I have leveled up my yoga practice during the COVID-19 lockdown, so that I am seriously considering doing yoga exercise educator training and obtaining licensed. And also investing a great amount of time lying on my mat, breathing into it, has led me to ask myself whether my mat is great for me.
Has your yoga mat ever produced a chemical scent when it showed up, or after it remained in the sunlight for too long? That is harmful off-gassing from PVC-polyvinyl chloride, which is utilized in the majority of yoga mats. PVC is a petroleum-based material that makes your mat sticky, grippy, and easy to clean. Yet PVC is also one of the most poisonous kinds of plastic to human health and the environment.
PVC is dangerous throughout its entire life cycle, from manufacturing, to use, to end of life. To make the mats versatile and also soft, manufacturers add plasticizers like phthalates. Phthalates are popular hormonal agent disruptors and have been linked to abnormality, bronchial asthma, neurodevelopmental concerns in infants, fertility troubles, obesity, and cancer cells. Your body can absorb contaminants from your PVC yoga mat with inhalation and also skin contact.
You can not recycle PVC either, as well as the material can pollute the air and dirt when it winds up in a garbage dump or incinerator.
So the moral of the tale is: if you practice yoga to keep on your own healthy, steer far from PVC as much as possible. So what other options do we have? Here is what to look for when choosing a lasting yoga mat:
Safe, Non-Toxic Materials
When a business announces that their items are without XX contaminants (believe BPA, phthalate, heavy metals, etc.), always ask what they use instead. Lots of yoga mats labeled as environmentally friendly may be misleading, specifically those “non-toxic”yoga mats.
For instance, some yoga mats are made from PER, or “polymer environmental resin,” a material that the manufacturer claims are phthalate-free, naturally degradable, and created in an “environmental-friendly” fashion. However, PER is still PVC, simply changing phthalates with other plasticizers. While the absence of phthalates makes PER less hazardous, we do not understand the safety of the various other plasticizers used. The standard chemical (plastic chloride) used to make PVC is still a health hazard. In the absence of third-party accreditation, we can not rely on supplier or brand claims.
An additional “PVC-free” material is TPE (thermoplastic elastomers), a rubber-like material that can be recycled. It is an ambiguous term that might describe a series of combined artificial materials, whose structures are trade secrets. So we don’t recognize if any one of them is safe, much less whether the type used in a particular yoga mat is.
What regarding yoga mats made from natural materials? The most commonly used is natural rubber. All-natural rubber is tapped from rubber trees, where farmers cut into the bark to collect the fluid. Then manufacturers blend the liquid with vulcanizing representatives (chemical additives) to make rubber. Although natural rubber is not chemical-free, it is better than synthetic rubber, a catch-all term that potentially features all the problems outlined above.
However, I am allergic to rubber and latex, and some individuals also do not like the all-natural odor. So, my top selection would be hypoallergenic natural materials like organic cotton, grass, or jute fiber.
Does the yoga brand have a take-back or recycling system for your old mat when you’re done with it? This is necessary since there is no responsible place to give away or recycle a utilized yoga mat that we know, so it’s ideal if the business has a plan for how to deal with their old mats.
Of course, the most sustainable yoga mat would certainly not make my technique delightful if it does not have enough support or slides around often. I have somewhat sensitive knees and wrists, so a great yoga mat for me should provide the right amount of cushion. A benefit variable would be lightweight and foldable to ensure that I can keep up with my practice on the move!
With many high-quality, non-toxic and eco-friendly yoga mats on the marketplace, there’s no need to purchase an inexpensive, plastic-based mat.
Breathe easy as well as enjoy your yoga experiment with any one of these choices.
Manduka Eko Lite Mat
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Dimensions: 68 x 24″; 3-4 mm thick
Material: Biodegradable natural tree rubber
Produced in: Taiwan
Rate: $56.99 to $160.99
Manduka began due to the need for yoga mat that had excellent traction and also supported. Considering that the creation of its first mat, Manduka has continually revolutionized yoga exercise for numerous individuals.
The Manduka Eko Lite Mat, in particular, is a top-quality favorite because it enhances sustainability, support, as well as peacefulness.
The mat is made of biodegradable, non-toxic, and eco-friendly materials, leaving marginal ecological impact throughout its manufacturing. The mat’s careful layout also provides excellent grip, has an outstanding airflow innovation, and comfortable padding, making it feasible for both newbies and seasoned yogis to exercise with convenience.
Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat
Weight: 4.25 lbs
Dimensions: 68 x 24″; 5 mm thick
Material: All-natural jute and polymer environmental resin
Produced in: China
Gaiam is equated to “I am the Earth.” It is a phrase which completely catches what the brand name has to do with– the individual and its environment. With this thrust at its actual core, the brand name naturally produces products made from natural materials and is created with the safest feasible procedures.
The Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat’s cornerstone is the natural fibers of the Jute plant. It uses natural materials for decreasing dangerous and artificial rubber (i.e. latex and silicone). Likewise, it was created to meet yogis’ needs– lightweight yet strong, extremely absorbent, and provides great grip and hold.
Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
Weight: 5 lbs
Dimensions: 68 x 24″; 3 mm thick. A longer size is likewise readily available at 74 inches, and a bigger size is offered at 28 inches
Material: Natural rubber
Manufactured in: USA
Price: $79.95 to $84.95
The Jade Yoga Mats were initially produced to solve a problem being experienced by yogis in the early 2000s– most mats were too slippery, making it impossible for them to keep postures stable. Jade Yoga developed a solution to boost yogis’ experience and performance by developing the initial all-natural yoga exercise mat.
Natural rubber offers the Harmony Mat excellent grip, included cushion and comfort for the individual, and improved the mat’s longevity and toughness.
Apart from fulfilling the needs of yogis, Jade Yoga also helps the environment by guaranteeing its materials and production process are sustainable and eco-friendly with renewable energies.
It’s a huge plus that they plant a tree for ever mat sold (they’ve planted over a million already!) and they give away $5 to ovarian cancer cells charities for each Teal-colored mat purchased.
Sharklet Yoga Mat
Weight: 6.31 lbs
Dimensions: 72 x 26″; 4 mm thick
Material: Premium PU and natural rubber
Sharklet is recognized for its world’s first modern technology, which can block microbial growth with pattern alone. The Sharklet surface consists of millions of microscopic features arranged in a distinct diamond pattern. Sharklet has no toxic chemicals or ingredients and uses no prescription antibiotics or antimicrobials.
Made from premium PU and also resilient rubber base, the Sharklet mat is a durable mat that offers yogis adequate cushion and grip to sustain challenging postures.
It is additionally widen and lengthen for more practice space, so it’s a bit heavy. Furthermore, the PU surface (like closed-cell layer) which is good for absorbing sweat, especially in hot yoga class.
Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mats.
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Dimensions: 72 x 26″; 6 mm thick. A longer size is also available in 80″
Made in: USA
Packaging: The cork mats are packed in recycled cardboard boxes
Yoloha’s creator, Chris Willey, was instructed as a youngster to love the outdoors and care for the environment, so it comes no surprise that the brand mirrors this extremely interest.
Whether developing surfboards or yoga mats, Yoloha makes sure to remain loyal to its values by utilizing the most effective, eco-friendly, and high performing materials out there today.
The Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat is made of cork that is gathered from cork trees every nine years. Although slightly thicker at 6mm, it remains as durable and lightweight as other yoga mats.
It provides terrific cushion and convenience and has reliable traction due to the distinct wave layout at its surface. Yoloha Cork Yoga Mats additionally take pride in being 100% vegan.