The Question: How do I prevent slipping in Downward Dog? I’ve tried different mats, towels, but nothing seems to work. ~Elisha
There are tons of elements that can contribute to handling sweat and slippage during our yoga practice. As you already mentioned, Elisha, changing up the type of mat you use (some are more “grippy” than others), or slipping a towel underneath your hands are often easy fixes.
Usually, those crazy expensive mats are crazy expensive for a reason—they’re often made of material that doesn’t allow them to get slick, no matter how much you sweat. Yoga towels specifically have gripping material on the backs that stick to your mat and absorb your sweat (and they’re easy to clean).
If none of the “non-slip” and grippy products you bought has worked, I’d say really start to pay attention to what your hands and feet are doing in your Down Dog.
Are you spreading your fingers wide? Are you engaging all your toes? Little movements and adjustments in the postures sometimes make all the difference. Ask your teacher to look at the alignment of your Dog pose.
Most of the time, pressing through the palms of the hands and reaching your hips up and back will do the trick.
Bottom line is, as you practice more and more often, the less you will sweat and the less you will slip.
Not only will you become more comfortable with the heat (and the difficulty of some of the postures), you’ll also learn how to engage your body, specifically your hands, in a way that will prevent sliding. Don’t fret—it’s all part of the process!
Don’t be afraid to step off of your mat every once in a while in your practice! Sometimes it seems like students feel limited to the edges of their mats. The hardwood floor, the grass, the carpet, all surfaces are your friends! Taking a little journey off of your mat can do wonders for your practice—try it out.