Imagine yourself completely zen in your favourite yoga position, your mind just overflowing with that happy and content feeling, when suddenly you realize something very worrying for your breathing techniques indeed: you are practicing on top of a PVC product with a cocktail of other toxic chemicals mixed into it.
Don’t panic. To all the frustrated yogi’s out there: we hear you.
Finding an eco yoga mat that is not harmful to your health and the environment is hard. But, we found the solution: a yoga mat made from natural rubber, completely free of toxic materials! It sounds almost too good to be true, but over at Manduka they made that dream a reality by creating their eKO yoga mat line.
This particular one, the eKO Lite yoga mat in acai colour is our personal favourite. It is:
Sounds good? That’s what we thought. Let’s get to know the yogis behind the mat.
When looking for equipment for your yoga practice (or any sport or practice, really), you want the product to come from somebody who understands your needs. Somebody who is or at least has been in your shoes, and knows exactly how the fit should be!
Manduka completely supports this statement. Made by and for yogis, you can rest assured that the designers behind the mat (or towel, yoga block, etc.) knew what they were doing. They know you can’t have a slippery mat when practicing advanced poses, and that you don’t want your butt to show due to sagging leggings every time you bend over during practice. There’s no need to worry, Manduka thought of everything, and their incredibly high product-quality standard shows it.
But besides product quality, they thought of something else: sustainability, in every sense. This means Manduka strives to use natural and renewal materials for their products, and when they don’t, they are open and honest about it and will at least offer you a product with a lifetime guarantee. Of course, we would have loved to see a company that uses only renewable and natural materials, but fighting today’s crazy consumerism by offering durable products (and using natural products or recycling where possible) is definitely a great step in the right direction.
To add to their sustainability goals, Manduka partnered with The Renewal Workshop to create a yoga mat recycling program called LiveOn. This initiative keeps thousands of PVC yoga mats out of landfills by using them in new product such as apparel or insulation material. Sadly it is not possible yet to send your old yoga mat to Manduka for recycling from the UK, but we heard they’re working on it!
Yes, we already heard you thinking: doesn’t the harvesting of rubber destroy endless amounts of the Amazon?
Yes, sadly, it does, but not this rubber yoga mat. Manduka promises all the rubber they use has been harvested in a sustainable way, and will not be responsible for any Amazon destruction.
Then over to the next concern you might be having: Aren’t rubber yoga mats usually made flexible and foamy by synthetic materials and toxic chemicals?
At Manduka they thought about that too. All foaming agents used in this mat are non-toxic, and instead of using only synthetic polyester for strengthening the mat a blend of polyester and natural cotton has been used.
It almost seems too good to be true that one of the most eco friendly yoga mats on the market will actually be a functional one too… and yet it is. This mat uses something called try-layer technology, which just means the mat is made up of three layers:
The mat is also equipped with anti-slip, and it is light-weight and rolls up very small which makes it conveniently used as a travel yoga mat. All-in-all, it’s a very high-quality mat that might be one of the best rubber yoga mats out there.
There’s really not much left to say other than that we love it.. and we hope you do to!