Feel better about your practice with an ecoYoga mat
Brooke Tucker-Reid, Lifestyle Contributor
While I’ve been known to dabble in a few different fitness trends and classes, yoga has always been my rock. If I’m having a bad day or I feel like I need a little detox, a hot yoga class usually fits the bill. I’m always interested in new yoga equipment so I was thrilled to give an ecoYoga mat a try. What’s it all about? Protecting and promoting the wellbeing of the body and mind are some of yoga’s core beliefs. ecoYoga thinks it’s a natural progression from to embrace the health of our planet as well. A worthy notion. Made in the U.K., ecoYoga mats are made of 100 per cent natural, sustainable plant-based materials – rubber and jute fiber. They are biodegradable and compostable, unlike conventional yoga mats made of PVC. Unsurprisingly, they smell a lot better than PVC mats too. Is it as good as it sounds on paper? With just the right amount of cushion, the mat comes in a 4mm thickness. The underside is dimpled while the top is a tactile rubber and jute combo. At first glance, I could see the jute peeking through top layer of the rubber which made me feel a little skeptical at first. To my delight, it actually enhanced my grip while balancing and holding poses. The woven jute takes the place of the pressed pattern commonly seen on other yoga mats. One thing to be mindful of during floor poses, the jute is a tad uncomfortable on sensitive areas like the face. Sold online, the mat will run you about $89.50 for standard size and $96.50 for a longer mat (not including tax and shipping). That price point is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but ethical, natural, quality ingredients aren’t cheap so you get what you pay for. Care If cared for properly, the mat can last from two to 10 years. The manufacturer recommends occasionally wiping the mat with a vinegar and warm water solution to clean off any dirt and oil. You can also throw the mat in the washing machine with a drop of detergent if it’s especially dirty. Let it hang to dry after class. Don’t leave it in the sun. Seems easy enough. The final verdict If you’re a hot yogi (aren’t we all?) and you always use a towel over top of your mat, it’s a no brainer. Why not use a mat that is better for our planet if it provides a similar function?
If you don’t use a towel each time you practice, you’ll have to weigh out the pros and cons a little more to choose the best mat for you. In my opinion, the ecoYoga mat still a viable option.