Yoga Blanket: How To Use And How To Choose

Laura Finch
created on October 9, 2019
updated on November 8, 2019

Who doesn’t like a crisp autumn evening when you can cuddle up under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot coffee (or a glass of wine, your choice)?

I know I do.

But have you ever tried using a blanket for yoga? Sure, curling up and sleeping under it might sound much more appealing, but trust me, you won’t regret adding this cool yoga prop into your yoga practice.

So today, let’s talk about yoga blankets and why they are so awesome!

So What’s A Yoga Blanket, Anyway?

A yoga blanket is just a fancy-schmancy word for a single-layered piece of cloth that is suitable for yoga. Suitable as in not too thin or too thick, and supportive enough for asana practice.

Basically, any blanket that’s a bit on the thicker side can be a yoga blanket.

A yoga blanket is used for:

  • staying warm in relaxation poses or meditation;
  • cushioning hands, knees or any bony parts;
  • adding support in yoga poses that your body is not yet ready to do fully.

Though yoga blankets have been around for years (old yogis didn’t have those cool non-slip yoga mats, ya know), we should all credit B.K.S. Iyengar for making this yoga accessory go mainstream.

In fact, when you read his book The Illustrated Light On Yoga, the famous guru advises against doing asanas on a bare floor but use a folded blanket instead:

Do not do them on the bare floor or on an uneven place, but on a folded blanket laid on a level floor.

Five Ways To Use A Yoga Blanket (For Yoga)

This list of using a yoga blanket is far from being exhaustive.

While you will probably come across a yoga blanket in more relaxing yoga classes such as Iyengar, Yin, or Restorative Yoga, the most creative yogis even use it for building strength and mobility.

Here are the most common ways to use a yoga blanket in a yoga setting.

Stay Warm In Savasana & During Meditation

That’s the most obvious use for a blanket in yoga.

Just cover yourself with the blanket during a final relaxation pose or while meditating. Not only it’s super relaxing to feel a bit of pressure from the blanket on your body, but it’s also warm and cozy.

Just be careful not to fall asleep!

Cushion Your Knees, Elbows & Wrists

Trust me, your knees and other bony parts will appreciate some extra attention even if they’re completely healthy.
Fold the blanket and place it under your knees or elbows in Cat/Cow, Low Lunge, Bird-Dog, Camel Pose, Side Forearm Plank, etc.

Or simply rest your head on the blanket in Savasana.

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Welcome to day 3 of #loveatfirstprop. We're so stoked to see all your contributions! You guys are doing great! Today we're using a blanket to cushion or give support for the joints and I'm bringing you one of the basics: cat-cow. . You'd be surprised (or maybe not) to see how many people feel pain when doing this. Whenever I'm in class, I always see someone who seems to be having a bad time when they're on their knees, especially if the pose requires a lot of weight on them (swipe left to see shashankasana, 3rd pic, which is especially hard on the knees). With practice, our joints usually get stronger and more resistent, but there are people who just have very delicate knees, or even injuries. In any case, do not feel ashamed to use a blanket if you feel you need it. . 👉Fold the blanket and find the thickness you need. Different individuals will need more or less cushioning. . 👉Go on you fours with your knees on top of the blanket, hip distance apart and right below your hips. Your hands should be shoulder distance apart, wrists, elbows and shoulders aligned and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head in a neutral position. . 👉Bitilasana, cow pose (1st pic). Inhale, arch your spine lifting your sitting bones and chest and look up. . 👉Marjaryasana, cat pose (2nd pic). Exhale, curl your spine towards the ceiling drawing your sitting bones in and looking down. . 💡You have no blanket? You can also use a towel or a T-shirt instead. You can even use your own mat, you just need to fold it and voilà! Extra cushioning. . 💡If you feel like investing some money on your joints, you can buy special foam pads. You'll find them at some sports shops. . Go check my amazing co-hosts' posts to learn more about the use of straps. . 🙏Hosts: @irya_devi @mintyogini @yoganama @yogawithhitesh . 🍀Sponsors: @kosha_yoga_co @malamalama.love @myyogawheels @shambhalabarcelona (👕my outfit) @ilovegurus @ubefit_uk @kapivaayurveda @earth_to_ethers @ricelovebags #yoga #yogachallenge #catcow #yogablanket #shashankasana #yogaprops #yogaisforeveryone #yogateacher #yogi #yogini

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Gain Height In Seated Poses

Having a hard time keeping your spine straight in a seated position? Sitting on the edge of a folded blanket helps tilt your pelvis forward and lengthen the back.

