Workout Gear: Yoga Mat
Life span: 1 to 7 years
"By far, the biggest factor in how long a mat will last is how the mat is used. Practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga, for instance, are notorious for wearing through their mats, while people practicing gentler forms of yoga (Integral Yoga, Iyngar Yoga, Kripalu Yoga) may have their mats for years," says Dean Jerrehian, CEO and Founder of Jade Yoga. Also, your mat will last longer if you're on it only once a week compared to a yogi who uses it daily.
When to replace: It's time for an upgrade if your mat is no longer comfortable, isn't gripping (your hands and feet are slipping when holding a posture) or if it has thinned out so much that it no longer provides enough cushioning.
How to make it last: Some instructors believe that if you focus on using your core rather than pressing into the mat to hold poses, you'll extend the life of your yoga mat," says Jerrehian. He also suggests keeping your mat out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures and keeping it clean. Try wiping it down regularly with a damp cloth and a natural cleanser like Kiss My Face Peace Soap in Lemongrass Clary Sage ($10).