How To Choose The Best Eco Yoga Mat
A lot of people have been asking me to recommend a good eco friendly yoga mat. It’s not as easy as one might think to find the best eco yoga mat without first identifying what features make for a great eco friendly yoga mat. One thing to note, is that the criteria used to define “the best eco yoga mat” will vary from person to person. But it has become more and more clear that people prefer to practice yoga on an eco-friendly mat. The days of toxic, stinky, PVC based mats from the local sporting goods store are quickly becoming a thing of the past and have been a major point of emphasis for any serious yogi for years. In this article, I am restricting my recommendations eco-friendly mats only.
There are a number of reliable companies offering eco-friendly mats these days. I’ve personally practiced on a wide variety of mats over the years, but have strictly practiced on eco friendly yoga mats for the last 5 years. Over the years, I’ve found a few important traits that help signify a high quality eco yoga mat. Of course, this is just the opinion of one person and should not be taken as a definitive answer for anyone serious about finding a quality eco yoga mat. You should always perform additional research, and even identify what characteristics you personally prioritize before making a decision on what is the best eco yoga mat.
In my search for the best eco yoga mat, I analyzed four distinct categories to help me determine which mats are worth my time: performance, cost, durability and smell. When considering each of these factors, I then prioritized which were most important to me to make a well informed purchasing decision. Of course, the factors I prioritize in a eco yoga mat may not be the same for you, or anyone else for that matter. So, I highly recommend making your own list of prioritized factors before making a decision on what is the best eco yoga mat for you.
Performance: Yoga mats can easily be too hard/soft, too slippery/sticky or too rough/smooth for the average yogi, and all of these factors can affect one’s performance. This is where personal preference comes in to play. Personally I prefer a mat that has medium thickness, a little extra softness, slightly rough and just a tiny bit of stickiness. People who practice a variety of styles of yoga may have a variety of needs and preferences for each style.
Cost: While it is true eco mats are typically more expensive than conventional mats, it is easily argued they are worth every penny, considering environmental factors and personal health. Non eco friendly mats can contain chemicals like phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive issues. These chemicals can leach out over time, and should be avoided at all costs.
Durability: One of the more common issues with eco mats is their overall lifespan and durability. Because they are eco friendly, they are made from natural materials rather than industrial plastics, and they typically don’t last as long as their non eco friendly counterparts
Smell: From my experience, I have found that many eco mats can carry a strong odor. More often than not the smell is a byproduct of the natural rubber, and while completely harmless it can often be intense enough to affect your practice.
So, what is the best eco yoga mat?
Personally, my opinion is that clesign makes the the best yoga mat. The mat that I purchased from clesign has had the longest life, best performance, and was the best bang for my buck after considering all the factors above.
Something else you can feel good about is that clesign will plant a tree for every 2 clesign natural rubber mats sold, and a palm tree in Morocco for every 10 eco-polyurethane clesign professional yoga mats sold.
If you are in the market for an eco yoga mat, I recommend checking out clesign yoga first.