Really, try it. (Seated Forward Fold and Cobbler’s Pose get easier while sitting on the blanket, too!).

Fill In The Gap If The Flexibility Is Not There Yet

Such postures as Child’s Pose, Half Pigeon, and the like can be tough for those with tight hips. I know, I’ve been on a hip-opening journey since I started doing yoga.

A yoga blanket, though, makes these poses less scary and more hip-friendly.

Just roll a yoga blanket tightly and snug it under your buttocks. You’ll be able to enjoy the pose twice longer than without the support.

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Always great to have some props ready to help get into poses! This is a great option for pigeon pose: rolled up blanket under hips eases the stretch, provides additional padding but also elevates to help accomodate growing baby bellies. This is also a good restorative yoga pose. Additionally you can put your forehead or forearms onto a block to elevate further, especially in late pregnancy as it might get uncomfortable to bring your forehead to the floor. Pigeon is an excellent hip opener and good for sciatica. . . . . . #prenatalyoga #prenatalfitness #prenatalcare #yogaprenatal #pregnantyoga #restorativeyoga #yogaprops #yogablanket #pigeonpose #supportedpigeon #prenatalgentleyoga #gentleyoga

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Replace Common Yoga Props

A tightly rolled yoga blanket, for example, can be used as a small bolster to open the chest or to support your knees or neck in Savasana.

A heavy and tightly-knit yoga blanket can substitute a yoga mat if you happen to lack one.

I can even see myself using a rolled yoga blanket as a yoga block that brings the floor closer to me in challenging yoga poses.

Other Awesome Ways To Use A Yoga Blanket

A yoga blanket doesn’t have to be used for yoga only. Its multifunctionality is what makes a yoga blanket such a cool yoga accessory. So go wild and don’t be afraid to get creative with it!

Just some other ideas of how you can use a yoga blanket:

  • Cozy cuddling (probably the most obvious one)
  • Add character and style to your home or yoga corner
  • Cover your favorite chair or a couch
  • Take it to the picnic or beach

How To Choose A Quality Yoga Blanket

A high-quality yoga blanket is always a good investment and a thoughtful gift. Not only because it will enhance your yoga practice but also because it will keep you warm and cozy for years.

Just don’t make the mistake of buying the cheapest item you find.

Why?

First, because God only knows how much the workers who loomed this blanket earn and whether they’re working in a safe environment in the first place.

Second, the cheapest the item – the less sustainable the production (as a rule).

Third, don’t expect quality work. The weave will probably be too loose to support you in yoga postures, there’s also a high chance of unraveling and snagging.

I suggest you consider these three essential things when choosing a yoga blanket.

Am I sharing too many animal GIFs here? I just feel that blankets and animals are the cutest combination.

Material

Cotton. Yoga blankets made of cotton are probably the softest on the market.

Cotton fabric is also one of the most durable, and its production is among the safest for the environment (if compared to synthetics production). Organic cotton is even better for the planet and for the people who make your blanket. Yet, it’s at least 20-30% more expensive than regular cotton.

The drawback? Cotton yoga blankets can shrink if you happen to wash them in hot water. Plus, a new yoga blanket will probably shed some cotton fibers upon purchase.

Wool. Yoga blankets made of wool are dense, thick, and perfect for colder months.

Wool is considered far more sustainable than cotton since the latter required lots of land and water resources.

The problem with wool, though, is that it’s not vegan-friendly. So if you’re not supporting the products made from animal material, you probably want to skip this one.

Wool is also more prone to pilling over time compared to cotton.

Blends. Yoga blankets made of the cotton-polyester-acrylic blend are the most affordable and are highly durable. They also often come in bold colors that don’t fade after multiple washes.

Look for yoga blankets that are made from recycled materials to minimize the environmental impact.

Thanks, B.K.S. Iyengar for bringing Mexican blankets into American yoga studios and giving me the chance to make hipster photos with them!

Style

Handmade Mexican Blanket. The term Mexican Blanket is now used almost synonymously with a yoga blanket. Apparently, B. K. S. Iyengar himself traveled to Mexico and brought a set of Mexican yoga blankets back to the US, making them the staple of every yoga studio.

Mexican blankets are (often) imported straight from Mexico. These are generally handwoven and made of the cotton-polyester-acrylic blend.

You can recognize a traditional Mexican blanket by its bright coloring and ethnic Mexican patterns. Though it’s not uncommon now to find Mexican blankets in solid colors.

Mexican Blankets are often referred to as Falsa blanket, Serape, or Saltillo blanket.

