Have you ever given any thought to your yoga mat? What is it made of? What is the so called “foam”?

I recently started to do yoga. Like in, this week was my first time. So I had to buy a mat. As you know, I do not want to bring any more plastic into my house, so anything I buy requires research and head aches.

The research I did online I found out that there are three choices in the natural mat department: jute, natural rubber and cotton. Cotton seems to be the most simple option – a cotton rug, probably something that has been used for centuries for yoga (although I am being assured by my husband that in India people simply did yoga directly on the floor and the mat is a very modern, western concept. Oh, well, I still wanted a mat. The only problem with the cotton rug is that it doesn’t offer much grip. So it was either jute or rubber.

Jute mats are very cute. I was leaning towards those, but all the reviews were saying that they tend to flake and thin out easily. We don’t want that, do we? So what was left? Rubber. With the rubber there is grip and there is durability. But it can get quite expensive. While your usual yoga mat can be purchased from Walmart for $10, prices of rubber mats vary between $40 to $90.

I also read online that Marshalls has a good collection of yoga mats at good prices. So to Marshalls I go. I had to check three stores until I found one that carried the thing. There, there was a product called “ecowise”, for people concerned with the environment. What was “eco” about it, you ask? The mat was made of “closed-cell foam”. What on Earth is that? Why is that ecological in any way? Nothing explained on the packaging, so obviously, I don’t buy. I ended up finding a nice (though thin) rubber mat in Barnes & Noble, for $31. And I bought it. Maybe sometime in the future, when I become a yoga expert, I will be able to justify a thicker and more expensive one, but for now I am more than happy.

Well, something is still bugging me a little: do I need a mat bag? They are so beautiful. I wonder, are those natural fibers they are made of?