Recycled Yoga Mats

If you’re an avid Yoga practitioner or are thinking about getting started, one of the best things you can do for your practice is to invest in a good Yoga mat.  As a Yoga teacher, it really is one of the most commonly asked questions of me! “What Yoga mat should I buy?!” There are so many kinds of Yoga mats out there that can really help or hinder your practice.  I’ve practised Yoga for almost 20 years and have been teaching for 5 years and throughout that time I’ve tried my fair share of Yoga mats. Some had me slipping all over the place and others provided a strong foundation for my Yoga flow.  For me, I need a thick, grippy mat. Anything that feels like carpet is a no-go for me! Now, as I become more and more aware of consumption and the production of consumer goods when looking for a Yoga mat, I’m not just looking for how grippy and comfy it is. I’m also looking for something that is sustainable and won’t add to landfill. Something that has been made from recycled products and can also be recycled again once it’s worn out.

I’ve put my research cap on and discovered 4 of the best eco-friendly recycled Yoga mats

It’s important to note that I have found the best mats that are grippy. I know some Yogis love the carpet and velvet mat feel but I strongly encourage you to try out a grippy mat. It really can change the feel of your entire practice, especially for a more flowing, Yoga class

Jade Yoga Mats

I have had a Jade Yoga mat before and I was really impressed with how grippy it was. I would have preferred if it was slightly thicker and it looks like they’ve added this to their collection since I had mine!  The mats, themselves, are made from natural rubber tapped from rubber trees. This is a renewable resource made in the United States and in compliance with US environment, labor and consumer law. PLUS for every mat they sell, they plant one tree. So far they’ve planted over 1 million trees! Ahh this is amazing. I also love that they are a family run business. 

Gaiam Yoga Mats

Yoga mats can get pretty expensive so I’ve included Gaiam Yoga Mats because they are one of the more affordable, eco-friendly Yoga mats on the market. They have a large collection (9 styles) that range in material and thickness. From cork to rubber, to latex free. My preference is always rubber as it provides that more solid grip for your Yoga class.  I would always go for 5mm and above as it means your body will have a little more cushioning, however, if you travel, the thinner mats are great as they are usually lighter. 
Eco-Friendly Yoga
recycled mats for yoga

Manduka Eko Yoga Mat

These Eko Mats have a great range of sizes starting at 1.5mm all the way to 5mm in thickness. 1.5mm would be the ultimate for travelling, super lightweight and you can even fold it into your suitcase! I love that they are grippy and sustainably made from renewable resources. They call it: “the most durable natural rubber yoga mat.” This is important, you want your Yoga Mat to last, otherwise the sustainability factor doesn’t really make sense. If you’re using your mat every day, then I would hope it is lasting at least 2 years for you. If it’s not, try a higher quality made mat. The cheaper ones you find for $10-$20 aren’t going to last and are usually made from unsustainable products. 

Yolaha Yoga Mat

These are said to be the first ever cork mat made in the world. I also LOVE that at Yolaha they have a bunch of Yoga accessories and props also available: blocks, straps and bolsters. These might come in handy as you learn to create a consistent Yoga Practice (why not try this Online Yoga Class? I created it for our MerryBody Online Studio!).  The sustainability of cork is second to none, just read this from Yolaha’s founders: “Cork is as natural, sustainable, renewable and good for the environment as we can imagine a material to be. The cork that makes up our yoga mats comes from the bark of cork oak trees, which grow in Mediterranean Europe. When the cork is harvested the trees aren't cut down, instead their bark is carefully stripped away by hand in a skilled trade that's passed down over generations.” Not only that but it takes 9 years for the bark to grow back to then be harvested again. The amazing thing is that as the trees grow back their bark, they consume 5 times more carbon from the atmosphere! Talk about sustainable Yoga mats!”

Now to get started with your Yoga practice

So there you have it! 4 eco-friendly, sustainable Yoga mats to choose from. A mat that is going to benefit your practice by providing a strong, solid, non-slip foundation for you.  If you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to begin your practice, why not try this class we created, it’s a slower flow Yoga class that I specifically designed to help with posture.  This class is perfect for you if you sit a lot at your desk, if you spend hours driving or if you are constantly looking down at your phone. It’s just 15 minutes and you’ll feel amazing after! 
https://youtu.be/EOsn_iZ1nD4
Of course, if you have any more questions about Yoga and Yoga mats, feel free to reach out to me!
Always merrymaking,
Carla
500 hour Yoga Teacher for MerryBody Online Studio