If you’re a frequent visitor to my site, you’ve probably noticed that there are two things that matter a lot to me. I treasure my privacy and I put a lot of time and thought into looking my very best. Lately I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of yoga. And I’ve learned that this simple, solitary exercise checks both of my boxes!
The benefits of yoga are numerous. Yoga can relieve anxiety and help you sleep better. It can also help you lose weight and tone up your “trouble spots.” Best of all, among all the fitness activities you can choose to partake in, yoga is one of the easiest to take up. Pretty much all you need is a quiet space and a yoga mat. You might also want to watch a few YouTube videos to get you started , then learn new, challenging moves as you progress.
Today I’d like to focus on yoga mats. Choosing a yoga mat is a very personal decision—one that allows you to express your individuality. And you know I’m all about that! From the material it’s made from to its size, color, and pattern, the yoga mat you choose can reflect not only your style, but also your beliefs.
Personally, I’d recommend choosing one of the best eco-friendly yoga mats. What makes a yoga mat eco-friendly? The material it’s made from. Most of the yoga mats sold today are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Truth be told, they’re pretty comfortable. On the whole, they’re also the least expensive choice, which probably accounts for their popularity. But that low price comes with an environmental cost. You may already be familiar with the controversy surrounding PVC. Both the manufacturing and the eventual disposal of PVC mats causes dangerous chemicals like dioxin to be released into the environment. Dioxin affects the air we breathe, the soil where our vegetables are grown, Dioxin has been scientifically linked to serious health problems like cancer, immune system damage, and infertility. Entire cities where PVC is manufactured have been affected. As someone who cares deeply for other people and the environment, I don’t want to be a part of that.
It may cost you a little more, but investing in an eco-friendly yoga mat is worthwhile. And you have lots of comfortable, beautiful choices in that category. You could choose a mat made from sustainably produced cork, for example. Cork mats offer that prized-by-yogis sticky surface to help you keep your grip even when your hands get sweaty. Natural rubber mats also provide eco-friendly stickiness, though if you have a latex allergy, you may want to avoid them. Many rubber mats contain trace amounts of latex that could leave you sneezy and snuffly by the end of your workout. Jute mats offer the advantage of being very lightweight, as well as an easy-to-grip texture, though if you have sensitive skin, you might find them a little too rough.
One of the most popular eco-friendly yoga mat materials is organic cotton. They’re super-soft and breathable. Many come with a removable, machine-washable cover so you can easily keep them smelling fresh and clean. And if you find joy in expressing your unique personality through your home fashion choices, you’ll love the wide selection of colors and patterns available when you choose a cotton mat.