While other yoga mats are made from cheap and harmful materials that stretch and slide or simply deteriorate after a few uses, Ajna Wellbeing’s Natural Jute Mat is made from premium organic Natural fibres that repel smells and sweat stains, provide a durable non-slip texture, and are 100% biodegradable. This means a better, more enjoyable yoga practice for your body, and peace of mind, knowing that your mat is safe and sustainable.
If you’re a yoga enthusiast, it might seem safe to assume that your yoga mat is made from eco friendly materials. People who practice yoga are usually environmentally conscious, right? But while people who practice yoga might care about the environment, the factories that make yoga mats couldn’t care less.
Like most consumer products, yoga mats are mass-produced in factories that cause waste and pollution and make their products from non-biodegradable materials. That yoga mat sitting in the corner of your room is going to be sitting in a landfill for a long time. And since corporate America doesn’t care, it’s up to each of us as individuals to make a difference.
We’re not asking you to throw away the mat you’ve already purchased, since that would just create more waste anyway. But next time you’re looking for a new yoga mat, skip the factory-produced mats and look for an eco friendly mat made by an independent manufacturer.
These mats are made from recycled, biodegradable materials that will break down over time instead of taking up space in a landfill. Plus, when you buy one of these mats, you’ll be supporting an independent business instead of a wealthy millionaire. Here’s everything you need to know about eco friendly yoga mats.
What Are Yoga Mats Traditionally Made From?
Have you ever thought about what your yoga mat is made from? Yoga mats are traditionally made from a study, foam-like substance that supports you throughout even the most complicated yoga poses. To achieve this soft yet durable surface, most factories use rubber, vinyl or PVC. These materials might sound different, but they all have one thing in common: none of them are biodegradable.
When a material is biodegradable, that means that it’s capable of breaking down over the time and returning to the earth. Natural materials like cotton, hemp, cork and wood are all biodegradable. But if a product isn’t biodegradable, that means it will take centuries to break down. Once it’s been manufactured, you can’t get rid of it. You could throw your yoga mat in a landfill, come back in a hundred years, and find that it still looks exactly the same as when you left it.
Our reliance on non-biodegradable materials is one reason that the landfills are filling up so rapidly. Countless consumer products are made from materials like rubber, foam, PVC, metal, chemicals, paint products and more. And half the time, it’s not even necessary. Think about all the useless plastic packaging you see on a pack of batteries or a new pair of scissors. The world is slowly being covered in trash. And when we’ve run out of places to hide it, what are we going to do?
Fortunately, there are steps that everyone can take to help keep that from happening. We can’t single-handedly change corporate America, but we can make a commitment to produce less waste in our own lives.
What Are Eco Friendly Yoga Mats Made From?
Most environmentally friendly yoga mats are made from natural rubber. Unlike synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum, natural rubber is made by collecting sap from the rubber tree. The sap is then processed and formed into strips of rubber.
Natural rubber looks and feels just like synthetic rubber, but since it’s a natural material, it breaks down instead of taking up space in landfills. Natural rubber is also a renewable resource. Unlike fossil-fuel based rubber, natural rubber is extracted from trees, so it can be collected again and again. As long as rubber trees still exist on this planet, we’ll never run out of natural rubber.
Jute is another popular material for sustainable yoga mats. Like bamboo and cotton, jute is a natural material that’s harvested from the jute plant. Jute is a sustainable material because it can be regrown and harvested every year–and since it’s a natural fiber, it’s also 100% biodegradable.
If you’re not a fan of jute or rubber, you can find yoga mats made from other natural materials like hemp and cork. Just make sure you do your research so you know you’re buying a product that’s 100% natural. Some mats are made with a combination of natural and synthetic fibers.
Are Natural Yoga Mats as Durable as the Artificial Ones?
Before you go out and buy an eco friendly yoga mat, you might be wondering if natural yoga mat material is just as strong as PVC and vinyl. After all, you’ve been practicing some pretty complicated poses, and you’ve been known to take your mat outside once in a while. Will an eco friendly alternative to yoga mat materials stand up to wear and tear, or will they disintegrate after a month of use?
Environmentally friendly mats are actually just as durable as artificial ones, if not more so. Natural rubber is used to make everything from pacifiers to car tires, and jute has been used to make clothing for centuries. These mats can hold up to years of wear and tear without falling apart or disintegrating. You can even take them outside and enjoy the fresh air without worrying about the mat falling apart. An eco friendly yoga mat is one of the best investments you can make for your yoga practice.
Can You Find Natural Yoga Mats with Alignment Lines?
If you’re having trouble finding your alignment, a yoga mat with alignment lines can help you maintain the correct posture. Luckily, you can easily find an eco friendly yoga mat with alignment lines. Like the traditional mats, these yoga mats are made from sustainable materials like cork and natural rubber.
Where Can You Find Natural Yoga Mats?
If you have a health and wellness store in your area, check out their line of yoga mats. You might also find yoga mats in fitness store. However, make sure you check the label, as most mass-produced mats are made from artificial materials. Try looking up the brand online if you can’t find any information on the label. If you still can’t find any information on the materials, it’s safe to assume that the mat is made from artificial materials like PVC or synthetic rubber. Natural mats usually advertise the fact that they’re made from environmentally friendly materials.
Luckily, there’s a wide spectrum of mats available for sale on the Internet. You can find mats in just about any size and color you can imagine, made from a wide variety of materials like cork, hemp, jute and natural rubber. You can stick with a single-color mat or look for something with a design or alignment lines. There are so many options that your biggest chore will be narrowing it down!
When you search for a yoga mat online, take the time to check out the brand’s website and learn about the materials they use. Some brands claim to be environmentally friendly, but they still use artificial materials. Others use natural materials harvested in an unethical, unsustainable way. Do your research to make sure you’re supporting an ethical company.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got a handy list of natural yoga mats right here on our website. Try one out and let us know what you think!