There’s nothing like quite like yoga to help you feel connected to Mother Earth… but many yogis may be horrified to discover that between downward dog and terra firma is a nasty sliver of polyvinyl chloride or PVC.
On the whole, yogis are enlightened when it comes to the environment. Take a look around any class and you’ll see a fair smattering of reusable water bottles, organic vegan health bars and bike helmets. All the more ironic that the majority of yoga mats are made from toxic plastic — destined to inhabit the earth long after you and your practice have moved on to a higher spiritual plane.
Now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as manufacturers are coming out with earth-friendly alternatives. There are a number of options out there. My new favorite is the Harmony mat from Jade Yoga which is made from natural rubber, a renewable resource.
Not only is this mat better for one’s health and the environment, it actually performs better too. First up, whereas my hands often slipped on a PVC mat, the traction on the rubber mat means my grip can rival Spiderman’s. Secondly, despite the fact my traditional mat was thicker, the au natural version feels more cushioned and allows for a more comfortable practice.
The only other thing I should mention is that the rubber mat emits a certain rubbery smell….but rest assured your inhales will be filled with the satisfaction of knowing that you are a yogi in the truest and greenest sense of the word.