Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Options – What’s best for you?

A short article to help you choose the best Eco Friendly Yoga Mat

You’ve read the articles on the horrors of PVC yoga mats and phthalates and you’ve probably turned your smelly, old yoga mat into a pair of shoes! But, just how do you choose the best environmentally friendly yoga mat to replace it?

Most people buy a PVC sticky yoga mat because they’re cheap, comfortable but firm, provide decent grip and a choice of colors and patterns.

I’m going to keep this article simple by assuming you want something similar to a standard sticky yoga mat but more eco friendly, better for your health and better for the environment.

I’m not going to discuss jute yoga mats or cotton yoga mats in this article, just rubber yoga mats and eco foam yoga mats.

Rubber Yoga Mats

Rubber is almost the perfect material for eco friendly yoga mats. It’s natural and sustainable (as long as it’s from sustainable forests). Rubber is really dense but springy, so rubber yoga mats are great for the perfect combination of balance and comfort.

The best premium eco yoga mats are made of rubber but, they have three drawbacks.

  1. Rubber yoga mats are heavy so they can be a pain to carry around
  2. Rubber yoga mats smell. Some people love the smell, some hate it but it does fade over time.
  3. Rubber yoga mats contains latex and some people are allergic to latex

Eco Foam Yoga Mats

As a response to the dangers of PVC two eco friendlier versions of flexible plastic are now used for eco yoga mats. These are TPE and PER or Thermoplastic Elastomers and Polyurethane Environmental Resin. You can do your own research on the chemistry of yoga mats (if you’re interested) but for this article, all we need to know is that both of these compounds come in dozens of varieties, some of which include rubber.

Every Eco Foam Yoga Mat will be slightly different so you need to check with the supplier exactly what the benefits of their yoga mats are. Eco Foam Yoga Mats can be-

  • Biodegradable
  • Phthalate free
  • PVC free
  • Dioxin free
  • Lead free
  • Cadmium free
  • Produced in a more environmentally friendly way than PVC

Make sure your new environmentally friendly yoga mat ticks as many boxes as possible. If you have a latex allergy check that your TPE or PER ecomat doesn’t contain latex.

Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Prices

Many people are happy to pay premium prices for the best eco credentials and the best quality yoga mats, and that’s great BUT times are tight so, it’s important to realise that you can also now, find excellent extra thick, extra long, eco yoga mats for around $15. If you’re just starting off, buy one of those instead of a PVC yoga mat.

Like all things it’s a question of balance. You may not be able to buy the perfect Eco Yoga Mat but you can do a lot better than the standard PVC mat.

Summary

If you can afford it and you aren’t allergic to latex and don’t mind the temporary smell go for a rubber yoga mat like this or this

If money’s no object go for something like this

If cost is an issue or you’d really just like a light foam eco friendly yoga mat then go for TPE or PER like this one . It’s less than $15.

Our personal favorite and a really great middle of the road Eco Friendly Yoga Mat is this one

If you’d like more detail take a look at our latest article ‘The Eco Mat Yoga best selling eco friendly yoga mats review’ or click here for more general advice on where to buy a yoga mat.

Eco Friendly Yoga Mat

Thought you might like a breath of fresh air!

Eco Yoga Mat Suppliers and Producers

A short overview of  the best selling Eco Yoga Mat suppliers with links to their most popular Eco Friendly Yoga Mats and reviews

The vast majority of discount yoga mats are manufactured in China but many of the premium eco yoga mats are made in the USA. We think it’s important to know who you’re buying from so here’s some background on the major companies.

Click on the links to see each company’s eco friendly range of yoga mats and loads of customer reviews.

BEAN PRODUCTS
Based in Chicago, IL since 1987, Bean Products Inc are proud to manufacture their eco yoga mats in the USA . “Passionate about our planet and crazy about comfort” is how they describe themselves.

