Congratulations on embarking on a new chapter of your yoga journey with your very own Flux cork yoga mat! We're excited to guide you in ensuring your mat is your trusted ally for many yoga practices to come.
Your yoga mat is more than just an accessory; it's a part of your transformative yoga journey. Proper care ensures not only longevity of your yoga mat but also a safe, hygienic, and fulfilling practice.
Are you looking for a more comprehensive overview of cork yoga mats?
Why is Yoga Mat Care Important?
Taking care of your Flux cork yoga mat extends its lifespan, enhances your practice, and reflects who you are in practice. A well-maintained yoga mat offers optimal grip, comfort, and hygiene, enabling you to focus on your practice and unleash your inner hero.
Breaking In Your New Flux Cork Yoga Mat
Unrolling your new Flux cork yoga mat for the first time is akin to starting a new chapter - filled with potential and excitement. However, just as your yoga practice needs time to deepen and flourish, your new mat requires a little 'breaking in' to reach its optimal performance. Here's how you can achieve it.
Understand Your Flux Cork Yoga Mat
Your Flux cork yoga mat is a blend of cork surface and a supportive natural rubber base. Cork material comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. It is a naturally grippy material, and its grip increases when wet, especially from sweat.
Because cork is natural it has properties more like our own skin. The pressure you put into it, the connection between hand and cork, as well as the usage of the yoga mat all have an impact on your grip and comfort. As cork ages, it becomes more grippy, dry or wet.
Natural rubber is a dense, stable, and cushioning material. This results in:
- Protected joints
- Minimal space between floor and your body
Together these properties keep your yoga mat in place, your joints are less of an obstacle, and you can flow or stand in balance without a squishy, airy, yoga mat getting in your way.
Air Out the Natural Earthy Smell
The cork and natural rubber have a natural earthy smell to them after the manufacturing process. This is normal and will fade quickly. This is in part due to the materials being protected after manufacturing until you opened your yoga mat.
Many people enjoy this smell but if you’re one that doesn’t, air out your yoga mat by laying it flat or hanging it to air out. Avoid direct sunlight.
Establish Your Practice
The best way to break in your Flux cork yoga mat is simply by using it. Whether it's a gentle Yin practice, a dynamic Vinyasa flow, or a few minutes of Pranayama, regular use will gradually soften your yoga mat, enhancing its grip and comfort further.
Keep Your Cork Yoga Mat Clean
One of the unique qualities of cork is that it becomes grippier with moisture. Don't shy away from those sweaty practices. Embrace the heat, and allow your natural moisture to enhance the mat's grip. Post-practice, a simple wipe down (we'll get to the specifics soon) will ensure your mat stays clean and hygienic.
Roll Your Cork Yoga Mat Right
When not in use, roll your Flux cork yoga mat with the cork side facing out. This helps to prevent the corners from curling up during your practice and to avoid folding the cork surface which can cause creases that may damage the bond between the cork and natural rubber layers.
Your new yoga mat may have a persistent but non-detrimental curl on one side. You have a couple options to fix this.
- Lay your yoga mat flat for a few hours or days. You can also place heavy, flat objects on the curled areas such as books.
- Roll your mat with the cork side out, starting from the end opposite the curl.
- With time and regular use, your mat will naturally flatten as the natural rubber becomes more supple.
Keeping Your Flux Cork Yoga Mat Clean
Just as you cleanse your body and mind through yoga, your Flux cork yoga mat deserves the same tender care. Cleaning it not only ensures a hygienic practice but also helps maintain the mat's performance and longevity. Here's your step-by-step guide to effectively cleaning your mat.
How Frequently to Clean Your Cork Yoga Mat??
The beauty of your Flux cork yoga mat is that it doesn't require constant intense cleaning. Cork's natural antimicrobial properties resist bacteria, mold, and mildew, making your cleaning task easier. A regular wipe down after every yoga class and a thorough deep clean once every 10-15 practices, or when it seems dirty will suffice.
Prepare Your Yoga Mat Cleaning Solution
An overly abrasive or chemical-laden cleaner can harm any yoga mat and that includes your cork mat. We recommend a simple DIY cleaning solution.
Mix distilled water and organic white vinegar in a 4:1 ratio. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you desire.
Wipe Your Cork Yoga Mat Down
Spray your homemade cleaner lightly across the mat surface. Using a soft cloth, gently wipe the mat. Try to move your cloth in circular motions to cover all the nooks and crannies. Avoid soaking the mat or scrubbing too hard, as it could damage the cork surface.
Tip: After a hot yoga class, wipe excess sweat from your cork yoga mat and wait to clean until after you’ve dried out your yoga mat.
