Did you know, your yoga mat may not be eco-friendly?
Here’s why an eco-friendly yoga mat should be an essential item in your workout wardrobe
A yoga mat is an integral part of one’s practice. Not only does a yoga mat bring solace, strength and stability with postures, but picking the right mat can help one align and harmonize the mind, body and soul with the environment around us. If you are a yoga practitioner and are passionate about bringing in a positive change into your life, we are sure you would also love to see a positive change in the nature around you.
You might spend a lot of time on your favourite yoga mat, practicing your treasured yoga asanas, but if you are using a mat that is made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is one of the most toxic plastics, you are exposing yourself to vinyl chloride, as well as dioxins, phthalates and other notorious substances that cause cancer and other developmental issues.
Eco-friendly yoga mats may not be as expensive as they once were. With brands and companies being compelled to be more aware of the environment and their materials of products; cost effective mats are now available.
So the next time you add your favourite yoga mat to cart, pay heed to the materials used. Some materials that may be used include natural cork, jute, rubber, wool, and cotton. Also, look out for mats that are PVC free, recyclable and non toxic. This conscious shopping will allow you to leave a smaller footprint in the world.
Speaking of functionality, most eco-friendly mats are antimicrobial, sweat resistant and moisture absorbing, easy to clean and wash, lightweight, comfortable and resistant to slip by providing a strong grip. You can also choose from a variety of prints, colours (ocean friendly) and textures. Moreover, it is easier to wash and clean an eco-friendly yoga mat than a regular one. The regular mats tend to loose grip, colour and shape over time with excessive washing. Most regular yoga mats also come with warnings about keeping them out of direct sunlight due to the damaging effects it can have on the materials. Meanwhile, eco- friendly mats showcase resistance to damage and are long lasting.
The true practice of yoga involves developing a holistic lifestyle and a practice that encompasses not one one’s inner self, but also the outer surroundings. Yes, you can do your bit to save the planet, and it’s as simple as stepping your foot on an eco-friendly yoga mat.
Liforme was one of the connoisseur for eco-awareness within the yoga community. The company worked with engineers, scientists and yoga teachers to produce non-PVC, naturally sourced sustainable rubber mats, that are both recyclable and biodegradable.
The fitness industry is all about releasing those feel-good endorphins. Sure, your workout gear plays an important role here, but so do the accessories, which explains the popularity of The Los Angeles- based Manduka, which is also loved by celebrities such as Lady Gaga, that produces super-light eco-friendly natural rubber mats. The company has also introduced a renewal workshop programme where in they clean, sort, donate, recycle and upcycle the mats. Over and above, the mats are also available for rental as studios such as Wanderlust Hollywood and the Green Yogi in Manhattan Beach.
You can also expect anything but the usual from this young Bali based yoga brand, Yoga Design Lab. Their variety of eye-catching luxury yoga mats are made from natural tree rubber and ethically sourced recycled plastic bottle microfibers. They’re also free from silicone, toxic glue and phthalates.
LovEarth also designs beautiful dye-free yoga mat from natural materials including jute and tree rubber, and is completely biodegradable. And because the brand follows an holistic conscious approach, you can send in your old mat and the LovEarth team will happily recycle it for you!
Closer home, brands such as Jade yoga, Hugger Mugger, Proyog and Yoloha have been the trailblazers of curating yoga mats that are sustainable, non-toxic, biodegradable and produce zero waste.
It’s time to sweat it out on a mat that’s not only kind to your body, but also kind to your environment. After all isn’t it a true expression and purpose of a practitioner, to integrate the thoughts, find the balance and harmonize their practice with the space around. Unite = Yoga
“Not all mats are created equal. At Manduka, we consider the principles of yoga in everything we do…all the way down to the mat. You can rest assured that our mats are designed to have a positive impact on your health and the health of the planet. We pour our heart into every mat, so you can pour yours into your practice distraction-free” – Manduka (Instagram)
“May your Liforme Yoga Mat be your oasis, your calm amidst the storm, your stable and steady place, your escape from surrounding uncertainty. Step onto your mat and you make the rules. You decide whether to move intensely or sit quietly, whether today calls for powerful Vinyasa or a calming Child’s Pose “ – Liforme (Instagram)