Eco friendly yoga mats are the environmentally conscious choice when it comes to enjoying a spiritual and fitness oriented yoga practice.
These eco-friendly mats normally are much better than those stinky, toxic, PVC-laden mats and highly recommended by many experts.
Always keep four different categories in mind, when going for an eco-friendly yoga mats: performance, durability, cost, and smell.
Performance: Eco mats should not be soft or hard, slippery or sticky, rough or smooth, but with medium thickness, medium hardness, and slightly sticky and slightly rough. These qualities are great for practices like vinyasa flow and ashtanga yoga.
Durability: Sometimes environmentally-aware yoga mats are not as durable as the plastic/rubber ones because they are made from natural materials. Conventional mats are made up of industrial strength plastics, which helps them last a long time. You’ll have to weigh the cost of the yoga mat, he energy required to produce the yoga mat, along with the extra waste it may produce(often biodegradable waste, though), to evaluate whether you are actually coming out ahead when you purchase a natural-fiber yoga mat.
Cost: Eco-friendly mats can be more expensive than conventional mats. But they are worth their price, as they are quite good for the environment and for our health too. It’s not a good idea to breathe fumes off plastic mats while exercising on a conventional mat.
Smell: Eco mats have strong smell from the natural rubber, so strong at times that it might affect your practice. No one wants to take a deep breath in through their nose and get a stinky whiff of eau deyoga mat.
Here are some leading yoga mats you might want to consider:
1. Manduka’s and Barefoot: These two are among the best eco friendly mats. The eKO Mat by Manduka is quite durable and sticky, and firm too. It has all eco-benefits without any signs of smell. This mat comes with a lifetime guarantee and a certification to back-up their zero-emissions claims.
The Original Eco Yoga Mat by Barefoot Yoga is made from natural rubber and jute fiber. It has a rough surface, which can be really good for some people. It does not cause any discomfort, though. This is also highly durable and strong enough for themost active exercises. They are expensive but worth buying. There strong smell does wear off over time.
2. Lululemon’s Supernatural Yoga Mat: It has a solid grip, and is quite substantial, heavy and sturdy. This mat is thinner, too. It may start to flake within the first couple of months.
3. Jade Yoga’sHarmony Professional Mat: It’s quite durable. Only problem being it’s an “open-cell” mat, which makes it a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Sweat gets absorbed in it quite easily and it’s really hard to clean it. It may develop an unpleasant odor.
4. Lotus Wear Rubber mat: This is quite a thin mat made of rubber, which is a renewable resource because it comes from rubber trees. It is much better than man-made substances like TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) or plastic. It is also recyclable and biodegrade over a long period of time. It is also more durable than TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) and lasts longer.