How to Use a Yoga Mat Sling: Master the Art of Zen Transport

How to Use a Yoga Mat Sling
How to Use a Yoga Mat Sling

With our comprehensive guide on how to use a yoga mat sling, you’ll be ready to achieve inner peace, and transform your humble yoga mat into the ultimate on-the-go accessory.

Who Knew a Strap Could Cause So Much Happiness?

Ever find yourself struggling to juggle your water bottle, gym bag, yoga mat, and sanity all at once? Well, ponder no longer about how to avoid such a debacle. You’re about to learn the ins and outs of “how to use a yoga mat sling”. A magical tool that transforms your unruly mat into a portable wand of Zen.

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“You should have a stretch in your imagination as well,” said a yoga enthusiast. But in this case, it’s not just your imagination but your yoga strap that needs a good stretch1.

Before you start frowning, remember this isn’t just about how to use a yoga mat sling, it’s also about exploring your resourcefulness and embracing the yogi spirit of minimalism. And guess what? You’re about to become a professional in it.

So, let’s dive right in, shall we?

A Lesson in History: Yoga Mats and Straps

Before we start turning our mats into snazzy yoga mat slings, let’s take a brief detour to appreciate the evolution of the yoga mat itself.

“Yoga, originating in Ancient India, gained international recognition in 1924 through Tirumalai Krishnamacharya,” states a history buff. If you ask me, I’d say that’s around the same time we should’ve invented yoga mat slings, but better late than never, right?

Yoga mats became an essential part of the yoga journey, especially for practitioners with knee or back pain2. They are an essential yoga accessory and the equivalent of a safety blanket for the yogi on the move.

But what about the yoga strap? It started off as an aid for achieving deeper stretches, maintaining balance, and increasing flexibility. But it didn’t take long for its versatility to shine through. As yogis repurposed it to create a DIY yoga mat sling, the strap’s popularity soared1.

Who knew a piece of fabric could create a revolution in the world of yoga, eh? Now let’s get to the meat of the matter – making your very own yoga mat sling.

How to Use a Yoga Mat Sling: Step-by-Step

Knowing the benefits of a yoga mat sling is great, but do you know how to use one? No? Well, that’s what we are here for! Let’s break down the process of using a yoga mat sling into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

Method 1: The Messenger Bag Technique

This method is as easy as saying “Namaste”. It involves turning your yoga mat into a makeshift messenger bag.

  1. Step One: Wrap the Strap Start by laying your mat flat on the ground. Take your yoga mat strap and wrap it around both ends of the mat, creating a snug fit.
  2. Step Two: Create a Loop Then, loop the strap once more over the top side of the mat. This loop will serve as the “handle” of your messenger bag-style mat sling.
  3. Step Three: Test the Sling Lastly, pick up your mat by the looped strap and sling it over your shoulder, much like a messenger bag. Make sure it’s secure and doesn’t loosen when you move around.

And voila! You’ve got yourself a trendy yoga messenger bag.

Method 2: The Classic Loop Technique

Prefer a hands-free method? This is your answer. It uses your yoga strap to create a backpack-style yoga mat sling.

  1. Step One: Secure One End Start by unrolling your mat and laying it flat on the ground. Take one end of your yoga mat sling and wrap it around one end of the mat. Feed the strap through both D-rings, fold the end back through the second ring, and pull it tight.
  2. Step Two: Secure the Other End Next, wrap the rest of the strap around the other end of the mat. Tighten it with a knot to secure the mat. The beauty of this method is that it allows easy adjustments to the tightness of the strap.
  3. Step Three: Test the Sling Once both ends of the mat are secure, lift it by the strap and place it over your shoulder. Check if the mat stays securely in place when slung over your shoulder. If it slides or loosens, tighten the strap further.

Both methods are commonly used and offer a practical solution to carrying your yoga mat. Whether you choose the Classic Loop or the Messenger Bag method, the main objective is to make transportation of your yoga mat hassle-free.

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Beyond DIY: Commercial Yoga Mat Slings

Alright, so you’re not a DIY person. No worries, we’ve got you covered. The market is teeming with ready-made options for you to pick from. For instance, the Simple Sling is a popular yoga mat carrier that uses Velcro to fasten around your mat for easy transport.

For those who prefer an affordable option suitable for lighter mats, Walmart’s Simple Strap is a good pick. If you’re looking for the best overall choice, consider the Amazon cotton strap. Its wide design and adjustable loops make it a universal favorite.

Remember, the right yoga mat sling can add a dash of convenience and a lot of style to your yoga practice.