Bean Products range of Eco Yoga Mats is aimed at the price concious end of the market and their most popular is Amazon’s best selling Eco Yoga Mat.

Click here for Bean Products Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews

AURORAE
The company president of Aurorae, Dennis Ingui, developed his passion for yoga as it helped him through as a cancer survivor nine years ago.

Aurorae is New Jersey based and produces an excellent range of mid priced Eco Yoga Mats.

Click here for Auorae Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

MANDUKA
Manduka are firmly committed to environmentally friendly production. But, what do you do when have the world’s best selling premium yoga mat but it isn’t quite as Eco friendly as you’d like? California based Manduka’s best selling Manduka BlackMatPRO Yoga and Pilates Mat is widely recognised as the ultimate yoga mat but it does contain some PVC. Of course the BlackMatPRO is extremely durable. You can argue that it’s the only Yoga Mat you’ll ever need so, you save the environment by not buying so many Yoga Mats in your life time.

Manduka also make an excellent range of premium Eco Yoga Mats.

Click here for Manduka Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

JADE YOGA
I’m not sure how many things Conshohocken, Pennsylvania is famous for. Maybe someone can enlighten us? But, that’s where the undoubtedly famous Jade Yoga has it’s home.  Jade Industries have been making non-slip natural rubber products since the early  and Jade Yoga grew naturally out of this base.

Jade developed the first natural rubber yoga mat (the Harmony) and now produces a good range of mid priced eco yoga mats.

Click here for Jade Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

AGILE
New Yorker, Jim McDade, founded Agile Fitness in 2006.  Agile is dedicated to providing home workout programs via the Internet but also produces exercise equipment.

We really like the Agile Eco Yoga Mat it’s an excellent eco yoga mat at almost discount prices.

Click here for Agile Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

NATURAL FITNESS
Natural Fitness are Chicago based and founded in 2007.  Their aim was to provide an Eco Friendly response to the low quality and environmentally harmful products seen in yoga and Pilates studios.

Natural Fitness provide a range of excellent value Eco Friendly Yoga Mats

Click here for Natural Fitness Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

prAna
prAna (that’s how they spell it) is a very interesting company based in California. prAna are totally committed to the environment and this is reflected in their innovative Eco Yoga Mats.

This is what they say about themselves “Every day we learn something new about the world and our need to be global citizens. We have set our intentions on what matters most to us and have made a commitment to align our actions with our values”.

Click here for prAna Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

Gaiam
Gaiam are a lifestyle company based out of Boulder, Colorado and committed to health, wellness and green living.  Gaiam sell a huge range of lifestyle products including yoga mats.

Many of their yoga mats are PVC but they do sell a range of Eco Yoga Mats

Click here for Gaiam Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

Kulae
Kulae are based in Norwell, MA and live by their mantra “karma’s realTM… that what goes around comes around, and that we all have a responsibility to our communities and to each other..

We like Kulae. They are one of the few yoga mat companies that only sell Eco Yoga Mats and all lines of their tpECOmats are 100% biodegradable, 100% recyclable, and contain NO PVC, NO latex, NO cadmium, NO lead and NO rubber (that means NO allergies).

Click here for Kulae Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

Hugger Mugger
Sara Chambers founded Hugger Mugger 27 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hugger Mugger have grown to become one of the most recognised yoga mat brands due to their emphasis on style and innovation.

Hugger Mugger sell a wide range of yoga products including Eco Yoga Mats

Click here for Hugger Mugger Eco Yoga Mats and customer reviews.

We’ve picked our favorite Eco Yoga Mat from each of these companies and pulled them together into our selection of the best Eco Yoga Mats in our article “The Eco Mat Yoga best selling eco friendly yoga mats review”. You can find the best prices, read our recommendations and check customer reviews there.

There are hundreds of online yoga supplies stores but we like to be sure of who we buy from.  Amazon.com is the easiest, and usually the cheapest, place to buy Eco Yoga Mats online.