Let Your Cork Yoga Mat Dry
Allow your mat to fully dry before rolling it up to prevent damage to the bond between cork and natural rubber. The best way is to lay it flat in a well-ventilated area or hang dry, away from direct sunlight.
Tip: It’s ok to roll your cork yoga mat up to bring it home before laying it out to dry.
Extra Yoga Mat Cleaning Information
I’ve written extensively about yoga mat cleaning and care in another article. I highly recommend reading this blog post if you’re new to taking care of a yoga mat or are looking for further information on how to clean your yoga mat.
Storing Your Flux Cork Yoga Mat
After a rejuvenating practice or a thorough clean, how you store your Flux cork yoga mat plays a vital role in its lifespan and performance. Here are your key steps to ensure safe storage:
Dry Your Cork Yoga Mat Before Storing
Before rolling up your yoga mat to store, ensure it's completely dry. This step is critical, especially after a cleaning or a particularly sweaty practice. Storing a damp mat can lead to damage of the bond between cork and natural rubber. It can also leave unwanted salts on your yoga mat. To dry, leave it unrolled, flat or hanging, in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
Tip: It’s ok to roll your mat up to bring it home or wherever you’re going before drying it out.
Roll Your Cork Yoga Mat Right
When it comes to rolling your mat, the cork side should always face outwards. This approach helps prevent the bond between the cork and natural rubber from being damaged.
Store Your Cork Yoga Mat in a Cool, Dark Place
Your Flux cork yoga mat prefers a cool, dark space for storage. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the natural cork to flake and the natural rubber base to degrade.
Tip: Avoid keeping it in a hot (above 80F) or cold (below 30F) car for extended periods, as extreme temperatures can affect its structure.
Use a Yoga Mat Bag or Strap
A yoga mat bag or strap is not just for transportation. It also offers an extra layer of protection from dust, sunlight, and accidental spills when the mat is not in use. You may have the ‘Simple’ yoga mat strap already!
Tip: Having your cork yoga mat in a yoga bag or wrapped with a yoga mat strap makes it easy to grab and go to your next yoga class!
The Do's and Don'ts of Flux Cork Yoga Mat Care
Caring for your Flux cork yoga mat is a blend of mindful practices and avoiding potential mishaps. Let's dive into the key do's and don'ts that will help your mat support you for the long haul:
Do Regularly Clean Your Yoga Mat: Keeping your yoga mat clean enhances grip, ensures hygiene, and extends its lifespan. A quick wipe down after a sweaty session and a thorough deep clean every 10-15 practices will keep it fresh and welcoming.
Do Use the Right Cleaning Solution: Opt for a gentle, natural cleaner. An easy DIY solution is a mix of distilled water, organic white vinegar, and a few drops of essential oil.
Do Dry Your Mat Fully Before Storage: Ensure your mat is fully dry before rolling it up to prevent damage to the cork and natural rubber bond. Leave it unrolled in a well-ventilated area until completely dry.
Do Roll with the Cork Side Out: When not in use, roll your yoga mat with the cork side facing outwards. This helps prevent damage to the cork and natural rubber bond.
Do Store in a Cool, Dark Space: Store your yoga mat in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures and sun exposure can degrade the cork and rubber materials.
Don’t Soak or Scrub Your Yoga Mat: Avoid soaking your yoga mat or using abrasive scrubbers to clean it. These methods can damage the yoga mat and affect the yoga mat's expected function.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemical Cleaners: Chemical-laden cleaning agents can harm your yoga mat and irritate your skin during your practice. Stick to natural, gentle cleaners.
Don’t Leave Your Yoga Mat in a Hot Car: Avoid leaving your yoga mat in a hot car for extended periods. Extreme heat can degrade both the cork and natural rubber.
Don’t Fold Your Yoga Mat: Folding can cause creases and even cracks in the yoga mat. Folding may result in damage to the bond between cork and natural rubber. Instead, roll your yoga mat for storage.
Don’t Expose to Prolonged Sunlight: While practicing yoga outside on your cork yoga mat is ok, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause damage and degrade your yoga mat.
When to Replace Your Flux Cork Yoga Mat
Even with the best of care, there comes a time when you'll need to part ways with your Flux cork yoga mat. But how do you recognize when it's time? Here are some signs to watch for:
Flaking Cork Surface
Over time and with regular use, your yoga mat may start to flake pieces of cork. Having some cork flake off isn’t the end of your cork yoga mat’s life but once you lose your ability to grip the surface, it’s time to consider investing in a new Flux cork yoga mat.
Visible Wear and Tear
In a cork yoga mat, wear and tear tends to increase all the qualities we want from a yoga mat; however the aesthetics of your yoga mat are important as well. Visible signs of wear and tear such as deep creases, cracks, or holes are clear indicators it's time for a new mat.
