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About Yoga Mats
According to the article in The Huffington Post in 2014 more than 20 million Americans are used to practice yoga. According to the Yoga Journal, the Yoga practitioners are collectively spending about 27 billion dollars in a year on different yoga related activities such as Yoga classes and Yoga related clothing and accessories. As a Yoga practitioner, the first thing you like to purchase is a Yoga mat. Most of the people do yoga because of its health benefits, but this can be undone because of your yoga mat and also can cause some serious Health issues. Most of them are made from toxic chemicals that can pose a significant health risk.
Most of the yoga mats were manufactured in Asia and are generally made
of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is pretty inexpensive and offers great gripping properties which were for Yoga mats. However, PVC is one of the “most
toxic plastic” currently in use. In addition, some toxic chemical additives including phthalates (endocrine disruptors) were also added to the PVC to make the mats soft and pliable. During Yoga practice, we all were exposed to those toxic chemicals on our yoga mats. So PVC free yoga mat is the best yoga mats and it is also Eco-friendly non-toxic Yoga mats.
Harmful Effects of toxic Yoga mats
Exposure to the PVC toxic yoga mats through inhalation and skin contact can cause severe damage to our central nervous, reproductive system, Liver and respiratory systems. The “gripping” chemicals and toxic glues used in these mats are extremely hazardous and can cause cancer. It increases the potential for heart disease, breast cancer, and Type 2 diabetes also Worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. It can cause some mental problems also like lack of attention and anxiety.
It is also a great concern man and women fertility, as Phthalates in PVC have been linked to:
- Reduced fertility in women
- Reduced sperm counts in men
- Malformations of the male reproductive tract and testicular cancer
- Preterm birth and low birth weight babies
- Presence in the placenta and have been found in breast milk
- Possible ADHD in children
Harmful effects on the environment:
There is no safe way for the disposal of yoga mats made with PVC!
They cannot be recycled because of the toxic chemicals used to make them.
When incinerated or buried in landfills, they release dioxin, a known carcinogen. (Oprah)
They are non-biodegradable, they leach chemicals into the soil and eventually the groundwater. (Dr. Mercola)
When burned, PVC produces hydrogen chloride gas that is extremely toxic to fish, animals, and the air.
Important Things to Look Out For When Purchasing a Yoga Mat:
It’s important to read labels carefully to make sure that you select safe yoga mats which are actually made from non-toxic materials and is not just being marketed that way.
Stability: A thin yoga mat will provide you with more stability as you are able to feel more grounded and a greater connection with what is under the mat, Which is better for all of those balancing poses. Mat’s made from TPE (similar to PVC but non-toxic) are going to provide good ‘stickiness’ and stability for poses.
Thickness: All the pro mats tend to be extra thick. If you plan to do yoga several times a week you will want a thicker mat that will last and give you extra support when you move into more intermediate/advanced poses. If you are just starting out you can easily use a thinner mat and then progress into a thicker mat as time goes on. If you are older and just getting into yoga for the first time you will definitely need a thicker mat to help protect all of your joints/knees and back.
Texture: If your mat is really smooth and you do a lot of flow type yoga or hot yoga it can get a bit slippery when wet! One way to resolve this could be to also use a grippy yoga towel (a lot of them are made from microfiber) or you could look for a mat that has a bit of texture built in or that is made from a naturally textured material. If your yoga practice involves a lot of floor work (like Hatha yoga) you will probably want to look for something smoother and softer to lie on.
Portability: Can you roll your yoga mat up and store it easily? Travel yoga mats are very thin, easily folded and portable (you can easily fit them in your suitcase!). If you travel around a lot you will probably require something more lightweight.
Environmentally friendly: We don’t want to be doing this great thing for our body, connecting with our body, detoxing regularly and cultivating mindfulness on a mat that could be potentially off-gassing toxic substances back into our environment!
Traditionally all of the brightly coloured low-cost yoga mats that you would have seen for sale probably have been made from PVC. Some of the really thick pro mats also contain PVC and possibly other heavy metals (lead, cadmium and those nasty phalates) in order for them to be so pliable so you always need to be aware of the materials used in the construction of your yoga mat! PVC yoga mats don’t naturally biodegrade and they also leach nasty gases which can then get into our water supplies.