Eco Mat Yoga

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

The Eco Mat Yoga best selling eco friendly yoga mats review

This is our selection of the best selling Eco Yoga Mats from each of the top ten bestselling Eco Yoga Mat suppliers and manufacturers

For more information on the best Eco Yoga Mats, and loads of customer reviews, just click on the pictures or text links in the article below.

BEAN PRODUCTS



is 72 inches long and double thick at ¼ inch (6.3mm).  It’s washable and comes in a range of colors. This eco yoga mat is a low priced, high performance, easy care, eco yoga mat. It does not contain dioxins, toxic phthalates or heavy metals and is manufactured using an ecologically safer method of production. It is made of PER (Polymer Environmental Resin).

If you’re looking for a great Eco Yoga Mat yoga mat at a great price, this is it!





AURORAE



Is manufactured from a newly designed eco friendly material and is good value, easy to care for and durable. Machine washing on a hot setting is actively encouraged to break this eco yoga mat in.  It is 72 inches long, ¼ inch thick and comes in a range of colors with a focal point icon to aid concentration.





MANDUKA



The legendary is so durable it carries a lifetime guarantee and is well known for its dense cushioning and fabric finished non slip surface but it does contain PVC so we’ve included the more eco friendly natural rubber and sea-grass Manduka eKO Yoga Mat instead.

The Manduka eKO yoga mat is a natural rubber, biodegradable, closed-cell mat that is designed for durability and comfort, The eKO mat is longer, wider and thicker than the average size yoga mat, at 71 inches long, 26 inches wide, 5mm thick and it weighs in at 6lbs.





JADE YOGA



Jade Yoga’s most popular premium eco yoga mat is made of natural rubber and contains no PVC.  The Jade Harmony Professional comes in 74  and 68 inch lengths and is 3/16 ths of an inch thick providing a good balance of traction and cushioning.






AGILE



is a comfortable yoga mat, ¼ inch thick, 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. It is made of recyclable TPE, so it’s PVC-free, latex-free, durable, lightweight and biodegradable.








NATURAL FITNESS



Is, unsurprisingly, made of rubber. This eco friendly yoga mat comes in a variety of two tone colors and is natural and bio-degradable.  It’s 24 Inches wide by 69 inches long and 3/16 inch thick.






prAna



prAna claim that this is the best yoga mat available on the market, and if you check out the customer reviews you’ll see that most people who’ve bought it definitely agree.  The prAna revolution is extremely roomy. The average yoga mat is 24″x68″ but this Yoga Mat is a huge 30″x78″ and a comfortable 4mm thick. It’s a rubber-based all-natural yoga mat and it’s completely biodegradable.  The Revolution Yoga Mat is very dense so it’s heavy at about 10 pounds. There’s a slightly lighterweight version of this yoga mat,  the Neo Natural Yoga Mat by prAna. The only difference is that it’s 4″ narrower.





GAIAM



Gaiam tend to aim for the bottom of the market and mainly sell patterned PVC Yoga Mats so their best selling Eco Yoga Mat is also cheap and cheerful.  This sticky mat is 3mm thick and made from non-toxic TPE, which contains no PVC or latex. It measures 68 x 24 inches and weighs 2 pounds.






KULAE



This is a really thick mat at nearly 1/2″ and it’s extra long at 72″.  The Kulae tpECOmat Ultra is constructed using closed cell technology (so germs, bacteria + odor can’t penetrate the mat surface), and it’s allergen free, 100% Biodegradable, 100% Recyclable,  PVC- and Latex-Free






HUGGER MUGGER



And now for something a little more unusual! Hugger Mugger are developing a greater choice of Eco Friendly Yoga Mats and their best seller is this Jute Yoga Mat with a non-slip backing of PER.  It’s very light at only 2lbs. The Jute Sattva Yoga Mat measures 68 x 24 x 0.4 inches.






What are eco yoga mats made of?

