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Can Yoga Socks Replace Your Yoga Mat?

Image via Gaiam.com

From pricey yoga clothing to custom-made yoga mats, the yoga world is brim with products that are intended to offer you a more comfortable, more fashionable and more flexible journey to enlightenment.

Enter yoga socks, a new creation that marries a regular sock with a yoga mat in order to provide you with a slip-resistant practice experience. Yoga socks are soft ankle socks that are fitted with small rubber pads all along the soles of the feet to prevent you from striking a pose and then slip-sliding your way flat onto your belly.

Plus, the yoga socks are supposed to offer you protection against exposure to foot fungi, which love the hot, humid and sweaty hardwood floors of the yoga practice room.

But do these yoga socks, which can also be used by Pilates practitioners, take the place of a yoga mat?

“Not for most kinds of hatha yoga,” says Matthew Darling, a Michigan-based certified Ashtanga yoga instructor and yoga school owner. ”The purpose of the yoga mat is to grip to the ground, so that you won’t slide. Yoga socks grip to your foot, but they don’t offer you the traction a yoga mat does. They are great to teach in, demonstrate yoga postures in and maybe for some yoga practices, they might be able to be used in a place of a mat, but most styles of asana-based yoga styles should be practiced with a yoga mat.”

There are quite a few companies that currently sell yoga socks, which might also be called toe socks, since they feature a five-toe design, allowing for plenty of wiggle room in between all of your tootsies. If you haven’t ever seen them, envision a mitten for your feet.

Yoga product giant Gaiam sells their own version and ToeSox, the original maker of the yoga sock, sells the classic yoga full-toe sock and a half-toe sock.

A pair runs $15 to $20 and they come in a variety of colors.

Have you tried the yoga socks? If so, what was your experience with them?

Also Read:

Yoga Sandals

Gaiam’s Yoga Club

The 5 Best Yoga Accessories

September 17th, 2010

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