Choosing a yoga mat is a serious business. At the end of the day, a yoga mat is a fundamental part of the practice. It can make or break your flow. But how are you supposed to know what the best cork yoga mat is?
Unlike many conventional yoga mats made from plastic and rubber, cork mats are much better for the planet. Cork is a biodegradable material, which means at the end of its life your mat will be able to break down quickly and without harming the environment.
Speaking of environment, cork is one of the most sustainable raw materials out there. Cork is a natural material that comes from the cork oak tree. And the best part is, the cork oak tree does not need to be cut down for the cork to be harvested! Instead, the tree continues to flourish and produce more cork, making it a renewable resource. Cork oak trees have a lifespan of up to 200 years, and cork can be harvested 15-18 times throughout the tree’s life.
Furthermore, once the cork has been harvested, the trees absorb five times more carbon dioxide during their regeneration process compared to non-harvested cork oak trees. Thanks to their long lifespan, cork oak forests provide habitat to many birds, insects, and land animals, promoting biodiversity.
Grip and safety
Grip is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a yoga mat. It’s a matter of safety and quality of your practice. No one wants to end up with their face on the floor during Downward Facing Dog!
Cork is naturally non-slip, and its grip only becomes stronger when moisture is involved. When cork is exposed to moisture, it releases a substance called suberin, which creates extra traction. As a result, you don’t need to worry about slipping due to sweat or over exhaustion. Instead, you can devote your full attention to the practice. This is why cork yoga mats are perfect for dynamic yoga sequences and hot yoga classes.
Cork is a low-density material, which means a cork yoga mat is lighter than most traditional mats. They are easier to carry, perfect for those who commute on public transport or a bike. And if you like to take your yoga mat on vacation, cork mats allow you to travel light!
Despite its low density, cork is a sturdy and reliable material. It’s flexible but not brittle, which means it can withstand pressure and effortlessly return to its original shape. Think of buying a cork mat as a long-term investment. Investing into a high-quality product is a great way to avoid overconsumption and curb your carbon footprint.
Anti-microbial and odor-resistant
Last but not least, cork has natural antimicrobial properties. Thanks to these properties, bacteria and germs don’t survive on the surface of a cork yoga mat. Due to its rigid molecular structure, cork is also resistant to moisture, which means it does not absorb sweat and doesn’t ruin your experience with unpleasant odors.
The conclusion? There is a reason so many yogis are switching to cork yoga mats. They are safer, more durable, hygienic, environmentally-friendly and sustainable. It’s a great investment that allows you to focus fully on your practice.