If you have recently committed to bring your yoga practice home (thanks COVID!) or have recently joined a yoga studio with a BYO mat policy, then choosing a yoga mat can feel a bit overwhelming with the huge amount of different types on the market.
Let’s break down all the things you might want to consider to ensure you’re choosing the right yoga mat for you.
G R I P
The feeling of slipping can be quite distracting in the middle of a flow and can really make or break your practice. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, a new mat can take some adapting to.
Cork yoga mats have a smooth texture and you can also enhance the grip by dampening the area where your hands and feet will go with a spray bottle filled with water. You will also find as you heat up with your yoga practice, your sweaty hands will grip more onto the mat.
Once you’ve got used to your new mat and sorted out good hand and foot grip, you’ll feel much more grounded. By creating better stability, we are able to properly distribute our body weight with correct alignment and feel more confident to step further into a stronger pose.
M A T E R I A L
Many yoga mats on the market (especially the cheaper options) are made from plastic and can contain traces of PVC, TPE, silicone, glue and phthalates.
Cork yoga mats are a great sustainable and non-toxic option - the material is 100% eco friendly as cork is harvested from bark stripped from the cork tree. Cork trees require relatively low resources to grow and the bark then regenerates and can be harvested again in 9 years. Amazing huh!
Additionally, cork yoga mats do not require the use of any toxic glues as the top cork and bottom natural rubber is bonded together through heat.
T H I C K N E S S
Most yoga mats range from 3-6mm thickness. Thinner mats can feel more grounding and not too spongy. But too thin and it is not as forgiving to your joints. If you’re going with a thinner cork yoga mat and are finding some poses tough on your knees or elbows, you can double over your mat to make a cushier spot for your joints.
The thicker the mat, the more shock absorbent and kinder to your knees and elbows, but this also makes it bigger once rolled up to stow away or travel with if you’re on the go. Consider if you’ll be lugging it to the studio in a yoga strap or rolling it up at home.
D U R A B I L I T Y & C A R E
It’s really crucial to care for and keep your yoga mat clean no matter the material. Avoid using lotions and oils that can stain the surface. A build up of sweat and dirt can also make your yoga mat more slippery.
Cork naturally has built-in anti-microbial properties that resist bacteria, germs and odours but it’s important to regularly clean your yoga mat to maintain its grip. It’s a good idea to wipe down your yoga mat after every use and then every so often, you can spray on a DIY 1:2 solution of vinegar and water, plus a few drops of your favourite essential oils. Rolling up the yoga mat with cork on the outside will ensure there is no damage with folding or creasing.
If you’re interested in trying a Cork Yoga Mat for yourself,
Shop The Conscious Store version -