Natural rubber yoga mats: Everything about the natural material
The choice of yoga mat is at least as important as the choice of running shoes or backpack before a trip. If you decide to practice yoga regularly, then you should consider what you value when buying your yoga mat. It's all about the costs and of course the processing - the more chemical the material, the cheaper. In the following we will introduce you to the material natural rubber and tell you the advantages and disadvantages of a yoga mat made of natural rubber.
What is natural rubber actually?
The natural material natural rubber is obtained from the sap of the rubber tree. In the past, it was also simply called rubber. The rubbery substance, which is a bit milky, is obtained by scratching the bark of a tree and then further processed. Today, the five most important producing countries for natural rubber are Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and the People's Republic of China. While almost 70% of all rubber worldwide is processed into car tires, a certain proportion of this also ends up in yoga mats and clothing.
What other materials are there for yoga mats?
Of course, natural rubber is not the only raw material from which yoga mats are made. The most common material for the colorful mats is actually PVC, i.e. polyvinyl chloride. This plastic is chemically manufactured and used, among other things, for the production of records.
In addition to PVC, there is also TPE foam, which is used as a material for yoga mats. TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomers. The soft foam is free from toxic plasticizers and contains neither PVC nor heavy metals. Even if TPE is also a plastic, it is 100% recyclable and therefore (almost) environmentally friendly.
Natural rubber = good karma
The biggest advantage of yoga mats made of natural rubber is clearly the fact that this is a natural material. So with your purchase you are not only doing something good for the environment and the seas of our world, but also for your own skin. Yoga mats made of natural rubber are also super non-slip. The material adheres better to the ground and also gives you more grip on your feet and hands.
Still the better choice
Unfortunately, of course, everything that is elaborately manufactured and sustainable is still very expensive today. The same applies to the yoga mats made of natural rubber, which usually start at 45 euros. Compared to the PVC mats, which you can get for 15 euros, this is a huge difference, especially for yoga beginners. For anyone who has been doing yoga for a long time and wants to continue practicing it, investing in a natural rubber mat is definitely a good decision.
Because natural rubber is 100% natural, it's also a bit more delicate than the plastic alternatives. Yoga mats made of natural rubber have open pores through which dirt particles and bacteria can quickly penetrate. That's not a bad thing, it just means that these mats require a little more maintenance than plastic alternatives.
A final disadvantage of natural rubber yoga mats is the weight. Because of you, compared to PVC mats, significantly more. But don't worry, there are great yoga mat bags that make it easier for you to carry them.
A little more expensive and a little heavier, but in the end a yoga mat is clearly a better choice for you and the world!
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