“What do you mean?! I just roll it up, right?”
That’s what most people do: start at one end of the mat and roll until the other end is reached. But think about what that means:
– Your yoga mat has two sides: when you unroll it for use one side lies flat on the floor of whatever studio/gym/living room/etc in which you are exercising (or outside on the ground). You put your hands/feet/knees/butt/head on the other side.
– When class is over, you pick up the mat at one end, curl the mat end under or over and start rolling – either way you are rolling the two sides into contact with each other!
– Whatever was on the floor/rug/ground underneath the mat is now being transferred onto the side of the mat you will use next time to be in contact with your body (and that’s assuming you have a pattern or other indicator of which side is “up” – otherwise you might be using the “down” side up next time).
Unless you wash or thoroughly wipe down both sides of your mat after every class you are only using it for padding/traction, not for preventing contact with a multi-use floor of unknown cleanliness.
So instead of rolling up the mat starting from one end, do it this way:
1. With the mat on the floor, pick up one end and walk it to the other end, so that the mat is folded in half with the surface on which you were exercising on the inside, only touching itself.
2. NOW roll up the mat, starting from one end. I usually start rolling from the folded end to make the resulting roll a but less bulky, but that’s your choice. Either way, now the floor-facing mat surface only touches itself.
3. If your mat does not have a pattern on one side, mark one side with a permanent marker (e.g., “DOWN”) to remind you which is which.