If you’re looking for the best eco mat for yoga you’ll want to know what eco yoga mats are made of ……

Once upon a time ….. not so very long ago ….. if you wanted a sticky mat for yoga but didn’t want a PVC yoga mat, you didn’t have much choice apart from rubber.  Rubber yoga mats are great (unless you have a latex allergy) but there’s plenty of other choices now.

Rubber Yoga Mats
Most of the premium eco friendly yoga mats are made of rubber.  They are durable yoga mats and provide excellent cushioning and grip.  Rubber is a natural and renewable resource tapped from rubber trees.  It can provide the perfect yoga mat if you’re concerned about the environment, but some people complain about the smell.

Rubber contains latex so rubber yoga mats are not suitable for latex allergy sufferers.

PER and TPE Yoga Mats
TPE and PER are new plastics without the health and environmental concerns of PVC and without the allergy problems of latex.

TPE and PER yoga mats look and feel very similar to standard sticky  yoga mats but, they are environmentally friendly, non toxic and biodegradable.

They combine grip and comfort with eco credentials but they don’t contain rubber so are perfect for yogis and yoginis with a latex allergy.

LATEX ALLERGY SUFFERERS PLEASE NOTE:

Some manufacturers combine latex and TPE or PER in their yoga mats so check carefully before you buy.  If you want an excellent eco yoga mat (1/4 inch) that is latex free as well as PVC free, check out the Agile Eco Yoga Mat.

Jute/Sea-grass Yoga Mats
Jute and Sea-grass are hard wearing, natural and sustainable.  In eco yoga mats they are usually combined with rubber to provide padding and grip.

Wool Yoga Mats
Some people recommend sheepskins as eco yoga mats but I’m not convinced.  Seems to me they would be very slippery unless you grip the wool between your toes.  Comments please …….

Felted woollen blankets can be used as eco yoga mats but they slip on wooden floors and to be honest, really aren’t very comfortable.

Cotton Yoga Mats
There are two main types of cotton eco yoga mat.

The tightly woven, traditional decorative cotton yoga mats are good for soaking up perspiration in ashtanga yoga and, in fact, as the mat gets wetter the grip increases.

These cotton yoga mats are much thinner than foam eco yoga mats but people like the traditional look and style so they are used on top of a sticky eco yoga mat.

Interstingly, many of the yoga mats advertised as ‘traditional’ are actually made of man made fibers so, do your homework if you’d rather have natural cotton.

The extra thick, futon type, cotton yoga mats are designed for restorative yoga and meditation and not for standing and balancing poses.  They’re to bulky for a yoga class but many people use them for relaxing at home.  Some people even throw away their furniture and have these extra thick cotton yoga mats instead.

Futon style eco yoga mats are usually made with a cotton outer layer and stuffed with padding. This padding could be natural or man made and can give off toxins so again, do your homework.  Organic cotton yoga mats are best.

So, avoid PVC yoga mats and if you want a firm, durable, premium eco yoga mat consider rubber yoga mats.  If you have a latex allergy or just want a cheap eco yoga mat that’s pretty much the same as the sticky yoga mat you’re used to, choose PER or TPE.  If you want a more ethnic look and a more natural feel then buy a traditional cotton yoga mat to go on top of your other eco yoga mat.  Then buy an extra thick organic cotton yoga mat to sink into and meditate when you you get home!

If you’re looking for value for money and lot’s of customer reviews then check out

Amazon’s Best Selling Eco Friendly Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

This is where your rubber yoga mat comes from - a rubber tree ...


What are standard, sticky, discount yoga mats made of?

An article explaining what standard, sticky, cheap yoga mats are made of.

The perfect yoga mat will be thick enough to be comfortable but thin enough to allow proper balance and light enough to carry around easily.  It will grip the floor and provide grip for your hands and feet.  The perfect yoga mat will also come in a fantastic range of colors and patterns.  Oh, we’d also like it cheap please!

