Can You Do Yoga on Carpet?

A young woman in Child's Pose on her carpet, bringing up a question that many people have—can you do yoga on carpet?

Most yogis, yoga instructors, and yoga therapists practice yoga on high-quality yoga mats. And, for added safety and stability, those mats are usually placed on hard, even floors. At Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, that’s the approach we use. But sometimes people will ask, can you do yoga on carpet?

When people practice yoga at home, they may have wall-to-wall carpeting. Or they might simply prefer the feeling of doing yoga on a carpet. In these cases, they want to know if it’s safe and effective to practice on carpet, as well as any advice for how to do yoga on carpet.

In short, you can usually do yoga on carpet if you prefer. But there can also be drawbacks to doing yoga on carpet.

With that in mind, we can look at the pros and cons for practicing yoga on carpet, as well as other tips for creating safe, favorable conditions for yoga.

Table of Contents:

The Advantages of Practicing Yoga on Carpet

Can you do yoga on carpet? Should you, even if you can? Most people are able to practice yoga on carpet if they want, and there are even a few advantages to doing so.

  1. More Padding: For starters, when you practice yoga on your carpet, you get extra padding. And that padding might cushion and relieve pressure on your muscles and joints.
  2. Extra Workout: You also might build a little more muscle mass over time if you practice yoga on a carpet. That’s because your muscles may need to work harder on carpeting to keep your body in place. Yoga mats, on the other hand, provide traction to hold you still, thereby doing some of the work for you.
  3. Wider Space: As you’re figuring out how to do yoga on carpet, you’ll have plenty of space for moving and stretching. You won’t need to move a yoga mat around or worry about staying in that space. Some people find this a little more freeing when starting out.

The Disadvantages of Practicing Yoga on Carpet

Simply put, yoga mats are specially designed for yoga practice, and carpets are not. Therefore, doing yoga on carpet is not always ideal.

  1. Instability: On a carpet, you lack the support and stability of a yoga mat. The odds of falling and maybe even injuring yourself could be higher in certain situations. This is especially true when you’re doing poses that require balance. On a plush, carpeted surface, without sufficient traction, it can be quite easy to slip. Avoid a carpet that’s extra cushy since it would be less stable and harder to grip.
  2. Irritation: For some, practicing certain yoga poses on carpet can sometimes lead to rug burns and skin irritations. Not to mention, if there are any bumps in your carpet—and carpet bumps, often caused by moisture, are common—it may be uncomfortable or unstable to press down on them with your hands or feet.
  3. Hygiene Issues: There are also cleanliness and hygiene issues to consider. When you do any type of exercise, you inevitably leave hair, sweat, and oil on your workout surface. Yoga mats, however, are fairly easy to wash by design. By contrast, carpets are more time-consuming to clean.
  4. Allergens and Contaminants: You probably have certain contaminants in your carpet as well. Dirt, dust, pet dander, fungal spores, and other particles abound in carpets. When you practice yoga on your carpet, such materials could easily get into your mouth, nostrils, and pores. Consequently, they could trigger allergies or cause irritation.
  5. Wear and Tear: Additionally, there’s a chance you could rip your rug while doing yoga. Or you might flatten it, create bald spots on it, or otherwise shorten its lifespan due to all that extra wear and tear.

How to Do Yoga on Carpet Safely

If you choose to practice yoga on carpet, make sure to regularly clean the area where you do yoga. You can also either avoid poses that require more stability than you have on your carpet, or else use a yoga mat on top of your carpet. That way, you can take advantage of the mat’s traction and clean surface as well as your carpet’s padding.

If you’re planning to buy a yoga mat to use on your carpet, look for a sturdy product with a textured underside. Such a mat won’t move around or bunch up as much during your yoga sessions.

Creating a Safe Environment for Yoga at Home

Instead of doing yoga on carpet, you can use two yoga mats like this woman or an extra thick yoga mat to provide enough cushion

Of course, settling the “can you do yoga on carpet” question is just one aspect of setting up a home yoga environment. Creating the ideal space for your practice requires some care, thought, and fine-tuning.

  • First, choose a room with plenty of open space. You don’t want to, for example, hit your elbow on a table. It should also be well-ventilated.
  • Once you’ve chosen your spot, make it as conducive to your yoga routine as possible. It should be welcoming, calming, and appealing. As such, personalize it as much as you can. You might add flowers, candles, photos of loved ones, or other items that make you feel happy and secure. Just don’t make it distracting, as many yoga techniques require concentration.
  • Here’s another question to consider: Would you rather do yoga in a private space, keeping the door closed? Or would you prefer to do it in an open area like your living room? It’s totally up to you!
  • Whether you practice on carpet or not, make sure you have enough padding that you won’t hurt your joints. If you don’t want to practice on carpet, you could purchase a yoga mat that’s extra thick. Or you could even buy two yoga mats and place one on top of the other.

Learn More About Yoga with Breathing Deeply

Carol Day Young with Brandt Passalacqua

In the end, the opportunity to learn and practice yoga at home can be hugely beneficial. Whether you’re doing yoga to stay active, increase your mobility, improve your mental health, counteract a specific health condition, or anything else, being able to do yoga at home is convenient and empowering.

With a safe space and a safe surface—yoga mat, carpet, or both—you can enjoy the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of yoga. But do you have the proper skills to achieve your goals?

At Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy, we offer private, online sessions with certified yoga therapists. If you’re looking to treat a specific condition with yoga, a knowledgeable yoga therapist can help. We’ve worked with clients who suffer from back pain, arthritis, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and much more.

Learn about working with our yoga therapists here, or if you want to become a yoga therapist yourself, check out our yoga therapy training programs.

Info Session

Brandt talks about common questions applicants have about the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program. Tune in to get the full program details.