Yoga Best Practices: What Kind of Yoga Mat Should I Use?
Socks or bare feet? Rubber yoga mat or cotton? Sadhguru discusses some hatha yoga best practices and the significance of being in touch with the earth.
Q: Can we wear socks when we do yoga? And what kind of yoga mat should we use?
Sadhguru: Socks are not necessary when you are practicing yoga. If you do hatha yoga right, it generates enormous heat in your system. Ushna will be generated on the cellular level. Once that happens, even if it is a cold country, you will not feel cold.
There are certain points of your body that do certain things when they touch. In many postures in hatha yoga, your heels and your big toes need to actually touch. There is a whole lot of “circuitry” there. If you wear socks, you will obstruct that.
One With the Earth
Above all, when you are doing yoga, your first relationship of being one is with the earth. To be in touch with the earth is important. If you can afford to do this, for maximum impact in hatha yoga, you must make a space with packed mud, clay, and use either a raw silk or cotton cloth – raw cotton, not sanforized – and do yoga on that.
You might have forgotten, but the body always knows that it is just a piece of the planet. When you practice yoga, you want that to become a conscious and living process for you, so that you experience yourself as one with the earth on which you are living. I would say eighty percent of your health depends on how much you are in tune with the earth. Eighty percent of your chronic ailments can just vanish simply because you found a little rapport with the earth.
Are Rubber Yoga Mats Ok?
About using rubber yoga mats, I know there are Isha-branded rubber mats. They tell me, “Sadhguru, cotton mats get dirty, who is going to wash them. So we made the rubber mats,” and, “Sadhguru, this is some special material which really insulates you.” What I want to ask you is – are you here to experience life or dodge life? Unknowingly, in so many ways you are insulating yourself from life.
You might already know this, but you are more bacteria than human. Microbes are constantly going in and out, they are not just staying within the body. If you isolate yourself, that itself is sickness. If you insulate yourself from the rest of the world, the potential of who you are is lowered continuously.
So, if you are a home-bound person, which means you wake up in the same place every day, it is best you use a cotton mat or a raw silk mat for your yoga, because you must be connected with earth. Organic material makes this possible so that there is no break.
Editor’s Note: High-quality cotton yoga mats from Isha Shoppe keep you comfortable and provide grip while you perform your asanas. Available at Isha Shoppe.