It No Longer Brings You Joy
Your yoga mat is a significant part of your yoga journey. If, for any reason, it no longer brings you joy or motivates you to practice, it might be time for a new one. After all, your yoga mat should inspire and uplift you in your quest to "Unleash Your Inner Hero".
When the time comes to retire your Flux cork yoga mat, remember to do so in an environmentally friendly way. Asivana is committed to sustainability, and we encourage you to explore recycling programs, or consider re-purposing your yoga mat in your home or garden.
Frequently Asked Questions: Flux Cork Yoga Mat Care
To wrap up our comprehensive guide, let's address some common questions you might have about caring for your Flux cork yoga mat:
1) Can I use any cleaning solution on my Flux cork yoga mat?
While your mat is designed to be durable, it's best to stick to gentle, natural cleaning solutions. Harsh chemicals can damage the cork surface and irritate your skin during your practice. A homemade cleaner with distilled water, organic white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil works wonders!
2) How often should I clean my Flux cork yoga mat?
Regularly wipe down your yoga mat after a yoga class and a thorough deep clean every 10-15 practices is sufficient.
3) Can I use my Flux cork yoga mat outdoors?
Absolutely! Your Flux cork yoga mat is great for both indoor and outdoor practices. Just remember to clean it afterwards to remove any dirt or dust.
While direct sunlight can damage your yoga mat, this is typically from long-term exposure such as leaving your yoga mat in sunlight to dry. A regular practice outdoors can feel amazing while using your natural cork yoga mat.
4) I notice some flaking on my Flux cork yoga mat. What should I do?
Some flaking can be a normal part of the breaking-in process. However, if it continues for a prolonged period or becomes severe, it may be a sign of wear, indicating that it's time to replace your mat.
Your Flux cork yoga mat is covered by a 1 month warranty. It is abnormal for a cork yoga mat to flake without hundreds of hours of use so if your cork yoga mat begins to flake this early, contact us so we can resolve this issue for you.
If you’ve had your cork yoga mat for some time, the flaking is typically due to repeated abrasion under pressure or improper care. Some flaking will not immediately degrade your cork yoga mat’s performance however you will have to judge when it’s time to replace your Flux cork yoga mat.
5) How long will my Flux cork yoga mat last?
With proper care, your mat can accompany you on your yoga journey for several years. The exact lifespan can vary depending on the frequency and style of your yoga practice. You should reasonably expect thousands of hours from your Flux cork yoga mat.
Note: High intensity yoga styles such as power yoga may cause premature damage. In testing, I’ve found my Flux cork yoga mat is better than ever at 1500 hours of hot yoga and counting.
6) How can I make my Flux cork yoga mat less slippery when it's new?
The best way to increase the grip of your mat when it's new is simply to use it. The more you practice on it, the more the cork surface will become attuned to your specific practice.
A few actions you can take to increase traction on your brand new cork yoga mat besides normal use.
- Mist some water where your hands and few need grip. This simulates the moisture that increases cork’s natural grip.
- You can gently scruff it up with a mild abrasion such as with rice.
- Engage your isometric strength. Sticky mats have reduced the need for isometric strength.
- Avoid using excessive hand lotions.
- Make sure to clean the cork surface often to avoid oils and salts on your yoga mat.
7) Can I use bleach on my Flux cork yoga mat?
No, you should avoid using bleach or any harsh chemical cleaners on your Flux cork yoga mat. Bleach can damage the cork surface and degrade the natural rubber base, significantly reducing your mat's lifespan and performance. Instead, use a gentle, natural cleaning solution.
8) Can I wash my Flux cork yoga mat in the washing machine?
No, not only is the agitation and heat in a washing cycle going to damage your cork yoga mat, it’s going to cause unwanted changes in the texture, grip, and shape of your yoga mat due to unnecessary folding, soaking, and heating. Instead, opt for a gentle hand-cleaning method using a soft cloth and a natural cleaning solution.
9) Can I use disinfecting wipes on my Flux cork yoga mat?
While disinfecting wipes may seem like a convenient option, they often contain harsh chemicals that can damage your yoga mat over time. These chemicals can degrade both the cork surface and the natural rubber base. They could also irritate your skin during your practice. A natural cleaning solution is a safer and equally effective option.
Unleash Your Inner Hero, Yogi
Your Flux cork yoga mat is more than just a yoga accessory for your yoga practice; it's a part of you and your journey. Each session etches itself into your yoga mat's surface, telling a unique story of growth, strength, and self-discovery.
Proper care for your yoga mat isn't just about extending its lifespan — it's an act of respect for the yoga prop that supports you in each asana and breath. By mindfully cleaning, storing, and knowing when to replace your yoga mat, you ensure a practice that's not just rewarding but also safe, hygienic, and sustainable.
Safe Travels, Yogi