Modern technology gave us the best solution available at the time in the form of the cheap, best selling, standard sticky yoga mat.  We’ve probably all had one.  But these yoga mats are very bad for the environment and hazardous to our health because of what they’re made of.

Let me tell you why.

PVC
Most cheap yoga mats are made of PVC.  We’re used to PVC and don’t tend to worry about it but, we should.

PVC is one of the most environmentally unfriendly materials ever made.  It’s been banned for certain uses in most of Europe and, most major motor manufacturers don’t use it in motor cars anymore because of the potential health hazards.  PVC is becoming known as the poison plastic. It certainly wouldn’t be part of my perfect yoga mat now.

Phthalates
Phthalates are a cocktail of chemicals added to rigid PVC to make it flexible.  The more flexible it needs to be (like yoga mats) the more phthalates are added.  A PVC yoga mat may be up to 60% phthalates by weight.  Phthalates are not chemically bound to the PVC so, over time, they leach out into the air and onto your skin.  In tests on lab animals phthalates have caused cancer, infertility, testicular damage, reduced sperm count, suppressed ovulation and abnormal testicular development.  They may also be linked to asthma and autism and are known to cross the placenta from mothers into developing embryos. The manufacturers assure us they are safe in humans but the modern alternatives used in Eco Yoga Mats, are better and just as cheap.  So why take the risk.

Dioxins
PVC production is the largest user of chlorine gas in the world.  Chlorine has some very nasty by-products.  Dioxin is one of these.  It has been proven  to cause cancer in humans and is the most potent synthetic carcinogen ever tested on lab animals.

Dioxins damage the immune system, reproduction, development and the endocrine system and have also been linked to birth defects, endometriosis, inability to carry pregnancies to term and decreased fertility.  There is no ’safe dose’. They are soluble in fat so they build up in the body and concentrate higher up the food chain. They also cross the placenta and concentrate in breast milk.

Dioxins are now so widespread that they are found in the tissues of whales, polar bears and probably every human on the planet.  They do not naturally degrade, so they continue to build up in the environment. Why would you want PVC in your yoga mat?

Dioxins don’t leak out of your yoga mat as they are only released during manufacture and destruction of PVC but, just think about the damage to the planet.

Ethylene dichloride
Ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) both cause cancer in lab animals.VCM causes cancer in humans and increased risks of liver, brain, breast and testicular cancer and the workers involved in production have been found to have an increased risk.  Both these chemicals are used in the production of PVC and therefore, yoga mats.

Heavy Metals
Mercury causes neurological, developmental and severe reproductive damage.  Large quantities of mercury are released into the environment in the production of chlorine gas for PVC.  Other additives to PVC can include lead and cadmium.

The saddest thing is that we don’t need to make plastics from toxic chemicals.  We only do it because it’s cheap.  Henry Ford was producing plastics from soy beans in the 1930s!

Going back to the perfect yoga mat –

“The perfect yoga mat will be thick enough to be comfortable but thin enough to allow proper balance and light enough to carry around easily.  It will grip the floor and provide grip for your hands and feet.  The perfect yoga mat will also come in a fantastic range of colors and patterns.  Oh, we’d also like it cheap please!”

But now, we’d also like to make sure it’s not made of PVC please!

No problem – just buy a modern Environmentally Friendly non PVC Eco Yoga Mat.

Take a look at Amazon’s best selling Eco Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

Wouldn't you rather buy an ecomat for yoga?

Here are two links to independant research articles on PVC, health and the environment.

Our health and PVC: What’s the connection

Environmental impacts of PVC building materials

How to pick the perfect yoga mat

What are the most important things to consider when you buy your new yoga mat?

I’d say there are four main points to consider when you pick your perfect yoga mat

  • Health
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Value for money

Health
You probably wouldn’t be practising yoga if you didn’t care about your health.  But, did you realise that your choice of yoga mat could be seriously unhealthy?

