Just received or purchased a splendid new yoga mat for yourself? Congrats! We know how exciting it is to rush to your next class with your new sparkly mat in tow, but let’s not forget that old beloved one! After all, it probably still has a few years left in it and it has been through a lot with you throughout your practice!
How about doing something meaningful, or more useful, with the mat you have been so dedicated to before now? Honor your old mat with a meaningful second life that is more helpful and improves the life of yourself or others—even just a little!
Here is a short and sweet list of things you can do to reuse old yoga mats. Up-cycle, donate or recycle your mat into one of these options!
1. Hand it Down to Pets
Ever notice how your fur-babies are super attracted to your yoga mat? They love it just as much as you! Animal shelters would love to receive these mats for the dogs to lie on or to line their crates. Or you could also use it at home for your own pets.
2. Donate it to Elderly Homes
Old people's homes can use your old mats for their own yoga classes, or at the side of the beds to prevent people from slipping. Call your local retirement community to see if they accept this type of donation.
3. Use it Next Time You Camp
Camping trips provide lasting memories and bring people closer together while connecting with nature. Pop your old mat in with your camping gear to use out in front of your tent next season as a make-shift mudroom or "shoes off" space.
4. Protect Your Car
One less hour to spend cleaning the car means one extra hour to use for yourself or your family members. Keep that mat in the trunk of your car and unroll it on the back seat to protect against mud next time you go to the garden center, when the dog has muddy paws, or when your hiking boots get muddy post trail blaze!
5. Donate it to a Homeless Shelter
Donate to a homeless shelter to use as sleeping pads. Go ahead throw in a few shirts and pairs of new socks for good measure—the smaller material things in life are often overlooked yet they can be the most important.
6. Use for Knee Protection
Keep it rolled up and use as knee pads next time you're gardening or cleaning the bathtub. Protecting your knees should be a life-long goal to keep you mobile longer. Don’t have a tub or a garden? Find a family member who does and give it to them explaining the same purpose.
7. Use as Handyman Tool
Line the garage work bench with your old mat to stop screws and tools from rolling off, or as a cushion for items that can easily break or scratch. Save your housemates and family members the trouble.
8. Use as Picnic Mat
Keep it in the car and use for your next impromptu picnic, beach day, or outdoor yoga adventure! Nothing like being prepared for outdoor fun at all times.
9. Use as Jar Opener
Avoid kitchen frustrations and sore hands, cut your mat into small squares (a little larger than your hand) and keep in the kitchen drawer to use as a grip mat to open tight jars.
10. Use as Furniture Pads
You can also cut it into even smaller pieces and glue to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors. Whether you own or rent your living space, making these elements of your life last a little longer will decrease stress financially and eventually save you time re-polishing.
11. Donate to Jade Yoga
If all else fails, visit Jade Yoga at the next yoga convention you attend—they accept and pool donations of old yoga mats and then send the whole lot altogether to different charity organizations for re-use.
There you have it—a few helpful things you can do with your beloved old mat that will give it a second life. Go ahead and share any other options you know of with the DYY community via the comments below, we’d love to hear them!