Do you ever find yourself in half moon pose during yoga class, wishing your arms were just a tiny bit longer so that you could balance more easily? Or do you sometimes wish you could lift your behind up slightly during the seated forward fold, so that the stretch wouldn’t hit your hamstrings so hard? In that case, my friend; it is time for you to get a yoga block.
Not to worry, there is no need to go on a seemingly endless hunt for a plastic- and toxic free yoga block like you’ve probably had to do for your yoga mat – we’ve already done the research for you! The cork yoga blocks from Lotuscraft are everything your yogi heart could desire: made from 100% natural cork, super sturdy, moisture absorbent, aesthetically pleasing, and they ship to the UK. So say goodbye to wobbly foam blocks, and truly extend and support your yoga practice with this eco-friendly alternative instead.
The great thing about cork is that is not just an easily recycled material, it is also incredibly sustainable. Cork is made from the bark of cork trees, which are only found in seven Mediterranean countries, one of which being Portugal (where Lotuscrafts choses to harvest the cork for their cork yoga block).
Now I hear you thinking: aren’t we supposed to cut down less trees if we want to make sustainable products? Well, that’s the great thing about harvesting cork; the trees never have to be cut down. As soon as the cork oak has matured to 25 years of age, its bark (which will become the cork for you cork yoga block) can be harvested every 9 to 11 years. This goes on until the tree is old (and by old I mean at least 200 years old), after which it will die a natural death and become part of the soil.
So, not to worry about the oxygen supply in the world, harvesting cork will not harm it in any way! In fact, after the bark of a cork oak has been harvested the tree will actually absorb more CO2 and release more oxygen then it would if the bark wouldn’t be harvested!
On top of all this cork oak forests also help ensure the protection of biodiversity, according to the WWF:
“ Cork oak forests support one of the highest levels of biodiversity among forest habitats, as well as the highest diversity of plants found anywhere in the world.
In cork oak landscapes, plant diversity can reach 135 species every square metre; many have aromatic, culinary, or medicinal value.”
The name Lotuscrafts was not chosen on a whim. Using the meaning that the lotus flower has in many Eastern countries – a symbol of peace, beauty, and purity – founder Wolfgang Fuchs is clear about what his company’s name entails:
“ The name Lotuscrafts stands for the values that all of our products have in common: beauty, clarity and a high degree of hand-crafted workmanship. It should be a joy to see, touch and use our products.”
Combine a beautiful, high-quality product with natural and sustainable materials, and you get some great products – such as the cork yoga block – that you can use and purchase without worrying about leaving a chemical trail or investing your money in unsustainable practices.
* Please note that not all of Lotuscraft’s products are made of natural cork or organic cotton, so take that into consideration before you purchase anything other than the cork yoga block recommended in this article.
Besides the quality of their final products, Wolfgang and team also make sure that most materials used for their products are natural and sustainable, meaning either organic cotton, natural cork, or other renewable and recyclable materials.
Like I mentioned before, cork is one of the most sustainable materials on the market today, and the fact that it is sourced relatively local for Lotuscrafts (meaning, not getting your materials from all over the world) just warms our tree-loving hearts.
Furthermore, all cotton used for the cotton products is GOTS certified organic, ensuring not only a sustainable growing method that is not harmful to the environment, but also fair wages and good working conditions along the entire production chain. After all, making products that are friendly to the earth kind of lose their friendly appearance if they are not friendly to our fellow humans too.
When buying a yoga block – or any product, really – there are two things we all want: one, a quality product that looks good and functions perfectly, and will continue to do so for a long, long time. And two, a product that did not destroy entire ecosystems in its production, and will not destroy your personal little ecosystem – your mind and body – either.
Let’s compare the cork yoga blocks from Lotuscrafts to its foamy rivals.
First off: quality. If you were to hold a foam yoga block in one hand, and a cork yoga block in the other, there is one immediate difference you notice: the weight of the blocks. The foam blocks are super light and a bit squishier than the cork blocks, and will consequently be nowhere near as stable or sturdy. Not very functional for a practice that pretty much revolves around finding balance…
Next: the looks. This might be a personal opinion, but don’t you agree that anything plastic-y just looks a bit… cheap? These foam yoga blocks are no exception, because they often are cheap. They will fade in their (often already less than appealing) colours, attract a ton of dust and seem to dent as soon as anything other than your hand touches it. Cork blocks on the other hand have a neutral colour (that will not easily fade) that goes with anything, dust will not stick on it like feathers on honey, and denting is far less likely to happen.
Now when it comes to eco-friendliness you should by now be convinced of cork’s superiority to… most other things. Plastic and foam on the other hand are not only terrible for the planet, they are for your personal health, too. You’ve probably heard of plastic water bottles releasing toxins when you reuse them (and hopefully you’ve since switched to a stainless steel bottle). But, did you know that all plastics release chemicals, all the time? Some plastics are more harmful than others, but these foam blocks are still far from good for your health. Just think about it: would you rather be breathing some natural tree bark or a concoction of harmful chemicals while you’re breathing extra deeply?