The significance of selecting a yoga mat
Whether or not or not you contemplate your self a yogi, in case you’re somebody who enjoys taking part in a yoga class, be it in-person or digital, you’re going to want no less than one trusty piece of kit: a yoga mat.
Fortunately, there is no such thing as a scarcity of choices available on the market, protecting all varieties, together with sticky yoga mats, rubber yoga mats, cotton, and hemp yoga mats and even journey yoga mats.
When searching for a yoga mat, one vital issue to remember is whether or not or not it’s thought of “eco-friendly.”
“If a yoga mat is eco-friendly, it means that it’s going to ultimately break down and biodegrade, versus different mats that may final on the planet for very lengthy durations of time, and should even off-gas dangerous chemical compounds from the manufacturing,” explains Amy Ippoliti, yoga instructor, writer of The Artwork and Enterprise of Educating Yoga, earth activist and founding father of Vesselify College of Yoga.
Why purchase an eco-friendly yoga mat?
Choosing yoga mats made out of sustainable supplies helps to cut back the waste that has damaging impacts on our planet, explains Katie O’Hara, conservation supervisor at Loggerhead Marinelife Heart in Juno Seaside, Florida.
“Sadly, yoga mats that aren’t made sustainably contribute to our planet’s rising waste drawback, and may even emit poisonous fuel whereas getting used, which is dangerous for shoppers’ well being,” she says.
“One may suppose yoga mats made out of recycled plastics are choice, however in actuality, they aren’t really eco-friendly as a result of nano and microplastic items which might be launched through the manufacturing into the setting, that are dangerous to animals and folks.”
“Many are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that comprise unstable natural compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic fragrant hydrocarbons (PAHs),” says Paula Jasinski, yoga practitioner, environmental scientist, president and director of science communications for Chesapeake Environmental Communications, and founding father of Inexperienced Fin Studio in Richmond, Virginia.
“Who needs to relaxation in little one’s pose realizing they’re getting a dose of formaldehyde, phthalates, and different poisonous chemical compounds?” Jasinski asks.
One more reason to purchase an eco-friendly mat is the peace and thoughts of realizing that whenever you’ve used your mat to its fullest.
In different phrases, it should biodegrade and return to the earth as an alternative of sticking round endlessly. “Our planet is dangerously over-saturated with plastics—shopping for an eco-friendly mat is a accountable factor to do,” Ippoliti provides.
By way of enhancing your follow, Rachel Welch, licensed well being coach, yoga teacher, and founding father of the post-natal health methodology Revolution Motherhood, notes that you would be able to really feel the distinction in texture in an eco-friendly yoga mat, in addition to the traction beneath your ft and fingers.
She additionally provides that you would be able to nearly all the time discover a distinction in scent, which the eco-friendly mats don’t have any disagreeable odor.
(Listed here are some yoga quotes to encourage you in your journey.)
What to search for in an eco-friendly yoga mat
When searching for an eco-friendly yoga mat, listed here are some qualities that consultants advocate on the lookout for.
Biodegradable: To ensure that your yoga mat to be thought of “eco-friendly,” it must be biodegradable, which means it should ultimately break down and return to the earth.
“The trick is to discover a mat that can break down, but in addition stay sturdy and sticky for its time with you,” shares Ippoliti.
Non-toxic: Imagine it or not, there are numerous yoga mats on the market made with hazardous chemical compounds, together with PVC. Non-toxic yoga mats are made out of pure substances, equivalent to plant fiber or cork tree bark, notes Ippoliti.
Odorless: Any eco-friendly yoga mat you buy shouldn’t have any chemical scent to it.
“A variety of artificial mats can carry a plastic-like scent, particularly whenever you start sweating on them,” notes Welch.
In the event you discover this type of scent, chances are high, your yoga mat is just not eco-friendly or non-toxic.
Really feel and texture: It’s vital that you simply like the texture and the feel of any yoga mat you buy, even eco-friendly choices.
Welch prefers a skinny mat that enables her to really feel the ground or floor beneath.
