After being confined in a small apartment in Paris for over three weeks as the result of the COVID-19 lock down, I can tell you, sport helps. The positive side effect of being forced to stay inside is that you are really craving for movement and I think I’m not alone. I have never seen so many runners since the lock down began. But since I’m not so into running, I decided to focus more on yoga, as it also helps to control anxiety and stress. I normally practice yoga and pilates once or twice a week, but I decided now to do a 30 day yoga challenge. Everyday yoga, which feels great so far! (Day 10)
But one of the first things which annoyed me from the beginning was my yoga mat. My current one is one of these bad synthetic ones, which I have had for a long time. It is light, great to carry to my yoga classes during normal times, but the ends roll up and it could have more grip and not to mention all the toxins, which are in such a synthetic mat. So a new natural sustainable one had to replace that thing, since I will stretch my body on it every day from now on.
So I started my research and I was surprised how many great mats are out there and I decided to share my favorites with you, in case you are in a similar situation.
Stay safe and at home. NAMASTE
THE GRIPPY ONE
The beautiful yoga mats from Liforme claim to be the grippiest yoga mat on the market, even when sweaty-wet. Made out of naturally sourced sustainable rubber and topped with their unique and specially engineered eco-polyurethane layer, the mat is PVC free and fully biodegradable after 1 to 5 years. A nice feature is their unique ‘AlignForMe’ System which is printed on the mat and works as a navigational tool for your yoga asana practice. The Liforme Yoga Mat is 4.2 mm thick and at 185 x 68 cm it’s a bit longer and wider than regular mats and gives you a bit more extra space. The yoga mat is available in many pretty colours, weighs approximately 2.5 kg and comes with a bag.
Check out their cool informative video about the history of the yoga mat: https://eu.liforme.com/pages/yoga-mat-history
Social impact: Liforme gives 100% of their profit from their website for the whole of April to support the yoga community in these difficult times, kicked off by a $10,000 donation by them. They donate 5% from the sale of Liforme Zodiac Animal Yoga Mats to the RSPCA, to support animal welfare. Furthermore they pledge their official support to Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and funds to alleviate poverty in India, the motherland of yoga. Environmental impact: Another 5% from the purchase of a Purple Earth mat from Liforme.com goes to Friends of the Earth, to improve the environmental outlook for the future. Liforme put 5 years of research into the development of a PVC-free material that is heat bonded without the use of any toxic adhesives and biodegrades in normal landfill conditions in 1 to 5 years. Packaging is plastic free.
THE ALL ROUNDER
The B MAT® Everyday provides, with only 4mm, good padding and grip for your exercises. The mat has two comfortable sizes of 180 x 60 cm and 215 x 66 cm and with its 1.8 kg for the smaller one, pretty light and ideal to transport it to your yoga studio. The mat is available in many beautiful colours, is manufactured in Spain and consists of 100% rubber, both a natural and a synthetic one. A small percentage of the recycled synthetic rubber is blended into the natural material which gives the The B MAT® Everyday a much longer lifetime. The mat is Oeko-Tex certified and free of toxins or harmful chemicals.
Environmental impact: The mat consists mostly out of natural rubber and has a long lifetime.
THE NATURAL ONE
The Harmony Mat by Jade Yoga™ is their most popular one. The mat comes with a 5 mm thickness and a size of 173 x 61 cm (available also in two longer lengths). It is available in a large range of colours and the 173 cm model weighs 2.2 kg. The mat is sustainably made out of natural rubber tapped from rubber trees and fabricated in the USA. It doesn’t contain any PVS, EVA or other synthetic rubber and the natural rubber gives the mat an excellent grip in wet and dry conditions. Because it is made entirely out of rubber, putting the mat into direct UV or sunlight can damage it.
Environmental impact: Using only natural rubber makes the mat entirely biodegradable. Jade Yoga™ has a partnership with Trees For The Future, with whom they are planting a tree for every mat sold, and planted over 2 million trees so far. Reducing CO2 by producing in the USA where the company is based.
THE COLOURFUL ONE
The Manduka® eKO® Lite Yoga Mat is made from biodegradable, non-Amazonian harvested, natural tree rubber. Instead of using synthetic polyester the tree rubber is reinforced with a blend of polyester and natural cotton all free of toxic foaming agents and AZO dyes. The mat is 4 mm thick and consists of two layers with different densities, a combination of cushioning and firm support, while the cell surface is closed that repels moisture. The mat comes in cool marbled and striped patterns in different colours in a dimension of 180 cm x 61 cm and weighs 2.1 kg, which makes it ideal to carry to your yoga studio.
Environmental impact: Using sustainably harvested tree rubber, and a blend of natural cotton and polyester makes the mat very eco-friendly.
THE CARBON-NEGATIVE ONE
Form’s pretty Onyx Yoga Mat comes with a super smooth yet super grippy surface. Printed with a grid on it to help with alignment and consistency. The 4.5 mm thick mat is fully biodegradable, made with a core out of sustainably sourced natural tree rubber and a topping out of biodegradable polyurethane; free from PVC, silicone, glue, latex, toxic chemicals and carcinogens. The Onyx mat comes in a comfortable size of 183 x 68 cm and weighs 3.3 kg, plus it comes with a bag to transport it easier.
Environmental impact: Form is carbon-negative, which means they take more carbon out of the atmosphere than they put into it. This is calculated by using a specific methodology which you can see on their site. The mats have a long lifetime and the Onyx mat is fully biodegradable. Environmental friendly packaging.
THE WETSUIT REINCARNATION
The SugaMat is truly unique, it is made out of recycled wetsuits. Therefore they collect old wetsuits from surfers in California, where the company is based and turns them into yoga mats. One wetsuit equals approximately one SugaMat and after its lifetime the mat is recyclable again. The mat is 5 mm thick and offers comfortable sizes of 183 x 64 cm or 190 x 67.5 cm. Especially interesting is the SugaMat C2G (Cradle To Grave), this mat is for life, if anything happens to it, they will replace it with a new one.
Environmental impact: Rescuing wetsuits from landfills by recycling them and saving by not producing any new material and having the production where the company is based.
Title image: ©Manduka®