Most yoga mats were made with PVC, a non-biodegradable, highly toxic material used in many plastic items.

"Knowing which yoga mat best fits you and the type of yoga you practice, can seem a bit confusing for beginners and sometimes even experienced yoga practitioners; knowing which mats are not toxic and eco-friendly is also something to keep in mind as well. For this reason, Consumers Advocate, an online review site, collaborated with an independent research lab in Michigan to test and find the best yoga mats in the industry",-said Giancarlos Merced ConsumersAdvocate.org


Yoga was practiced for a long, long time without the mats we have now. So why is a mat so important?

For one, yoga is much different now than it was when it started thousands of years ago in India. Practicing yogis emphasized yogic breathing (pranayama) and meditative techniques much more than the calisthenic type of yoga we do now.

And so, as yoga kept evolving, the means to practice it did too. Practitioners in India were known to use dead tiger skins (presumably of those who died from natural causes) and deer skins to practice on. Later, they turned to clothes or towels.

It wasn’t until the 1970s, when a yoga teacher named Angela Farmer brought a piece of carpet backing to a class so she could practice without slipping, that interest in “sticky” yoga mats really picked up. However, these “carpet backing” mats, while they offered traction, didn’t hold up for long under vigorous practice.

In the 1980s, Sarah Chambers of the yoga products manufacturer Hugger Mugger, designed and introduced the first sticky, durable rubber mat specifically meant for yoga.

Today, there's a yoga mat for every need, body type, yoga style, and aesthetic. So, how do you choose the best mat for you?

We have a few ideas. You can read more about our research here: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/yoga-mats