Indian Yoga Blankets. Indian Yoga Blankets are hand-loomed in India. They are traditionally made of cotton. When compared to Mexican Yoga Blankets, this style has a vividly tighter knit and no fringe.

Felted Yoga Blankets. Felted Yoga Blankets contain wool. This style of yoga blankets often has a bit more “give” when you put pressure on it compared to cotton and blends. These may not be the most supportive yoga blankets, but they are very dense, thick, warm, and obviously very cuddly.

Size

Yoga Blankets now come in different sizes, and there’s no right or wrong here.

A general rule of the thumb is to get a blanket that is large enough to cover you in Savasana. (It’s more practical for real life, too). The taller you are, the larger the blanket you will need.

Mind that a large yoga blanket gives you more options for creativity since you can make more shapes from it by folding or rolling. Yet, it will take more time to get from one pose to another since you’ll be busy adjusting your large blanket all the time.

In the case of the yoga blanket, too big is better than too small.

Love Your Yoga Blanket: 4 Clean And Care Tips

Keep your yoga blanket in tip-top shape, and it will pay you back with years of service. Really. Some yoga blankets can last you a lifetime if you take care of them properly.

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning or washing your blanket. Mind that some blankets (especially those made of wool) require dry cleaning only. If that’s a deal-breaker, keep a sharp eye on the washing instructions before reaching for your wallet.

Here are four general tips that will help you keep your yoga blanket as good as new.

  • Wash by hand or on cold & gentle setting – save energy and prevent shrinkage, bleed, and fading. That’s a win-win!
  • Skip tumble dry – hanging your blanket dry is sure longer, I know. But you’ll minimize the risk of unraveling threads and snagging.
  • Avoid ironing, bleaching and the like
  • Use mild detergent

Five Yoga Blankets That Are Worth Buying

There are hundreds of yoga blankets out there. I’ve put hours of thorough research and my personal experience with yoga blankets to share with you the list of the best yoga blankets.

Each of the five yoga blankets below has something to offer: either extra support, warmth, bold fashion statement, or an opportunity to make greener shopping choices. And I wouldn’t hesitate to buy any of them.


Organic Cotton Blanket From Carolina Morning Designs

Click Here To Check The Price

Pros

  • eco-friendly & sustainable production
  • made in the USA
  • no plastic packaging
  • 100% organic cotton
  • soft & plushy
  • can be easily folded/rolled
  • available in 3 sizes
  • machine washable

Cons

  • comes in 2 colors only
  • shipping charges

Carolina Morning Designs is a perfect example of a truly green and sustainable company.

What do you gain by buying directly from this small business instead of a large online retailer?

High-quality, eco-friendly products that are made in the USA using only domestically grown and ethically harvested materials.

Yoga blankets from Carolina Morning Designs are made from 100% organic cotton. With soft and cushy texture, this yoga prop gets even better after multiple washes.

The blanket is thick enough to keep you warm on a chilly evening, yet it still folds and rolls easily to give you stable support in the yoga practice.

Carolina Morning Designs manufactures their yoga blankets in two gorgeous solid colors and three different sizes (the large size is big enough to cover a Queen Bed in case you enjoy cozy post-yoga naps).


Open Road Goods Yoga Blanket

Open Road Goods Yoga Blanket
15 reviews
Open Road Goods Yoga Blanket
  • Cotton - Acrylic - Polyester blend, much more durable than a standard Mexican Falsa blanket
  • Extra Large (XL) size: approx 78" x 54" Thick in comparison to a traditional Mexican Blanket.
  • Machine Washable. Gets softer after each wash!

Pros

  • fair trade certified company
  • eco-friendly & sustainable material sourcing
  • made of sturdy cotton/acrylic/polyester blend
  • handwoven in Mexico
  • soft & thick
  • large size
  • comes in different colors
  • machine washable

Cons

  • colors and pattern may vary from what you see on screen

Open Road Goods imports their hand-made yoga blankets all the way from Mexico. Don’t worry, though. They are a Fair Trade Certified company, meaning that they ensure safe working conditions and competitive pay for the local artisans.

This yoga blanket from Open Road Goods is not your typical Mexican falsa blanket. It’s made of cotton/acrylic/polyester blend, which makes this yoga accessory more durable and sturdier than an average yoga blanket in the market.
It’s also thicker and larger than a standard Mexican Falsa blanket, making it an excellent choice for yogis who need extra cushion during the yoga practice.

Mind that because each item is hand-woven, you might receive a slightly different color from what you’ve initially ordered. On the bright side, your yoga blanket will be unique, just like you.


