The Eco-Mission of Yogasana
Returning to the roots of Yoga
Consider this: If yogis are supposed to embrace and be one with the earth, why do the majority of Western yoga practitioners use ‘sticky’ mats made of harmful PVC-containing plastics?
View the video below, courtesy of the Safe Water Advocacy Alliance, to see the dangers of PVC:
It’s no secret that these plastic mats are harmful to the environment, which is in direct conflict with a yoga practitioner’s journey.
The practice of yoga requires a sense of purity and a connection to nature, neither of which can be found atop a mat made of plastic or rubber.
Of course, it’s fair to say that sticky mats:
- Help keep student stable during poses
- Prevent slipping on the slick floors of yoga studios
But there is more to yoga than contorting the body into unnatural and often uncomfortable postures for ninety sweaty minutes.
Why do these poses in the first place? What’s the ultimate goal?
Most people practice yoga because they want to connect with that vibrant source of energy that’s alive and deep within their tired, busy souls.
Yoga is about a connection with the earth and ourselves. Poses are just one aspect that helps us achieve this goal. Instead of enhancing our yoga practice, the use of a synthetic rubber mat actually blocks the yogi from achieving that subtle connection with the earth’s energy.
We should look to remove obstacles that keep us from balancing and grounding to the earth.
Using a mat made of natural materials – such as a cotton yoga mat – provides an eco-friendly source of support for the student and allows the subtle energies to flow during the asanas. The benefits of using a natural yoga mat are far more advantageous than the convenience of a cold, synthetic slab of plastic.
Think of your “foundation” and what it is built upon. The stronger and more grounded your connection to the earth, the better the results achieved in your practice. Four thousand years ago, the first yogis in India were performing miracles based on the strength of their yoga practices.
So much of that powerful yogic energy has been lost in the West, overtaken by form-flattering yoga clothes and celebrity “beach bods.
It’s time to step back, take a deep breath and remember the reason we practice to begin with.
The use of natural materials represents yoga at its origins.
By using a cotton mat, you may achieve more satisfying results in the practice of the asanas.
For the same reason we remove our shoes and socks before yoga, we should look to remove obstacles that keep us from balancing and grounding to the earth.
A sticky mat provides no connection to the earth; instead it blocks the subtle energies produced by the poses.
A cotton yoga mat can aid in deepening your practice—try one and judge for yourself.