The standard, cheap, sticky yoga mats that most of us start off with are made of PVC.  The manufacture of PVC is one of the most polluting industrial processes on Earth, creating tons of toxic dioxins each year.  Not only that but, phthalates are added to PVC to make it flexible. Phthalates have been banned for certain uses in Europe but, they are still used in cheap yoga mats worldwide.  There are arguments over whether there is any proven effect on humans but they have been proven to cause genetic abnormalities to the sex organs of male lab animals and even those born to mothers exposed to phthalates (they can cross the placenta to developing embryos).  These chemicals don’t bond with the PVC so they constantly ‘leak’ out of yoga mats into the air and onto your skin.  Up to 60% (yes, sixty percent) of your PVC yoga mat could be phthalates.

PVC manufacturers assure us that phthalates are safe for use in yoga mats but why take the risk (especially if you’re pregnant).  Many eco friendly yoga mats are pretty much identical to standard sticky mats but they don’t contain PVC, or phthalates, and their manufacture is much kinder to the environment.  Eco yoga mats can also be very cheap.  I don’t understand why anyone would choose anything but an Eco Mat for yoga these days.

Comfort
Standard sticky yoga mats are usually 1/8th of an inch thick.  Many people find that this is too thin and very uncomfortable on knees and ankles.  Almost all the main yoga mat manufacturers offer thicker yoga mats.  The best yoga mats are usually 1/4 inch thick and still firm enough to allow for good balance during poses.

You may have seen futon style, extra thick cotton yoga mats.  These are designed for laying on for restorative yoga poses and meditation.  They are not designed for standing yoga poses.  If you try to use one for a standard yoga class you will embarrass yourself by falling over (I wouldn’t recommend it!).

Style
There are really only three styles of yoga mat.  I think of them as foam mats, rugs and futons.  But, the choice within these three styles is almost unlimited.

Your essential choice with foam mats is Eco friendly or PVC but prices are similar so why not buy an Eco Yoga Mat?

Rubber yoga mats come in a more limited range of colors but the color choice for environmentally friendly foam mats is enormous.  Not only is there a huge range of colors but you can also choose from hundreds of different patterns and logos.  If you can’t choose between the pink yoga mat and the black yoga mat you could even have a yoga mat custom made with your own pattern, logo or favorite quote.  Or maybe you’d prefer an alignment yoga mat with lines to help your posture?  Search the Internet to find the Eco yoga mat that suits you best.

Value for money
Standard sticky yoga mats are very cheap but the best value Eco friendly sticky mats are only a few dollars more.

As always, you get what you pay for but some yoga mats seem very highly priced compared to the competition.  Do your homework before you buy.  I would recommend searching around online to see which is the best Eco yoga mat for you but, when you find your top Eco yoga mats go to Amazon and search for them there.  Not only are there hundreds of customer reviews to read but also, Amazon’s prices are usually difficult to beat…….

Check out Amazon’s best selling Eco Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

The original Eco Yoga Mat?

How thick should a yoga mat be?

A short article helping you to find the perfect, comfortable, extra thick eco mat for yoga.

“No pain no gain” doesn’t apply to yoga. As long as it works for you you’re allowed to buy the thickest yoga mat you can find! It has to be firm enough to balance on but other wise, just like yoga, it’s very personal.

Standard sticky yoga mats are about 1/8 th of an inch thick (3mm).  If, you’re light and supple this is probably fine but if, like me, you’re a little heavier then your knees and ankles will push painfully through to the hard floor underneath the yoga mat.  A towel under your joints for padding is one solution but, the better answer is to buy a thicker, more comfortable eco yoga mat.

Yoga mats are designed to provide a cushion between your body and the hard floor but a good yoga mat will also be firm enough to let you balance during your standing yoga poses.  Many yoga poses need a solid footing so the perfect yoga mat will give a combination of firmness and comfort without being so heavy that you need a trolley to take it to yoga class!

