As you progress along your yoga journey, certain items designed to help you in your practice will eventually need to be replaced. Everything from your yoga mat to the clothes you wear will begin to break down or wear out over time, leaving you with old items that no longer have any use to you.
Before you throw your old and used yoga items in the trash, consider giving some thought to how they might still be of use to somebody else. If you do a little digging around, you’ll find lots of programs that accept used yoga items so they can be donated to great causes.
Here are just a few programs worth looking at.
Donating Yoga Foster
Yoga Foster is a nonprofit organization that encourages school teachers to empower their students through yoga and mindfulness practices in the classroom. Their mat drive allows yogis to donate their clean and gently-used mats to students in their community by taking them to the closest participating Lululemon store. Once the mats are no longer of use to students in their programs, Yogi Foster donates every heavily-used mat to be repurposed in animal shelters and gardening projects.
Donating to Project Yogi
Project Yogi is another nonprofit that seeks to teach young people to stay fit and active while educating them with their unique curriculum focused on managing modern day problems like stress, anxiety, and depression with ancient scientific yogic philosophies. They partner up with organization and charities to serve at-risk and disadvantaged kids and families, donating yoga mats to those who want to continue their practice once a class has ended. You can contact Project Yogi directly to find out how to donate your mat.
Donating to Yoga Activist
Yoga Activist is focused on building connections between yoga instructors, social service providers, government agencies, and local communities with little or no access to yoga—such as the homeless, trauma survivors, at-risk youth, prison populations, and people dealing with addition, mental illness or physical disabilities. You can fill out their mat donor form for any gently-used mat or prop you want to donate, and Yogi Activist will coordinate your donation with their supported outreach programs.
Donating Your Local Yoga Studio
Even if you don’t attend classes at a local studio, chances are you’d be able to drop off your yoga items there. Since many studios (and even gyms that offer yoga classes) need to have enough equipment to serve a full class of yogis who may not have their own mat, strap, blocks, or other gear, they might be happy to take your old items off your hands. Try doing a Google search for a studio or gym in your area and call or email them to see if they’ll take whatever you’d like to donate.
Repurposing Those Heavily-Used Yoga Items
So what if your old mat and other yoga gear are just so worn out that they aren’t in appropriate shape to be donated? With a little creativity, you can repurpose those old items for something completely new.
It’s easy enough to cut up your old mat and use pieces of it for drawer liners, pet placemats, coasters, door mats, and more. Worn out yoga clothes can also be cut up and repurposed as dish rags or wash cloths.
What about those old yoga blocks that have lost their shape/stiffness? Cut those up too and repurpose them as stamps or stencils for craft making. Kids will absolutely love this idea!
Image (edited) via Celeste Lindell