Natural yoga mat materials are more popular than ever. Yoga is a great way to connect with the environment around you, especially when you do it in nature. However, if you’re looking to live more sustainably, you may not realize the impact your yoga mat could have on the environment.
Yoga is an exercise practice focusing on your body’s natural inclination towards health and healing. The practice has many physical and mental health benefits, including increasing flexibility and decreasing stress levels.
Many yoga mats are partially or totally unsustainable, with materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is terrible for the environment.
Thankfully, there are yoga mats made of sustainable materials to feel good about using. Here are the top five natural yoga mat materials for you to explore.
Natural rubber is a plant-based polymer first documented in 1600 BC MesoAmerica.
Manufacturers still use the material today and derives from the latex in the ducts of plants. Natural rubber is durable and flexible like synthetic rubber, making it an excellent material for your yoga mat.
Natural rubber is a great sustainable option for your mat that doesn’t sacrifice the strength and comfort you expect.
When you think of cork, you may think of wine bottles, but cork is a great sustainable material for various products, including yoga mats.
Cork forms on the outer bark of the cork oak tree, and its ease of access allowed ancient civilizations to use it for fishing and sealing wine bottles.
The material works excellently in yoga mats because it’s flexible and non-slip. It also doesn’t absorb moisture or dust, making it an excellent material for outdoor yoga.
Hemp is a sustainable fiber from the cannabis plant and a flexible material that’s suitable for various products, including yoga mats. It’s one of the strongest natural fibers and is resistant to mold, mildew, and UV light, making it great for various yoga scenarios.
The cannabis plant is a sustainable low-impact crop, making hemp a great choice. The material is also biodegradable, giving it a minimal environmental impact.
Organic cotton is a soft and sustainable yoga mat material that makes another excellent indoor yoga option.
Certified organic cotton comes from plants that are sustainable even in the ground. Organic cotton plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the soil below, eliminating greenhouse gas from the air.
Once harvested, the cotton can be woven into various long-lasting biodegradable materials like yoga mats.
Jute is a grass fiber similar to hemp that creates durable and sustainable yoga mats. Jute fabric is more commonly known as burlap and is very textured.
While you may not consider burlap the most comfortable material, it works well in yoga mats when fashioned correctly. Jute is also long-lasting and biodegradable, making it a sustainable source for your yoga mat.
When looking for a sustainable yoga mat, choose one that’s beneficial for your practice. If you prefer to do restorative yoga, you’ll likely prefer a thicker, softer yoga mat. If you’re looking for more stability for your stretches, a thinner, sturdier mat might be right.
Considering all your wants and needs will allow you to feel satisfied with your sustainable yoga mat purchase.
With the benefits yoga offers, it’s a worthwhile exercise for almost anyone – but you don’t want to use a yoga mat that harms the environment. Natural yoga mat materials are a great way to practice yoga sustainably and feel good about your body and choices each day.