“I additionally need good traction once I’m sweating, so I would like one thing with some patterning built-in,” she provides. (These yoga strikes will aid you get in form quick.)
Greatest eco-friendly yoga mats
Prepared to buy eco-friendly yoga mats? Listed here are a number of the greatest merchandise available on the market. (Don’t neglect to clear your yoga mat too—right here’s how.)
Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat
This yoga mat from Hugger Mugger has the entire bells and whistles you’re on the lookout for and it’s eco-friendly on high of all of it.
It has a ¼” thickness and options two sides that present various levels of grippy textures—one which’s lined in tiny rubber bumps to maintain you in place and one which has a woven-like rubbery grip that’s best for decent yoga.
It’s made out of eco-friendly pure rubber (which in fact means you shouldn’t select this one when you’ve got a latex allergy).
(Discover out if chair yoga is the miracle treatment for arthritis ache.)
JadeYoga Concord Mat
In the event you’re on the lookout for a thicker mat that gives a bit extra cushion in your knees, it is a nice choice from JadeYoga.
Welch finds it notably helpful for when she’s working towards exterior on a deck or on exhausting floor.
Made out of pure rubber, JadeYoga mats are free from plastic, together with PVC, and are non-toxic.
It’s additionally price including that the corporate donates $5 to varied causes relying on which coloration Concord Mat you purchase.
(Begin your day without work with these morning yoga stretches.)
Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Journey Mat
This Manduka yoga mat is common for thus many causes, however one of the crucial vital to so many yogis is the truth that it’s eco-friendly and made out of 100% pure tree rubber with foaming brokers which might be fully non-toxic and freed from azo dyes.
It’s, nonetheless, price noting that this mat is on the thinner aspect, however many admire this characteristic because it makes it simpler to journey with.
One factor it doesn’t compromise on is grip—it has glorious traction and it prevents sweat from sticking to it. As with all yoga mat, Ippoliti warns by no means to go away this mat in a sunny window or a scorching automotive. “They do dry out and lose their stickiness,” she says.
Right here’s a 10-minute yoga exercise you are able to do daily.
Gaiam Yoga Mat
Gaiam is among the hottest yoga manufacturers, as they promote all types of merchandise from mats to equipment.
One among their key pillars is their dedication to sustainability, which may be seen within the merchandise they produce.
This mat can be PVC-free and made out of pure rubber. Even their blocks are made out of 100% recycled supplies (cork to be particular).
Gurus Roots Cork Yoga Mat
You may inform by simply this mat that it has rather a lot to supply when it comes to sustainability. It encompasses a pure tree rubber backside layer and a waxy, cork coating on its high layer that stops it from absorbing moisture and helps it keep a robust grip.
“The cork is absorbent and naturally antimicrobial, making it a good selection for decent yoga classes,” says Jasinski. It’s price noting that this mat from Gurus is heavier than most yoga mats, weighing in at about 5 kilos.
(This yoga routine could result in higher digestion.)
Rumi Earth Yoga Mat
This yoga mat from Rumi encompasses a woven cotton high layer and a pure rubber-coated backside layer which each enable it to take care of a cushty grip and texture that doesn’t disturb you in any of your positions. It’s fully biodegradable and 100% machine cleanable, which is a hard-to-come-by characteristic in a yoga mat.
(Listed here are 7 causes why your little one ought to be working towards yoga.)
Atmananda Black Yoga Mat
In the event you’re somebody who’s simply beginning out in your yoga journey, you’ll admire the truth that this Atmananda yoga mat comes clad with alignment markers that aid you see precisely the place your fingers and ft ought to go in varied yoga positions.
It’s additionally eco-friendly, made out of 100% rubber, and with out poisonous chemical compounds.
(Right here’s what may occur whenever you begin doing yoga.)
Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat
Heidi Kristoffer, creator of the CrossFlow Yoga app, is a large fan of this yoga mat from Yoga Design Lab, which additionally doubles as a yoga towel.
“These mats are made out of biodegradable, recyclable, 100% pure tree rubber base,” she says.
Professional tip: Since these mats are made for sweating, she recommends bringing them to any scorching yoga or sweaty stream class.