Tag Archives: yoga
The number one rule of yoga? Do no harm.
Yoga shouldn?t physically injure you?if it does, you?re doing it wrong and you need to practice safer alignment.
It also shouldn?t injure or harm others?it is a practice of love and universal acceptance.
But when your yoga practice is hurting the environment? That?s when a lot of us turn a blind eye.
In our consumer culture, the yoga market is a cash cow. Americans spend over $16 million a year on yoga classes, mats, clothes and related equipment. Yoga is no longer just a lifestyle, but it has overflowed into fast fashion. Atheleisure is ubiquitous and there is always pressure for us to get more?new, new, new. But stop a minute and consider the effect all that yoga gear has on the environment.
It is tempting to buy cheap yoga mats, but they are more harmful than you may realize. Modern yoga mats are loaded with plenty of plastic-based nasties, but the one of main concern in PVC plastic. Not only are these bad for you (they contain known carcinogens?and phthalates?not things?you want seeping?in to your sweaty back), but PVC plastics?are non-biodegradable, which means they will leach toxins into the environment for years to come. How?s that for ?do no harm??
If you are bringing a reusable water bottle to class but still using a cheap, old mat, do some research. Yoga mats are technically environmental pollutants once you’re done using them. And since cheap PVC mats don’t boast quality or longevity, think of all the yoga mats you will be?dumping into the environment over time.
When buying a new eco-friendly mat, know that some mats claim to be eco-friendly, but always double check. Polyester-based mats will not biodegrade once disposed, meaning they aren’t as?green as they claim to be. And be aware that?good eco mats can get pricey! The temptation to buy a cheap mat is a powerful one, but a?better made mat is going to last a lot longer and be kinder to both you and the planet. If you can, look for mat made with natural rubber, which is both incredibly grippy and sustainable. Make sure it has enough thickness for you, but don?t opt for anything too heavy as it might make you less likely to use it.
I use and swear by?a Jade Harmony?mat, which is made from super-grippy, sustainably-harvested natural rubber and comes in a beautiful array of colors. Gone are the days of my hands slipping and sliding in downward dog, which means my mat has actually improved my practice. Talk about bang for my buck! (Bonus eco benefit: for every mat purchased, Jade plants a tree.) Of course, if you have a latex allergy you should avoid natural rubber. Opt instead for a cork mat.
And if you are looking to recycle an old yoga mat? You can repurpose old mats in your own home easily, or you may be able to recycle PVC mats by sending them back to the manufacturer to be shredded down, melted and reused.
A mat is an integral part of your yoga practice, so make sure it aligns with your core values. Don’t sacrifice your health. Don’t sacrifice the planet. Know what’s in your mat.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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Organic yoga clothing comes from a wide variety of natural materials. Of all the eco-friendly fabrics out there, bamboo has some truly unique benefits. It’s good for the planet as it’s growing, and it’s good for people who wear clothing derived from the plant’s fibers. Here are the top ten reasons why your yoga pants should be made from bamboo.
1. Bamboo is highly sustainable. Only about a third of the bamboo culms growing in a forest are harvested in any particular year. The younger ones are left to grow for another year or two, thus providing energy for new shoots to emerge.
2. Bamboo is completely organic. It grows well without using any chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This keeps the soil and water free from pollutants.
3. Bamboo removes large amounts greenhouse gases from the air. If you tested equal areas of bamboo forest and hardwood forest, you’d find that the bamboo forest is able to produce 35% more oxygen.
4. Bamboo prevents erosion. When other textile crops are harvested, the land is stripped of nutrients and soil is lost to wind and water erosion. But a bamboo forest is all connected by one root system. This helps bind the soil in place while holding in moisture.
5. Bamboo doesn’t need any irrigation. Natural rainfall is all the water it needs. Compare this to cotton, which is an extremely thirsty crop. Did you know that almost 3% of the total water used by humans goes towards irrigating cotton fields?
6. Bamboo yoga clothing extremely soft and smooth. The reason is because the bamboo fibers possess a naturally rounded surface. You can even observe this by looking at bamboo under a microscope. This smoothness makes bamboo clothing very soft like silk. Even people with skin allergies can wear it.
7. Bamboo fabric wicks away moisture and is highly absorbent. When you sweat, bamboo will help you feel drier by taking up the excess moisture. This is one of the best reasons to wear organic bamboo yoga clothes.
8. Bamboo is breathable and good for regulating temperature. When it’s hot out, you will feel cooler. And when it’s chilly, you can wear a layer of bamboo for insulation.
9. Bamboo clothing blocks up to 98% of UV rays. This lessens your odds of developing cancer.
10. Bamboo has antibacterial properties. If you’ve used bamboo towels, you may have noticed that they smell cleaner for longer time and can be washed less often. This helps water conservation.
These were just a few of many good reasons why bamboo is the best organic yoga clothing you can wear. As more yogis become aware of environmental issues, bamboo is sure to become an even more important source for eco-friendly yoga clothing.