Some Natural Materials Used to Construct safe yoga mats:
JUTE or COTTON:
Jute or cotton are natural fibres and derived from a plant that is an incredibly sustainable resource. It is also really fast growing and also helps to clean the air in the process! Mats made from jute or cotton are also fully recyclable and biodegradable (chop it up and pop it in your compost bin! It is also really good for the soil.) Yoga mats made from Jute will have a bit of a rough, textured feel to them and Yoga mats made of cotton are soft and smooth.
Cork is derived from the bark of the cork oak tree. The extraction of the cork does not hurt the tree and it is fully renewable (every nine years or so there is more cork ready for removal!). Cork yoga mats will be very smooth, have a good grip factor, be incredibly durable and also will not off-gas anything into the environment.
Natural rubber is harvested from the rubber tree that grows in central and South America. It is easily harvested and fully sustainable. Natural rubber yoga mats are very dense, comfortable, and eco-friendly. As they are biodegradable they will start to break down over time so they may not last as long as the PVC type mats and they will also have a strong ‘natural rubber’ smell for the first month or so of use! If you are allergic to latex you will need to look for an alternative to natural rubber. Natural rubber mats probably weigh the most but you can buy them in different thicknesses.
TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomers (a mix of plastic and rubber). TPE is not a natural product but there are many mats now that use TPE instead of PVC. TPE also makes for a good alternative to PVC as it is considered non-toxic or low-toxic. Many TPE mats are also very cost effective if you don’t want to shell out for a more environmentally friendly, natural product. TPE is also very easy to clean, anti-microbial, lightweight, and it has some recyclable and biodegradable properties.
Some yoga mats may read that they are free of toxic phthalates and other chemicals but that doesn’t mean they are PVC free yoga mats. Just check with
While I am not the avid yoga practitioner that many others are, I want to minimize any exposure to unhealthy toxins and chemicals in my living and working environment. The peace of mind that I get with having a toxic free, environment-friendly healthy yoga mats for the days I do practice is huge.
What if I can’t afford a new yoga mat right now and what to do with the old toxic yoga mat?
For those with more limited budgets, I highly recommend covering your PVC mat with an inexpensive cotton towel.
When you are ready to purchase your new non-toxic yoga mat, use the old one as a rug pad instead of throwing it away. The beauty of this is that you are extending the life of any of your mats.
List of some Best Non Toxic Yoga Mats
So many of the products that we buy and use daily will end up in a landfill at the end of their lives—especially those made from plastics or other unrecyclable (or uncompostable) materials.
Yoga mats usually fall into this category.
Fortunately, we have found a company which is selling non PVC yoga mats and having all the above-mentioned types of the healthy yoga mats. below we have listed some of the best PVC free yoga mat free from any kind of chemicals.
1. Non-Slip Natural rubber yoga mats
The natural rubber used for this mat is firm enough to support the joints and stop the mat from bunching up when you’re learning how to jump forward into a juicy uttanasana. Plus, the fabric-like texture keeps the fingers and toes from sweaty slips. Thick and extra-cushioned for joint support (but weighing less than five pounds) this high-quality mat have good gripping quality as it is made of natural rubber and also very sustainable that may very well change your life. It’s made from biodegradable, non-Amazon-harvested, natural tree rubber which means no toxic PVC, no plasticizers and no foaming agents! Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
It is the most cost-effective than other yoga mats
2. Natural Cork Yoga Mat
Cork is an anti-microbial, eco-friendly, and water-resistant material with a non-slip surface. Cork has a cushiony buoyancy that’s great for yoga practice. It is also a natural material that is renewable, recyclable as well as biodegradable. If you’re tired of your yoga mat getting slippery when wet, you’ve just found your holy grail. This Cork yoga mat is constructed from anti-microbial, premium-grade cork that is both self-cleaning and biodegradable!
Bonus: Any cork material leftover during the mat’s no-waste manufacturing process is reused to make new products. Pretty cool, huh?
3. Jute Yoga Mats
This eco-friendly, non-toxic yoga mat is a real treat! Composed exclusively from all-natural rubber and jute fibre, you can rest assured that it is free of chemical additives. Highly durable, flexible and natural-feeling, you’ll never go back to your old mat. Each mat is decorated with a positive colour to inspire you during your practice. Made from slip-resistant jute and natural rubber, this 5-millimetre mat is completely free of nasty phthalates, latex and heavy metals. It even gets more slip-resistant with use!
You spend a lot of time on your yoga mat! So invest in one that has a long lifespan and won’t expose you to nasty chemicals. Always be sure to store your yoga mat in a cool, dry place!