catching pattern.
Weight: 4.2 pounds
Size: 70 x 75 inches
Material: Recycled polyester and acrylic
Tranquil Tribe Boho Blanket For Meditation
Apart from its dimensions (70 x 52 inches), what we appreciate most about this mid-weight option is its reversibility. Each side of this blanket features a unique color variation of the same hypnotic mandala pattern. On one side, relaxing blue hues contrast with an earth-toned motif.
Fold it and then sit on it or wrap it around your shoulders for a little meditation or round of pranayama (breath control training) to conclude your practice.
Weight: 2.16 pounds
Size: 70 x 52 inches
Material: Polyester and cotton
Halfmoon Cotton Yoga Blanket
If you’re practicing shoulder stands, you’ll want to have a folded blanket nearby to protect your neck. The Halfmoon Yoga Blanket is made entirely of cotton and hand-loomed in India. It features a huge footprint to provide ample area for your practice.
We love how quickly it folds into the shape of a yoga block, reducing the number of props required for your practice.
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Size: 60 x 80 inches
Open Road Goods Handmade Mexican Yoga Blanket
When you’re ready to enter Savasana, this wide, thick blanket will envelop you in support and comfort. It’s constructed from a cotton-acrylic-polyester blend. Due to the composition, it is easily washable.
We recommend selecting one of the 12 vibrant hues to complement your yoga style and enliven your next movement.
Weight: Not listed
Size: 78 x 52 inches
Material: Cotton, acrylic, and polyester
Manduka Recycled Wool Blanket
Due to its recycled wool and synthetic composition, this blanket from renowned yoga brand Manduka will keep you warm at the end of your practice. Because the cloth is stretchy, you may mold it to fit any kind of practice—from restful yoga to a more vigorous flow.
And with a size of 82 x 60 inches, it’s ideal for family, friends, and partners. Because it’s also large enough to comfortably seat two individuals at a picnic or while relaxing around your home. You can also use it as a park blanket.
Weight: 3.5 pounds
Size: 82 x 60 inches
Material: Recycled wool and synthetic fibers
RAVI Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets have been shown in studies to aid in managing stress, depression, and weariness. 5 Additionally, because this yoga blanket possesses the properties of a weighted blanket, it can elevate your practice to a new, stress-relieving level.
The blanket is 22 x 23 inches, smaller than most yoga blankets, making it extremely portable.
Weight: 8.5 pounds
Size: 22 x 23 inches
Material: Not listed
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Blanket
On the other hand, the yoga blanket is one of the most versatile props. It helps cushion specific postures (such as shoulder stands), gives warmth as you drift into Savasana, and can be used in place of a yoga block.
Cotton yoga blankets are the most popular and long-lasting. If you can locate it, organic cotton is the best. Cotton blankets is wonderfully soft against the skin, but it lacks the density and stability of wool blankets. Cotton yoga blankets shrink when cleaned, so hand washes or cold water instead.
Mexican blankets are ideal for yoga practitioners who want to get the most out of their blankets. Mexican blankets’ complex weave material allows yogis to exercise barefoot and allows for stretching the hands in hard positions.
2.8 to 4 pounds Blankets are available in sizes ranging from 78″ to 83″ in length, 54″ to 65″ in breadth, and weigh between 2.8 and 4 pounds. The Style Yoga blanket is ideal for restorative Yoga. It may be used to cover you in Shavasana to keep your body warm as you cool down.
A towel rolled up, in general, is terrific training gear and an excellent substitute for a yoga mat, especially when you need to cushion yourself against a hard floor.
Blankets are available in sizes ranging from 78″ to 83″ in length and 54″ to 65″ in breadth and weigh between 2.8 and 4 pounds. The Style Yoga blanket is ideal for restorative Yoga. It may be used to cover you in Shavasana to keep your body warm as you cool down.
Tuck the blanket’s ends behind your knees and cross it across your shins. You can completely sink into the pose and experience absolute relaxation with the help of the blanket. Finding a tall enough seat for your knees to be lower than your hip bones is critical for meditation.
Weighted blankets are an at-home treatment that has similar effects to deep pressure therapy. Also, these blankets have been demonstrated to be effective in treating various ailments, including autism, ADHD, and anxiety. They can aid in relaxing a restless body, reducing stress, and improving sleep problems.
Yoga props, when appropriately utilized, can also assist you in avoiding injury in your yoga practice. It’s crucial, however, not to become connected to them. They’re similar to training wheels in that they’re meant to make a position simpler at first.
Firm cushions, folded blankets, or a stack of books can be used in place of blocks for seated postures. You can also look for the best yoga wheel for more advanced practices. In standing postures like Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), where the hands can’t readily reach the floor, blocks are also employed.
They’re a little thicker than typical blankets. Their role in Yoga is to provide warmth during specialized relaxation positions like Savasana. (corpse pose), extra support for more advanced postures that your body isn’t quite ready for, and some cushioning for your joints.
As previously said, you can practice Yoga on the fitness mat that you purchase from Peloton. When I practice Peloton yoga, I prefer to utilize my Gaiam yoga mat.
Read more: Understanding Props – How to Use the Yoga Blanket