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ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA PRODUCTS

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but only over the past decade have we seen it grow in popularity in the United States. For a long time, people thought yoga was just another fad. I think we now know yoga is here to stay, but there have been and continue to be many changes to the yoga practice. One of the most significant changes we are seeing right now is the movement to eco-friendly yoga products.

Yoga practitioners are predominantly well educated people who are not only interested in improving themselves, but also the environment. Many yogis not only “bend the bend”, but they practice what they preach by doing more than their part to make the world we live in a better place. Over the past 10 years, yoga has become more and more popular throughout the United States. For many people, yoga has become a way of life, and one of the elements of this way of life is purchasing eco-friendly products that are healthier and safer for us and our planet.

There is one big wrinkle to the modern day yogi’s lifestyle. A challenge that many are still struggling to overcome… money. Although the yoga crowd is typically well educated, they are not necessarily well off. Many yoga students, instructors and yoga studio owners are having to make the decision of whether benefits of eco friendly yoga products are worth the additional costs. The yoga mat is the best example. The “traditional” PVC vinyl yoga mats are about 1/3 the cost of most eco yoga mats, forcing many people to decide whether they should go against their beliefs and purchase the less expensive mats or purchase a better quality yoga mat that is better for the environment, but not better for their personal pocket book. More and more individuals and yoga studios faced with this dilemma are going green and purchasing eco friendly yoga mats.

The purchase comes with no guilt resulting from the harmful effects PVC products have on our environment.

Like most products, because the demand is increasing, the selection of environmentally friendly yoga mats is quickly growing. Below is a short description of the three most popular types of eco-friendly yoga mats, all of which are significantly more biodegradable than the typical PVC yoga mats:

• Natural Cotton Yoga Mats – made with an unbleached, natural cotton shell and stuffed with 8 pounds of pure, natural, untreated cotton batting (total weight approx. 10 pounds). These mats are hand . Approximate size is 3' x 6' x 2".

• Natural Rubber Yoga Mats - made primarily of dry, open-cell, natural rubber (a renewable resource made from rubber trees). These mats contain no PVC, cadmium, lead or phthalates. Rubber yoga mats provide excellent traction/grip. Available in various sizes, thicknesses and colors.

• Terra Pure TPE Yoga Mats - made of a newly developed material that is composed of carbon and hydrogen and is referred to as thermoplastic Elastomer or TPE. These eco mats are specially constructed with two different textured sides to enhance comfort and versatility for your own personal preference. Their closed cell construction allows for excellent grip with a strong grounded feeling, while the low compression foam protects your body from bruising on hard surfaces.

Although these mats come with a hefty price tag, they have quickly become more and more popular among yoga enthusiasts. An added bonus is the fact that the quality and performance of most of the eco-friendly mats is typically superior to that of the standard PVC vinyl yoga mats.

Organic yoga and meditation products are also becoming more and more popular. Products such as organic cotton yoga mats, bolsters and meditation cushions are being purchased by yoga studios and instructors in record numbers. Although the purchase of eco friendly yoga and meditation products may not have a significant impact, the way of life of environmentally friendly yogis will hopefully spread, and we will continue to see more and more products, companies and people going green.

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