Yoga is a physical discipline that goes hand in hand with a conscious lifestyle geared towards an awareness of the food we eat and how we interact with our environment.
While the practice of yoga may be focused on physical fitness, its principles extend beyond the realm of the body. Yoga teaches us to make conscious choices in our lives to better ourselves and the planet as a whole. And one way to take care of our planet would be to minimize the toxic, non-biodegradable materials we consume by switching to vegan, eco-friendly yoga mats.
Regular yoga mats are made with foam, PVC, and a bunch of other toxic materials that cannot be easily disposed of. As such, regular yoga mats often end up getting stuck in landfills, polluting the soil, and seeping toxic chemicals into the ground.
But with the advent of clean, more sustainable materials, yoga mats have become a lot safer for the environment and for those practicing yoga.
So to those regular practitioners looking for a yoga mat that’s good for themselves and the Earth, here are a few vegan yoga mats you may want to check out.
Best Vegan Yoga Mats
At first glance, the Anja Eco Yoga Mat may seem a little thin, but it’s made with a unique combination of jute and per, providing an incredibly supportive cushioning surface to every part of the body in contact with the mat.
The natural fibers help drain sweat off the mat easily, keep out stains and smells, and make for a fresh session every time you practice.
And unlike regular mats, this one from Anja doesn’t curl up at the ends; it’s delightfully flat from the very first time it’s rolled out.
The jute composition makes this mat extremely durable and lightweight, making portability both comfortable and efficient. Additionally, this mat offers a non-slip surface so every asana can be comfortably practiced without any fear of misalignment.
The perfect fusion of functionality and style, the Anja Yoga Mat is made from 100% recyclable material and is entirely toxin-free, making it easy to dispose of.
This yoga mat from Manduka takes sustainability a step further than most other yoga mats on this list. Aside from the safe, recyclable materials used in its manufacture, this yoga mat is crafted responsibly in an emission-free facility, translating to minimal environmental harm.
The Manduka mats are built for practitioners of all skill levels and offer superior joint protection, thanks to the thick, dense, and damage-resistant cushioning material used by them.
This mat also comes with a unique, closed-cell surface feature that prevents sweat from seeping into the material. This allows for the sweat to be drained or wiped off after a session, preventing any damage to the mat. This closed-cell feature also provides a non-slip textured surface to practice yoga, ensuring a safe and secure yoga session.
These yoga mats from Gaiam come in an array of specialized prints, with beautiful artwork decorating the mats’ surface. It may not seem like much at first, but the mat’s intricate patterns and colors can help relax the mind, allowing it to tune in more deeply during a session.
While the Gaiam Yoga Mats are built thick, with adequate cushioning and extra durability, they’re also surprisingly light and can be carried around easily. The combined portability and durability makes it effortless to take this mat with you on any travel adventure you’re setting out for.
The textured, semi-sticky surface provides adequate traction during a session to prevent any slips and slides that may hinder your focus during practice. And a mat that allows for a more in-depth, more sustained focus throughout the session can help immensely improve the body’s flexibility, making it highly supple.
With each mat, Gaiam also provides a free downloadable yoga class for beginners to start their yoga journey.
The IUGA yoga mat comes with an absolute-grip surface to prevent any slipping or sliding during a session that may derail or negatively impact your practice. The sweat is also easily drained off the surface, allowing you to resume your practice without having to worry about the perspiration ruining your mat or affecting your session in any way.
The superior technology used on the surface of this mat is one of the latest in yoga innovations and allows you to practice even the most intense yoga forms, including Bikram, Ashtanga, and other forms of hot yoga.
Regular rubber mats tend to give off a slight odor when they’re first unpacked, but not this special mat from IUGA. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, this mat provides a unique surface that prevents sweat accumulation, keeping odors at bay during your yoga practice sessions.
This mat is made from sustainably-harvested tree rubber and completely free from PVC, latex, and other harmful, non-biodegradable substances. You can rest assured that every inhalation on the mat is free from toxic chemicals and materials that may otherwise damage the respiratory tract and affect the lungs.
And while large mats tend to be extra heavy, this one from IUGA weighs a mere 1.2 kgs, making it extremely easy to take with you wherever you go.
This extra-thick, extra-long, and extra-wide mat offers adequate space for all types of yoga and even other forms of fitness, like pilates and animal flow.
This mat is made using the latest technological advancement known to traditional yoga-mat manufacturers — TPE. Thermoplastic Elastomers, or TPE for short, are low modulus, highly flexible fibers that can be repeatedly stretched to great extents without losing shape. They provide adequate cushioning for practitioners, keeping the joints and different parts of the body safe during each session and providing enough support and stability to perfect your asanas.
TPE is also environment-friendly material and easily biodegradable in a landfill once the mat has been used to the fullest by its owner.
Textured on both surfaces, this mat offers incredible grip on all kinds of floors, including wood, cement, tile, and marble. The top side of the mat offers ample resistance to prevent slipping and sliding, and is moisture resistant as well, preventing sweat from dampening the surface and affecting your workout.
‘Made by yogis for yogis’ is the tag given to these yoga mats, and it’s ideal for those looking to really level up their yoga practice.
Much wider than traditional mats, this mat comes with its own patented ‘grip for me’ material that offers unparalleled grip during every session.
The warrior-like grip offered by this surface improves alignment and lets you go deep with each asana, allowing you to hold each posture and sink further into it.
The Liforme mat also comes with a revolutionary alignment system, which helps guide practitioners during the basic asanas and prevents injuries to yogis of all experience levels.
Made from specially-engineered eco-polyurethane and rubber, the Liforme mats are PVC-free and biodegradable in 1-5 years if disposed of in regular landfills. These mats also incorporate the use of quality, non-toxic materials that keep the mat clean, hygienic, and safe for regular use.
The Yoga Design Lab offers sleek, super lightweight (1.8kg) yoga mats for those who simply love to travel as much as they love a regular yoga practice.
The founder of Yoga Design Labs, Chad Turner, was shocked to see the amount of mass-produced, uninspiring yoga mats on the market, and he wanted to change things up. He wanted to give people a durable, portable, and sustainable mat while still looking fashionable and artsy. He believed that the colors and patterns on a mat could genuinely help people stay inspired and stick to their practice throughout the session.
And aside from their eco-friendly manufacturing process, Yoga Design Labs also sets up urban youth programs across the world. In fact, in 2019, they managed to sponsor weekly yoga classes for over 500 African children from the sale of mats, giving them a regular grounding practice.
So by getting one of their mats, not only do you support a healthy, sustainable practice, you also get to give back to the community in a wholesome way.
As a practice that’s focused on combining the efforts of the mind, body, and soul, yoga can truly help transform the world and the way in which we interact with our planet.
Getting an eco-friendly, vegan yoga mat is a massive step towards making a lasting change. And as foam mats begin to get phased out, these sustainable options should get a lot cheaper as well.
Following a vegan or plant-based diet also provides benefits to your health and the planet.
So here’s to a mindful, healthier, and more sustainable yoga practice.