An upcycled yoga mat strap

Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
I am starting yoga this week. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to physically drag my rusty body out the door after the craziness that ensues at dinner time, but I’ve paid my registration fee, so I feel somewhat committed. I know it’ll be great once I get to class, it’s just that I dread the feeling of having so much to do before rushing out the door, when I really want to be in my comfy pajamas. I think I’ll be fine, I’m not supposed to eat before yoga anyway. Which is another concern, we usually eat dinner at 5:30 pm, I think I might faint after the first class.

My yoga mat came with this awful mesh drawstring bag with an adjustable-length strap. It is really hard to stuff my mat into it unless I roll it super tight, but that takes too much time and effort, especially after a class has finished. The seams of the bag are ripped in several places, so I decided that I would make a new bag.

Except I didn’t want a bag. I just wanted a strap. After thinking about it for some time, I thought the best solution would be a simple one. Reuse the strap and add thick elastic bands to the ends of the strap to hold my rolled mat together. Brilliant! Less bulk, no stuffing involved, quick and easy to carry.

For the elastic, I used a berry pink 1″ elastic that I already had in my stash of sewing notions. The Dritz brand carries a handful of fun colours and is very stretchy, so I used very little to get a tight fight around my rolled up yoga mat.
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
Ta da! That took all of 5 minutes to make. If you count the time it took to figure out the solution, I guess it probably took a week–not that I devoted all of my waking time to this problem. It was on the back burner, along with a million other things.
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
A closer look at the stitching:
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
It can even stretch to accommodate my water bottle or towel:
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
But then I went to the lululemon website and found something very similar. Except theirs uses velcro closures and costs $16. Yikes. I am happy with my simple yoga mat strap, even if what I thought was an original idea, turns out to already exist. Although I’d have to argue that elastic is an improvement on velcro, which can snag at yoga pants. The elastic will probably stretch out and lose elasticity over time, but I can just cut it off and sew on a new piece when that happens.

While on the subject of yoga pants, I couldn’t be happier with the pair of lululemon yoga pants I bought a decade ago. They have retained their shape and quality, with minimal pilling. They also make excellent airplane travel pants.
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap
I am by no means an adept yoga practitioner. I write this because I am from Vancouver, where people tend to be pretentious about their yoga practice. I can’t even write that I’ve been “practicing” yoga for X amount of years, or tell you the type of yoga, or remember the names of my yoga instructors. I have taken classes at the community centre near my old home and have really benefited from the breathing, stretching and relaxation exercises that yoga has to offer, especially pre/post-natal yoga. I think, however, that I am an expert at the “extended child” pose. Sometimes after I wake up, I will get into the extended child pose to stretch my back and almost fall back asleep.

Finally, here are Froo & Boo in the “downward-facing dog” pose. Namaste.
Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap

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2 responses to “An upcycled yoga mat strap

  1. Lucinda

    What a brilliant idea, and even better than you thought of it yourself BEFORE seeing it on the Lululemon site (which I’m always afraid to go to because then I end up wanting everything!). Love that last pic – too adorable:)

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