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Anyone who practices yoga knows that yoga is a practice of (self-love, enlightenment, your connection to source/God/the Universe, (or whatever you may call this amazing force) and to others and about opening your chakras. Yoga teaches you the importance of taking good care of yourself and also of those around you. Do no harm is one of the biggest yoga-concepts we need to learn to understand to become a real yogi. So that would also mean that your yoga practice shouldn’t harm others or the environment as well, right? An eco-friendly yoga mat will make your yoga practice more healthy for yourself and for the environment. I will explain to you why.

The importance of an eco-friendly yoga mat

Even more than the physical aspect, yoga is actually really about the mental aspect. It’s where we learn to nourish our soul through physical action. It’s where we learn that the world doesn’t evolve around us and where we learn to raise our consciousness about this beautiful place we are so blessed to live in; planet Earth.

Then how would it make you feel if I tell you that most yoga mats are made from plastic? Most yoga mats are made from PVC, which is cheap material for manufacturers, but at the same time very harmful for the environment. They contain chemicals that cause big impacts on your health as well as on the environment. Also, we can‘t recycle them. They are major polluters!

More plastic soup or being able to completely relax during your guilt-free asana’s?

Most of us want to buy the things we want without spending too much money on it. We all want to think of ourselves as someone who really cares about the environment, our planet and our health, but when the price-tag becomes a bit higher, we are tempted to go for the price, instead of looking at the bigger picture.

We use our yoga mats for a very long time. And if we practice yoga on a regular basis, with the intention to take care of our bodies, we should use an eco-friendly yoga mat that won’t harm us or this planet with those nasty toxins. That’s why it’s definitely worth it to invest in one.

Is ‘eco-friendly’ really eco-friendly?

Not all eco-friendly yoga mats are really eco-friendly. A lot of the so-called best eco-friendly yoga mats are made of TPE (thermoplastic elastomers). This is a biodegradable plastic and even though it’s much better for the environment compared to PVC, I still found too many information that says it might not be as eco-friendly as it is advertised. For sure it’s already a lot better if you’d opt for a TPE yoga mat compared to a plastic one, but I found too many contradictions about this material to still rank them in my top 4 of best eco-friendly yoga mats. The mats that I’m describing here are – let’s be honest – quite expensive. So if this is too big of an investment for you, I’d recommend you to search for TPE yoga mats.

The best eco-friendly yoga mats:

1. Repose Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

The Repose Eco-Friendly mat is made out of organic, natural rubber. It is a non-toxic mat, it doesn’t contain any glues, PVC’s, TPE’s or other harmful chemicals. The cork and natural rubber eliminate bacteria and germs. It is recyclable and there are no recycled rubbers added! With a little more than 6lbs/2.7 kilo’s in weight, they are still easy to carry around. They have a non-slippery surface and work especially well during hot classes.

2. Basically Perfect Cork Yoga Mat

This yoga mat is also made out of cork with natural rubber, it’s non-toxic and non-slippery. And on top of trees were cut for this mat! It is free of phthalates, PVC, TPE, foam and other chemicals. The cork material will help you breathe better. The is naturally antimicrobial and thus self-sanitizing. This mat is also perfect for hot classes, for stretching and for meditation. are that it’s not the lightest mat on the market and that it offers less grip in classes that aren’t sweaty. Spraying it with water can solve that!

3. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

The Jade Harmony yoga mat is known for its great grip, its comfort and for its environment-friendliness. The mats are made out of natural rubber and contain no synthetic plastics. Awesome fact: For every mat, they will plant a new tree in return! 🙂 The mat comes in a big variety of beautiful colors and is light in weight.

4. Aurorae Pro Natural Yoga Mat

The Aurorae Pro Natural yoga mat is slippery free, made out of natural Portugal with a rubber bottom, all toxic-free. The mat is free of PVC, TPE and other chemicals. Like all cork mats, it is naturally antimicrobial, so you don’t need to worry about bacteria and icky smells. And just like the other mats I recommended, it is biodegradable and recyclable. The mat also comes with a 2-year guarantee and is made by a small family business!

Out of all 4 best eco-friendly yoga mats this is my favorite mat. The idea of supporting the environment as well as a small business is something I really like. And even though they don’t have hundreds or thousands of customer reviews (yet), the ones that I found are the most positive.

Good luck with finding the right yoga mat and enjoy your next practice!