Yogis worldwide are swapping their polyurethane- and pvc-based yoga mats for cork. Sourced in the forests of Portugal, cork is an excellent alternative. Here are five reasons why.
Renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable, cork is a triple threat. Grown primarily in the forests of Alentejo, Portugal, the bark of Quercus Suber, or “cork-oak” trees is harvested by local extractors and used for numerous products, including shoes, insulation, and, you guessed it, yoga mats. The trees, which can live over 200 years, are not harmed from the debarking process.
There’s nothing worse than being taken out of your down dog by having to adjust a slippery, sweaty yoga mat. While synthetic materials may slip underfoot, cork releases a compound known as suberin when exposed to moisture. Originally intended to protect trees from excess moisture, suberin has an added non-slip benefit, due to its honeycomb structure and antimicrobial properties.
Getting cold feet about your hot yoga? Not with a cork yoga mat. Cork is a natural insulator, maintaining heat better than most synthetic mats. Cork cells contain millions of air pockets that act as a naturally occurring cushion for each pose, providing an added benefit for those attempting to relieve low-back pain.
Even better: cork is naturally flexible, eliminating the need for phthalates—harmful chemicals used to increase flexibility in synthetic mats.
Why spend extra time cleaning a synthetic mat? Naturally antimicrobial, cork mats repel dust, hair and small particles, making maintenance a breeze.
Try: corcyoga.com or yolohayoga.com