The inside journey and the outside company.
Props that promote natural materials have a place in enabling this balance.
A niggling thought of concern started coming in as writings about harmful materials were used in making the yoga mats, places where we are meant to be within reach of the zen, the ultimate bliss that lifts our beings into better humans. And then companies reacted and created better versions of the mats with less chemicals and less environmental damage … however, our overall group of aspiring yogis kept growing and more mats needed to be produced for us all to step into the sacred space. Despite all the improvements, it seems impossible to turn off the supply of chemicals-laden mats.
As this trend continues, we can count on starting to fulfill the prophecy of ‘the road to hell being paved with good intentions’. We had only meant to reach for a higher personal ground and the side effect became exploiting the planet for more oil to manufacture the PVC mats, planting more rubber trees and taking more sap from them for the latex mats … to name the top two materials that are used for mats. Let alone the landfill waste that will burden the Earth for a while before decomposing. 200 years on average for the PVC components.
Natural, sustainable and renewable ingredients need to have a higher representation in this burgeoning growth, otherwise the yogic ways are compromised by the sum of our impact to the world. We’ve tried to bring them into the mix, but the same performance that sticky mats offered was hard to come by on natural surfaces (hemp, jute, cotton, wool, cork, etc). These are great starting places and we owe it to ourselves to keep building on them and develop natural products as yoga props that will contribute to its mission and impact in that holistic way yoga was always meant to be part of our lives.