Whether you practice at home or in class, your yoga mat will be something like a best friend. No matter what you’re doing, it will be there for you. If you’re feeling stressed and need to unwind, it’s there. If you’ve just mastered a new pose for the first time, it’s there. It’s a strange thing a yoga mat; it’s like an extension of ourselves. However, have you ever considered what your yoga mat is made of and how it could be affecting your health?
Let’s say that you practice yoga for half an hour a day, every single day. Over the course of a week, that’s over three and a half hours. I also used mine to meditate, so my time of my mat far exceeds this. In other words, this is a lot of time on the mat. But what can this contact with your mat do to you and your body over time?
When you’re starting in the practice of yoga, you can never be sure if it’s going to be for and it’ll stick (despite the ton of benefits that comes with it). With this in mind, it’s easy to opt for a cheaper yoga mat, so you don’t feel like you’re wasting a load of money if you don’t continue. However, these cheaper yoga mats can be more dangerous than you think.
Loaded with Carcinogens
If you do opt for a cheaper mat, the chances are that it’ll be loaded with PVC plastics. This is a cheap plastic material that is mass-produced on a large scale. It’s been proven time and time again that these plastics are very effective at being absorbed into your skin over prolonged periods of contact. This is why they are now becoming banned in all food products as well as already being banned in baby products.
In this example, if you’re practising a session and you get a sweaty back, your pores are open, allowing these PVC chemicals to be absorbed into your body. These plastics are known to be loaded with carcinogens, the main cause of cancer is human beings.
As the title of this article suggests, PVC plastics are not very environmentally friendly. Not only can these chemicals become absorbed by your body, but also the environment. If you upgrade your mat or chuck it away, always remember that PVC materials are NOT bio-degradable. That means that these PVC chemicals will be leaking into the environment they are disposed in for many years to come.
Always Check Your Product
Despite some yoga mats claiming to be environmentally friendly, this is not always the case. If your yoga mat is made from polyester materials, this is also not bio-degradable and will cause similar damage to you and the environment. Instead, always look for natural rubbers, bamboo or even recycled materials.
We practice yoga to look after ourselves and for good health so make sure that’s exactly what the practice is doing. Not only do we want to look after ourselves, but also the world around us. The more people steer clear of cheap and non-biodegradable yoga mats, the less they will make. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the section below and share this message with your family and friends!