If you suffer with arthritis, joint pain or simply sensitive ankles, elbows and knees, or if your weight pushes you through a standard sticky yoga mat then you will really appreciate the much more comfortable 1/4 inch yoga mats.

If you’re practicing yoga during pregnancy you may well find that your thinner mat is not as comfortable as it used to be. Yoga bolsters are often very helpful for prenatal yoga but you may also benefit from a thicker eco yoga mat.  But, please make sure it is an ECO yoga mat to avoid exposure to phthalates during pregnancy.

More active styles of yoga are also more suited to thicker yoga mats but many people prefer rubber yoga mats because they are much firmer than thick foam yoga mats.

Avoid PVC yoga mats (especially during pregnancy) as the hazardous chemicals used in manufacture may damage your health.

You may have seen the stuffed cotton, futon style, extra thick yoga mats.  These yoga mats are designed for restorative yoga and meditation.  They are more like beds than yoga mats and are only really suitable for the sitting or laying down poses as balancing on your feet on an extra thick cotton yoga mat is very difficult.  Buy one of these for relaxing at home but otherwise buy a foam Eco Yoga Mat or a rubber yoga mat.

Most of the premium Eco Yoga Mats are at least 1/4 inch thick but firm enough for proper balance.  A top of the range yoga mat will provide the perfect combination of grip, balance, comfort and weight but, if you don’t want to spend so much there’s  plenty of Eco Friendly Yoga Mat choice at much lower prices.

Search the Internet for the best eco yoga mat and when you find the yoga mat that suits you go to Amazon.com.Their prices are usually the best and the hundreds of customer reviews are great for helping to decide which eco yoga mat to buy.

If you prefer just go straight to Amazon.com and check out their best selling extra thick yoga mats

Eco Mat Yoga

How thick should a yoga mat be?

Photo supplied by http://www.flickr.com/photos/perfectoinsecto/ / CC BY 2.0. Thank you.

How long should a yoga mat be?

A short article helping you to find an eco yoga mat that suits you perfectly.

There isn’t a rule book for yoga mats.  No one will tell you that your yoga mat can only be so long and no longer.  It’s entirely up to you.

Standard yoga mats  are around 2 feet wide by 6 feet long but I’m nearly 6 feet tall and all too often my head used to end up on the floor rather than on my yoga mat.  If you’re fed up with this too then just buy yourself a longer yoga mat.

I’d be happy to guess that the standard 2 feet wide by 6 feet long yoga mat was designed for petite women and limited studio space. But yoga mats come in all sorts of shapes and sizes including eco yoga mats, so don’t be limited by this.

As a general rule I’d say choose an eco yoga mat that is at least a foot longer than your height.

There is virtually no limit to how long your yoga mat should be as you can buy a full roll of yoga mat material and cut your own length of yoga mat.  But, up to 7 feet long and 3 feet wide is typical for longer eco yoga mats.

If you are looking for a yoga mat for partner yoga it is possible to buy 6 feet square, or even round mats.

The combination of grip, comfort and firmness needed in a yoga mat is almost unique, and yoga mats are designed with this in mind.  So, don’t be tempted to buy a general exercise mat for yoga.

I would also suggest you avoid PVC mats as the chemicals used in manufacture can damage your health.  See our other articles for more detail on this but eco yoga mats have all the advantages of standard yoga mats with none of the disadvantages.  Buy an eco mat – yoga is all about your health.

Check out Amazon’s top ten best selling long eco yoga mats

Eco Mat Yoga

One size doesn't fit all!

The photo’s from http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnseb/ / CC BY 2.0

Eco friendly yoga mats for pregnancy and prenatal yoga

A short article helping you to find the safest, most comfortable, eco mats for yoga during pregnancy.

I almost didn’t publish this eco yoga mat article as I didn’t want to seem to be writing “scare stories” about yoga mats, especially for prenatal yoga, but I think the information is important.

