Is hardwood flooring the new yoga mat?

One of the best parts of practicing yoga is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home as long as you have a yoga mat, or better yet— a hardwood floor. Enter this new phenomenon.

The New York Times reported that many yoga studios are ditching the mats and turning instead to bare hardwood floors. This is especially common during hot yoga, where bacteria from sweat can become ingrained into the yoga mat or in a carpeted studio’s floor.

In addition to being more sanitary and less wasteful, some say that hardwood floors more easily meet the ultimate goals of the practice. Many would argue that rubber mats simply get in the way, especially if the yoga practice doesn’t require you to remain stationary on your mat. In addition, when strengthening key muscles, practicing on a hardwood floor eliminates the tendency to “cheat” by gripping a mat or carpet with your toes, as opposed to developing the necessary leg or core strength to support your poses.

We should also mention the aesthetic appeal. Hardwood has a high-end look that’s in demand now more than ever. One of the major benefits of hardwood flooring is its timeless appeal. While other coverings go in and out of style, the appeal of wood has endured for centuries, and that’s not about to change any time soon.

All of these factors make hardwood a great material for a home gym. After all, yoga can be practiced nearly anywhere. Why not have your kitchen double as a yoga studio?