I’m hoping to get a new yoga mat soon. The one is I use daily is getting worn. Also, my knees are getting more sensitive, and it seems they’d benefit from more padding when I practice. I don’t want to simply throw my old mat away, so I started wondering about re-purposing old yoga mats. The first (and only) thing I thought of was they’d be great under my cats’ litter boxes!
I figured there’d be other things I could do with old yoga mats, so I decided to ask an online group of yoga teachers if they had suggestions for. To my surprise, they had many. So many, that I’m thinking of asking about organizing a used mat drive at my local studio.
Here are nine great ideas for re-purposing old yoga mats.
1. Cut them into flowers and other shapes to use in kids’ classes.
As a former elementary school teacher, I love this idea. There are dozens of ways shapes cut from old yoga mats could be used for arts and crafts. Yoga mat sculptures, perhaps? You can even cut them into geometric shapes for teaching preschoolers or use pieces for kids to sit on during story or circle time.
2. Donate them to animal shelters.
I probably should have thought of this one on my own. After all, my cats have a fascination with my yoga mats, which is why I keep the door to my home studio closed when I’m not practicing. I prefer my mats without claw marks in them! However, once it’s time for re—purposing old yoga mats, I’m told they make excellent padding for cages. If you’d like to donate old mats for this purpose, contact your local animal shelter to see if the organization accepts them.
3. Bring them to senior centers, nursing homes, or homeless shelters where yoga may be practiced.
Often volunteer yoga teachers work with seniors or the homeless, but these people may not have yoga mats to practice on. If your old mats are in decent condition, they may be useful in these cases. Call the homes or shelters or connect with volunteer organizations like Kula for Karma that provide free yoga classes for under-served populations.
4. Re-purpose old yoga mats as cabinet or drawer liners.
Here is another brilliant idea for re-purposing old yoga mats. It works especially well when you have items that tend to slide around in drawers. The sticky mat will keep your things in place, just like it keeps your hands and feet in place when you practice yoga!
5. Use them in your car if you transport animals, plants, or other things that might make a mess.
Simply keep an old mat or two in your car to roll out whenever you need it. The mat will cover the back seat with room to spare, creating a barrier between pets, dirt, or any other substance you’d prefer to keep out of the vehicle. You can then remove the mat and wipe it down between trips.
6. Use them under carpets, baby blankets, or pet dishes.
You can cut old yoga mats to the size you need. Again, the mats will keep keep humans or animals from slipping and sliding when they step on the carpets, sit or lie on the blankets, or eat from the dishes you place the mats under. A bonus when used under dishes (or babies) is protection for your floor.
7. Put them under new mats if you need extra padding.
You can use the whole mat under your new mat for extra thickness or cut the mats into pieces if you just need extra padding for your knees or wrists.
8. Re-purpose old yoga mats as runners in winter.
Need a way to keep snow and muddy footprints off your floors or carpets in bad weather? You can use old yoga mats as runners or a place to leave shoes when you come in from the snow.
9. Use them to make bolsters for kids.
Ever try one of those extra-large bolsters? They’re great if you’re extra large (say, a pro football player), but if you’re not, they can be a bit uncomfortable. The same is true of a regular adult-size bolster for kids. You can roll old yoga mats into makeshift bolsters for little bodies. Put them in a full-body pillow case with the end gathered and secured. Another option is a yoga mat bag that doesn’t have a zipper or strap.
Do you have other suggestions for re-purposing old yoga mats? Add your ideas in the comments!
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
Hi, I’m Maria. I created Yoga Circles for you if you want to delve more deeply into the philosophy, practice, and life-changing effects of yoga. I’m also a writer and editor who helps small business owners, wellness professionals, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and connect with readers, clients, and students. Visit my website (link below) for more about that. I’d love to hear from you!