If you’re wanting to practice yoga during pregnancy I would try to avoid using a standard PVC yoga mat.

PVC is becoming known as the poison plastic and the majority of yoga mats are made with it.  Large quantities of chemicals called phthalates are added to PVC to make it flexible.  In lab tests phthalates have caused genetic abnormalities to the sexual organs of male rats.  It is also thought that they can cross the placenta from mother to child.  The phthalate industry argues that there is no evidence of the same effect in humans but why take the risk?

Phthalates are not chemically bound to the PVC so they leach out over time into the air and onto skin that comes into contact with the PVC.

In humans the feminization of boys may be linked to exposure in the womb and phthalates have been banned from use in children’s toys in Europe because of the health risks.

This is quite heavy stuff if you’ve just come looking for a yoga mat.  I’m sorry about that.  I’m not recommending that you give up yoga or that you spend lots of money.  Just consider buying an eco yoga mat instead.  They are just as good, if not better, than standard sticky yoga mats and they can be just as cheap.

On a lighter note ……….. pregnancy naturally increases your weight and many women find that their normal mat just isn’t thick enough to provide the extra cushion needed for knees and ankles.  Standard mats are only 1/8 of an inch thick but it’s possible to buy eco yoga mats 1/4 of an inch thick that are still firm enough for good balance.  If your replacing your yoga mat anyway, then why not go for an extra thick yoga mat for extra comfort during prenatal yoga.

Many expectant mothers also really benefit from the extra support provided by a yoga bolster.

It’s very much a question of personal preference so search the Internet to find an Eco Yoga Mat.  Yoga mats vary considerably in price so make sure you shop around.

Amazon.com very often have the best value eco yoga mats and the hundreds of customer reviews certainly help you to choose the best eco yoga mat.

Check out Amazon’s best selling Eco Friendly Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

The perfect Ecomat - Yoga on the beach!

Eco yoga mats for kids

A short article helping you to find the best eco yoga mats for kids.

Children’s eco mats for yoga are pretty much the same as adult mats for yoga, just smaller and with a different choice of colors and patterns.

They are popular because kids love to have a smaller version of what mummy or daddy have and children’s yoga mats are much easier to roll and unroll and carry around.

I have one major worry with children’s mats for yoga.  It’s the same concern I have with standard adult yoga mats but it is even more relevant for kids.  It’s also particularly important for pregnancy and prenatal yoga.

PVC
There are some serious health and environmental concerns over PVC.  So much so that it is becoming known as the poison plastic. Most standard sticky yoga mats are made of PVC.  Chemicals called phthalates are added to make them flexible (as much as 60% by weight).

Phthalates are not chemically bound to the PVC so they leach out of the yoga mat over time, into the air and onto skin that comes into contact with the PVC yoga mat.  This is a problem for all of us but children tend to chew and roll around in things like yoga mats.

In lab tests phthalates have caused genetic abnormalities to the sexual organs of male rats. In humans the feminization of boys may be linked to exposure in the womb. Phthalates have been banned from use in children’s toys in Europe because of the health risks.  The phthalate industry argues that there is no evidence of the same effect in humans but why take the risk with a yoga mat?  .

This isn’t meant to be a scare story.  There’s no need to panic.  Just buy a PVC free eco mat for yoga instead.  Modern Eco friendly yoga mats are pretty much identical to standard, cheap sticky yoga mats and they don’t have to cost the Earth.

If you’re buying a yoga mat make sure it’s an eco mat – yoga is all about healthy choices.

Search the Internet for Eco Yoga Mats for Children and find ones that suit you or go straight to the best prices and customer reviews, by checking out Amazon’s best selling Eco Yoga Mats for children

Eco Mat Yoga

Isn't it great to see kids enjoying yoga.

This photo’s from http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapeverything/ / CC BY-SA 2.0