Benevolence LA Mexican Blanket Authentic Falsa

Benevolence LA Mexican Blanket Authentic Falsa
1,058 reviews
Benevolence LA Mexican Blanket Authentic Falsa
  • MADE WITH A MISSION: The Benevolence LA mission is to cultivate generosity through fashion. Each piece has a story. Each piece gives back through our charity partners.
  • VERSATILE & STYLISH: Wrap yourself in soft and beautifully woven authentic Mexican blankets in two bold colors to suit your mood. Delivered in eco-friendly Gift-Wrapped packaging.
  • SOFT & DURABLE: Covers twin beds. 65 x 40 in. 3 pounds of cozy acrylic perfection. Share the warmth with friends and family!

Pros

  • each purchase helps a charity cause
  • handmade in Mexico
  • 100% recycled acrylic
  • folds & rolls up easily
  • wide selection of colors
  • machine washable
  • 30-days money-back guarantee

Cons

  • might be too thin
  • might shed excess fuzz

Benevolence LA makes products with a purpose. Each time you purchase from the company, you support the charitable work they are doing together with their NGO partners.

A part of profits from selling these yoga blankets, for example, goes to providing villages in Africa with clean water.

The yoga blankets from Benevolence LA are handwoven in Mexico using 100% recycled acrylic fibers. They aren’t as thick or tightly woven as some of their more expensive counterparts. On the other hand, these yoga accessories are very flexible and can be easily rolled or folded for a cushy and soft yoga practice.

Just in case you’re not satisfied with your yoga blanket, the company offers a full refund with no questions asked up to 30 days after the purchase.


RUTH&BOAZ Outdoor Wool Blend Blanket Ethnic Inka Pattern

RUTH&BOAZ Outdoor Wool Blend Blanket Ethnic Inka Pattern
92 reviews
RUTH&BOAZ Outdoor Wool Blend Blanket Ethnic Inka Pattern
  • 58" x 81" 3.3lbs
  • 20% wool 80% polyester
  • Great for the home, camping, mountain cabin, beach, or in the evenings by the fire

Pros

  • wool blend
  • soft texture
  • thick & warm
  • available in 3 sizes
  • non-cheesy Inka pattern
  • machine washable

Cons

  • too thick for the warm season

If you’re living in the colder part of the world and awaiting a drop in the temperature, you’ll definitely love this warm all-purpose blanket from RUTH & BOAZ.

It’s 20% wool – a perfect amount to keep you warm in Savasana while staying soft without “that” itchy feel of wool.

Apart from practicing yoga with it, you can use the accessory as a throw blanket for your couch or take it out for camping during the autumn season. Besides, the Inka pattern is just beautiful.


Spirit Quest Supplies Bodhi Blanket Mexican Style Blanket

Spirit Quest Supplies Bodhi Blanket Mexican Style Blanket
103 reviews
Spirit Quest Supplies Bodhi Blanket Mexican Style Blanket
  • BIGGER THAN THE COMPETITION: 74” x 56” (6’ x 4.67’); 39% Larger than the Average Throw, 20% Larger than the Typical Mexican Blanket bringing you Greater Coverage.
  • BETTER: Tightly woven from 70% Acrylic over a 30% Polyester durable weave. Stronger fibers, thicker, tighter weave, 100% more fiber weight, and superior moisture wicking compared to the usual Mexican blanket. Flexible, Easy to Use and Take On-the-Go.
  • BRIGHTER: Superior, rich striped colors made from Acrylic fibers. Colorfast and Stain Resistant. Match your personal style with the Bodhi Blanket, whether you are looking for particular colors or love southwest or bohemian styles, our blanket will be a conversation piece. Colors may vary slightly from photos, but you will Love the Vibrant Colors.

Pros

  • made of sturdy acrylic/polyester blend
  • thick & supportive
  • large size
  • can double as a yoga rug
  • wide selection of colors
  • machine washable

Cons

  • heavier than an average Mexican blanket
  • not as soft as cotton yoga blankets

Made of the poly-acrylic blend, this striped Mexican blanket from Spirit Quest Supplies is thick, heavy, and sturdy. Thanks to its tight weave, it can easily double as a yoga rug and can even be used outdoors.

You probably wouldn’t want to cover yourself with this blanket in Savasana since it’s not as plush as props made of cotton. But when folded, it can replace a bolster for meditation or as a block for adding height in yoga poses.

And it’s super stylish, too. The bright pattern of the yoga blanket from Spirit Quest Supplies will make any home yoga corner or a simple couch play out in fresh colors (especially on a cold winter day).

 

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