Although yoga is chock full of strength building and flexibility, the practice is just as much about tapping into your inner good guy and finding more harmony, too. Let that impulse extend beyond your yoga studio or home workout space by choosing some eco-friendly yoga gear that’s as good for the planet as it is for your practice.
ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA MATS
There are plenty of mats out there, but going with a non-toxic choice is a good idea. Shift away from chemical additives by considering these three choices:
Using natural rubber and featuring a non-slip surface, Jade mats are some of the toughest you’ll find. Started by a former lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency, the company plants a tree for every mat sold. So far, more than a million trees have been planted — not only good for the planet, but a good indication of the popularity of the mats.
Barefoot mixes all-natural rubber with jute fiber, so it has all the non-slip properties you want, while being easy on your hands.
The letters stand for “Earth Conscious Offering,” and the mat boasts a toxin-free manufacturing process that churns out mats without PVC, chloride or latex. Lightweight, non-slip and cushioned, the mat has closed-cell construction, which means it can resist germs and moisture.
You’ve got your sustainable mat, but your commitment to being earth-friendly doesn’t need to end there. Check out these accessories to round out your gear bag:
An absorbent towel with a non-slip backing prevents sweat from soaking your mat and stays in place much better than an ordinary towel. Check out the Hugger Mugger towel, which is made from bamboo charcoal and is latex-free.
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These can come in handy when you need just a bit of help getting into a pose, or as a way to deepen a particular stretch. For example, you might use a block for triangle pose as a way to keep your chest open and your arm supported, rather than collapsing in the pose if you try to reach the floor.
The companies that make eco mats — JadeYoga, Barefoot, Hugger Mugger, Prana and Manduka — also make a number of environmentally friendly yoga props like blocks, bolsters and practice straps (Think: blocks made out of bamboo or cork and bolsters/straps made from organic cotton.)
NON-TOXIC CLEANING SPRAY
Like any workout equipment, a yoga mat can get funky if it’s not cleaned regularly. There are several non-toxic sprays on the market, including a very pleasant one called Mind Over Lather, made with eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils, which have antibacterial properties. You can also DIY a spray using vinegar and essential oils.