The beauty of a yoga mat is that it’s multi-purpose. So, whether exercise, yoga, or meditation, is your thing, having one of these on hand means you can do it at home, on the move or within a class environment. If you’re still borrowing a mat, it’s time to think about purchasing your own one. Think of the greater flexibility you’ll have and the extra reassurance using your own mat will bring during this Covid-19 era.
Choosing the right yoga mat is important though, so do look at the options before you make a purchase. There have been many advancements made in the technology and materials used for yoga mats. Also, with eco-consciousness at the forefront of everyone’s mind, some offer a sustainable option too.
Synthetic Yoga Mats
Synthetic mats tend to be made from PVC. Whilst this material is cheap and relatively durable, there have been some concerns about PVC raised, linking it to health issues, including headaches, nausea, allergic reactions and even diseases like cancer.
Another downside to PVC is that it’s not an eco-friendly material and is hardly ever recycled. The major issue is that it's burnt on landfill, releasing dangerous toxins into the atmosphere. Some of these chemicals are greenhouse gases, which can also affect climate change.
Unfortunately, polyester mats are not much better either. The sad fact is that polyester production is energy intensive, meaning that it’s another cause of greenhouse gas emissions and contamination of the earth’s water too. In short, the cheapest yoga mat is not always the best one in terms of our health or for the planet. Eco-friendly materials tend to be a little more costly so how can we be sure that we’re getting our money’s worth?
Natural Rubber Mats
Luckily, you don’t need to be on a complete downer after reading about the impact of synthetic mats. There is some very good news because by opting for one made from natural materials, toxicity and the impact on the planet can be minimised. A yoga mat made from natural rubber, means that you’re purchasing something free from harmful chemical residues and a material that’s sustainable.
Being eco-conscious and creating sustainable products is at the core of everything we do at Yogi Bare. Every step along the way, from product, to packaging to freight has been micro- analysed, waste is minimised, and sustainable, recyclable materials are used and reused wherever possible. Even the attractive designs on our yoga mats are laser engraved to avoid the use of anything toxic.
And Yogi Bare yoga mats are made from biodegradable, natural rubber, sourced from a sustainable forest. We’ve also collaborated on a fantastic initiative at Moy Tree Farm to support their Project Hometree. A tree is planted for each Wild Paws non-slip yoga mat sold. Brilliantly designed, this mat encapsulates our eco-ethos with images of trees, swallows, and fauna, allowing the user to practise yoga feeling happy that they’ve contributed to improving the planet.
Are Yogi Bare Natural Rubber Mats Any Good?
Natural rubber is great because it doesn’t split or crack when you roll it up and it’s a material with highly grippy properties. This ensures that our non-slip yoga mats are high-performance, with an infinitely better grip, and a 4mm thickness. There’s no slipping and sliding around, when you’re trying to stay in pose with our yoga mats. That’s because sweat doesn’t make our mats slippery, in fact, it improves grip!
Yogi Bare mats are also thicker, bouncier and way more comfortable than a traditional synthetic yoga mat. The thickness is an important feature because it supports the impact on ankles, wrists, and knees. Providing crucial joint support helps the user to improve their balance meaning there’s less likelihood of injury. A positive knock-on effect is that it also gives the user confidence to hold stronger poses and try those more challenging ones because they’re not anxious about sliding out of the pose.
Natural rubber also has the added advantage that it’s ridiculously easy to clean. Our Paws, Paws X and Wild Paws mats can be cleaned once weekly by wiping down both sides with warm water diluted with completely natural fresh lemon juice! This cleans away any built-up oils and dirt, leaving these long-lasting mats in pristine condition.
Which Yogi Bare Mat Should I Choose?
We think that choosing a natural rubber yoga mat is a no-brainer. The only choice you must make is which one to buy!
Our ultimate inspirational yoga mat must be the Paws Flow Mat. Its longer and wider than your average yoga mat, is made from a 100% natural and sustainable rubber base and is covered with an incredibly artistic and awe-inspiring photograph of the ocean.