The Savvy Yogi’s Cheat Sheet: Tips and Tricks for Using Your Yoga Mat Sling

You’re now a pro at making and selecting the perfect yoga mat sling. But how about some extra tips to make your yoga journey smoother? Here are some nuggets of wisdom to help you along:

  1. Know Your Strap: Not all straps are made equal. The AligN and unfoLD are two types of yoga straps that differ significantly. Understanding their distinctions helps you select the perfect strap for your needs.
  2. Size Matters: Shorter straps are ideal for extending reach, while longer ones offer more options for restorative practices.
  3. Easy Clean: Some slings, like the Simple Sling, are made from sturdy nylon webbing and are easy to clean.
  4. Versatility is Key: Consider straps that can be used for your practice and for carrying your mat.
  5. The DIY Route: If you’re more of a DIY person, consider making an Adjustable Shoestring Yoga Mat Sling using a pair of round shoelaces or ropes.

Let’s Get Strappy: Choosing the Right Yoga Mat Sling

Now that we know how to use a yoga mat sling, let’s get into the details of choosing the right one. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Comfort: The yoga mat sling will be carried over your shoulder, so make sure it is comfortable. Look for slings with padding or wide straps for better weight distribution.
  2. Durability: Yoga mat slings should be made of strong, durable material that can withstand the weight of your mat. Nylon webbing, as seen in the Simple Sling by Hugger Mugger, is an excellent example.
  3. Adjustability: The sling should have adjustable loops to accommodate yoga mats of different sizes. The Amazon cotton strap stands out for its adjustable loops.
  4. Extra Storage: Some yoga mat slings come with extra storage pockets or compartments for carrying small items like keys, wallets, or even yoga blocks. Consider these if you like to carry additional items to your yoga sessions.

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DIY Magic: Creating Your Own Yoga Mat Sling

While there are a variety of yoga mat slings available in the market, creating your own DIY mat sling can also be a fun and cost-effective solution. How about using a pair of round shoelaces or ropes?

Here is a simple DIY solution using shoelaces or ropes:

  1. Step One: Make a Loop Begin by making a loop with your shoelace or rope, using a bowline knot.
  2. Step Two: Secure the Mat Put the loop on one end of the rolled-up yoga mat, and tighten it.
  3. Step Three: Make an Adjustable Loop Create an adjustable loop on the other end of the rope using two sliding knots. This loop will go around the opposite end of the mat and can be adjusted as per the size of your mat.
  4. Step Four: Carry With Ease Once the mat is securely wrapped, carry it over your shoulder with the extended length of the rope, adjusting the size to your liking.

The best part of this DIY solution is that it offers flexibility in terms of size, design, and material. You can even customize it with beads or colorful threads to give it a personalized touch!

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Wrapping Up the Zen Way

By now, you’re not only a master at knowing how to use a yoga mat sling but also an ambassador of the minimalist yoga movement. You’re ready to carry your mat around like a badge of honor – a badge that says “I’m a yogi, and I’m proud of it.”

In the ever-evolving world of yoga, the yoga mat sling has secured its place as a must-have accessory. Its multifunctional uses, coupled with the convenience it offers, makes it a worthy investment for every yogi. Whether you are buying one from the market or creating your own DIY version, a yoga mat sling promises to elevate your yoga journey, one step at a time. Namaste!


Q1. What is a yoga mat sling?

Answer: A yoga mat sling is a strap or harness designed to help yogis carry their mats conveniently. It wraps around the rolled yoga mat, allowing for easy transportation. Some slings also double as a yoga strap, assisting in stretches and poses during a yoga session.

Q2. Why should I use a yoga mat sling instead of a bag?

Answer: While both slings and bags serve the purpose of carrying a yoga mat, a sling offers a more lightweight and compact option. It allows your mat to air out, preventing any moisture or odor buildup, whereas a bag may trap humidity. Additionally, slings can often be used as props in yoga sessions, providing added versatility.

Q3. Can yoga mat slings fit all mat sizes?

Answer: Most yoga mat slings are adjustable and can accommodate various mat sizes. However, it’s essential to check the product description or specifications to ensure it fits your specific mat size.

Q4. How do I clean my yoga mat sling?

Answer: Cleaning methods vary based on the material of the sling. Most fabric or cotton slings can be hand-washed or machine-washed in cold water and left to air dry. Always check the care label or instructions from the manufacturer.

Q5. Can I use my yoga mat sling as a stretching aid?

Answer: Yes, many yoga mat slings double as yoga straps, which can be used to deepen stretches, improve alignment, and assist in various yoga poses.

Q6. How durable are yoga mat slings?

Answer: The durability of a yoga mat sling largely depends on its material and construction. Nylon, cotton, and polyester are commonly used materials known for their strength. Regularly checking for signs of wear and avoiding overloading the sling can also ensure a longer lifespan.

Q7. Are there any additional features I should look for in a yoga mat sling?

Answer: While the primary purpose of a sling is to transport your mat, some come with extra features like pockets for small items, padding for comfort, or even decorative elements for style. Choosing one with additional features depends on your personal needs and preferences.

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