I've been practising daily Ashtanga yoga now for 4 months, and I am truly addicted. Until now I have been using the studio mats for my practice, just trying to ignore the fact that other people have practised, and sweated, on the same mat. After a particularly sweaty and slippery practice I decided that I needed to invest in a good yoga mat of my own. After talking to a few teachers and looking around on-line and in the shops, I settled on a PurEarth II Eco Travel Mat. At just 3mm it's quite thin, but this means it's light enough for me to take wherever I go. Also, for extra padding I can layer it with a studio mat, while still getting better grip and hygiene than the studio mats can offer. At £40 it's more than I would normally pay, but given I will spend 5 days a week on it, I think it's a worthwhile investment. However, the accompanying yoga bag for £35? I don't think so! To me that's just throwing money away. So when I got home I looked through some scraps of material I had and made my own. It took about an hour from start to finish, looks great, and best of all I will never get it mixed up with anyone else's yoga bag at the studio!
To make your own yoga bag you will need:
4 x rectangles of fabric 75cm x 14cm - A medium to heavy non-stretch cotton would be best
1 x square of fabric 14cm x 14cm
1 x rectangle of fabric 100cm x 9cm
1 x draw-string cord
1. Sew together your 4 rectangles of fabric lengthways, (good sides together) leaving a 1.5cm seam allowance at the side and also at both ends. You will end up with a tube with two openings, one at each end. Keep the seams on the outside whilst following the next step.
2. Take the end that will be the base of the bag and fold it open so that each side panel is visible, as above.
3. Take the square of fabric and pin it onto the edges of the opening.
4. Carefully sew around the edges, leaving 1.5cm seam allowance, making sure you do not catch any of the rest of the fabric.
5. You should now have a tube with one end closed. You can now pull the tube "inside out" so that the seams are now inside.
6. To create the drawstring closure, fold the remaining open end 4cm inside the tube. Sew around the circumference, making sure to leave a 2.5cm gap for your cord strip. If you want to make button holes to secure your cord string, do this before sewing the circumference. I didn't bother with button holes, so after sewing the circumference I simply cut two small holes on the outside and threaded the cord-string through with a safety pin.
7. To finish, sew your final rectangle into a shoulder strap. Fold in three lengthways and sew to secure. Sew one end close to (but not through) your drawstring closure, and the other end to the base of the bag.
And there you have it! Your very own yoga bag, and made for just a few pounds.