By Frances Solen
Whether you’re starting out or getting more serious with yoga, having the best yoga mat can be vital to your practice. With all the available options in the market, it’s best to find out the key features the mat needs to have before you invest your money in it.
One of the major considerations in buying a mat is the material it is made of. Basically, there are plastic mats and there are eco – friendly yoga mats.
Plastic mats are made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), tagged as the worst kind of plastic ever made. Just imagine all sorts of harmful chemicals and toxic agents were used to produce a single PVC mat. Then imagine having to inhale all those toxic fumes when you’re in child’s pose or downward dog.
Studies have shown that certain agents used to manufacture PVC mats may cause cancer and even brain damage. Not to mention, these mats don’t decompose when you throw them away. They can end up clogging landfills and causing further damage to the environment. Suffice it to say, this is not the kind of mat that is best for you.
Eco yoga mats
On the other hand, eco friendly mats are made of natural rubber from rubber trees.
Since they are made of natural materials, they are biodegradable and they completely decompose after you dispose them.
More than that, most eco mats are also built to be durable and comfortable. Though they are pricier than the standard plastic mat, most eco mats have better quality and more features than their PVC counterparts.
Of course, their rubbery smell is not the best in the world. But this minor flaw can often be overcome with a good airing or thorough cleaning. Even if you do inhale this unpleasant smell, at least you can be sure it’s just irritating your senses and not harming your body.
The best eco friendly yoga mat
If they are better than PVC mats, then what is the best eco friendly yoga mat?
The best eco mat is one that is suited to your body’s needs, your lifestyle and the kind of yoga you practice. There is no perfect mat but if you study their features as well as flaws, you may find one that is just right for you.
Read reviews and comparisons of the top eco-friendly yoga matssuch asJade Yoga Mat, Manduka eKO, and Prana Yoga Mat.
Some offer more cushion and more space while others provide more traction. Remember to evaluate your needs first and match it up with these mats’ features so you can decide which one is the best suited for your yoga practice.