Cork is very quickly becoming the go-to option for those wanting a sustainable and environmentally friendly material and is being used for a lot more than just wine corks and office cork boards. In fact, cork is making a splash in the yoga world, and for good reasons.
You may have already seen someone practicing on a cork yoga mat or using a cork yoga block. Not only do they look great, but there are several reasons why cork makes the perfect material for yoga products.
1. Cork is Eco-Friendly
Cork is made from the bark of the Cork Oak Tree that grows in the Western Mediterranean. However, unlike most other wood products, harvesting cork doesn’t actually damage the tree. In fact, the cork oak will regenerate its stripped bark over time, allowing it to be harvested every 9 years or so. This is what makes cork a sustainable and environmentally friendly material.
Not only is the bark renewable, but a stripped cork oak tree absorbs five times more carbon dioxide compared to non-harvested trees, meaning the process actually helps with global warming.
Many other yoga mats are made with PVCs, which are bad for both the environment and you. With yoga mats seeing so much use it makes sense that we choose a material that is both safe for us and the environment.
2. Cork is Lightweight
When it comes to yoga mats, it is often a battle between having a sturdy mat and then having to carry it back and forth from the studio. Thankfully, cork lets you benefit from the best of both worlds and is sturdy and lightweight.
Cork has a honeycomb structure which gives it a number of very interesting properties. For one, over 50% of its volume is air, which is what makes it so lightweight. In addition, it is a sturdy and high-density material, making it feel great to use.
These properties combine to make cork yoga mats perfect for traveling around without having to compromise on utility.
3. Cork is Hypoallergenic and Antimicrobial
Cork’s honeycomb structure once again provides it with some amazing properties that make cork a useful material. Cork doesn’t absorb dust, which helps protect against allergies which is great for asthma sufferers.
In addition, it is naturally antimicrobial which cuts down on microorganisms growing on your mat. We often forget how much bacteria and germs can grow on anything, including your yoga mat. The antimicrobial properties of cork help to kill these germs and bacteria, as well as cutting down on odors, giving you peace of mind.
4. Cork is Perfect For Use
All of these other qualities don’t mean much if a cork yoga mat wasn’t actually any good for yoga. Thankfully, the performance of cork yoga mats is great. Cork is extremely durable and also offers a lot of traction, whether it is wet or dry (which makes it perfect for hot yoga).
Unlike traditional yoga mats that lose their grip when they get wet, cork yoga mats are the opposite. