How to Break-in a Slippery Manduka Yoga Mat

How to Break-in a Slippery Manduka Yoga Mat
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I decided to treat myself this year and finally upgrade to a Manduka Pro Mat. My yoga teacher has raved about hers for years, so I decided it was worth the extra expense when it was time to replace my old mat. I’d heard that Manduka mats need a little “break-in” time when you first buy them because they’re a little slippery. While this can be achieved through a few months of regular use, Manduka recommends using sea salt to speed up the process.

As soon as I unwrapped my new Pro Mat, I laid it out on my living room floor and tried out a down dog. I could feel a little slipperiness with my hands and knew I’d need to try the sea salt break-in technique. Now that I’ve experimented with breaking in my new Manduka yoga mat, here’s my step by step guide on how to do it yourself, with some extra tips and tricks.


Step 1: Prepare your surface by spreading out a tarp or plastic shower curtain. This will protect your floor from both salt and water. Unroll your yoga mat on top of the tarp.

Spread Sea Salt to Break In Manduka Mat

Step 2: Generously spread the sea salt over the whole surface of the mat.

Step 3: Rub the sea salt into the mat. This will help you spread the salt evenly and also work it into the mat. I found the salt to be very coarse and painful to rub with bare hands. Try wearing gloves or using a thin rag or towel to rub the salt.

Plan to let the mat sit with the salt for at least 24 hours.

Rub Sea Salt Onto Slippery Manduka Mat

Step 4: I heard the recommendation to repeat the salt rubbing, so I did it 2 times more, with about eight hours in between.

Step 5: After 24 hours, fill a bowl with warm water. Dampen a towel or rag in the warm water and use this to wipe the salt off the mat.

Wipe Sea Salt Off Manduka Mat to Break it In

Step 6: Use a dry rag to remove any remaining salt or water. Leave the yoga mat flat for a few hours to fully dry.

Step 6: Use your new mat! It may still be slippery. You can either repeat the “salt bath” or just keep using it. With time, the slipperiness will go away entirely. You can use a yoga towel in the meantime until your Manduka mat is fully broken in.

If you’re a visual learner, watch this quick video showing how to reduce slipperiness on your Manduka Yoga mat.

If you still find yourself slipping and sliding, check out how to do yoga with sweaty hands and the best yoga towels.

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