So I asked "How Can I Make it Functional?" and no one really answered. But I figured it out!!
I went on one of my crafting message boards and asked the same question and someone suggested wrapping the yoga mat in a Teflon (non-stick) sheet then sliding it into the bag. That was cool but I really didn't want to spend any extra money. Then it struck me: wrap the yoga mat in cotton fabric and then slide it into the bag. Works like a charm. No friction. The bag wrapped in cotton slips in and out easily. Problem solved.