You probably know the many benefits yoga has to your body and health and how it helps you have a balanced lifestyle. But how much do you know about your yoga mat?
The products you use while doing yoga can have a great impact on your health and the environment. For instance, instead of choosing a yoga mat made with PVC (a type of plastic which we will discuss later on), you can go for a healthier alternative such as a natural yoga mat.
The materials used in the production of yoga mats can have different effects on us and on nature. It’s essential to understand this matter and take it into consideration when you want to make a purchase.
In order to help you have a clear picture of this subject, we will discuss the differences between conventional and natural yoga mats and what impacts they have.
Conventional vs Natural yoga mat
The big difference between conventional and natural yoga mats stands in the materials used to produce them. Let’s take each category one at a time.
Conventional yoga mats are made using polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is one of the most toxic plastics which exists. It contains vinyl chloride, a dangerous chemical and a human carcinogen. People who work in PVC manufacturing are at a high-risk exposure.
PVC is not nature’s best friend either. This plastic cannot be recycled and is not biodegradable. This means it has to be destroyed and the process of doing it releases dangerous (and even carcinogen) chemicals which affect the soil, water, and air.
PVC production and destruction also leads to dioxins being released. These chemicals have been linked to:
- developmental problems
- immune system issues
Phthalates are also used in PVC and they can cause endocrine disruptions, fertility problems (or even infertility) and cancer.
A natural yoga mat represents an alternative you can go for. As opposed to conventional products, these ones can be made of:
- natural rubber
These are natural or plant-based materials, which means they may not represent a threat to your health and to the environment.
Yet, pay 100% attention when choosing such a product. For instance, look at all the materials used. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, check them to make sure the materials don’t represent a threat to you.
Natural yoga mat benefits
Besides representing a healthier alternative, natural yoga mat products can also bring you some benefits.
Safe for your health
As we’ve mentioned above, natural yoga mats are made of natural or plant-based materials. This means they can hardly cause you any health problems.
Just think of this. When you do those yoga exercises which involve staying with your head on the mat or taking deep breaths, you don’t have to worry about inhaling chemicals. You can relax and protect your health at the same time.
Materials such as natural rubber or cotton are eco-friendly options. They do not pose a threat to nature in the short or the long run. They can be recycled and some of them are even biodegradable.
These materials offer you excellent results and let you do your exercises with no problem. They are comfortable and some of these products are slip-resistant.
If you’re looking for organic materials, check to see if the products are certified by an authority.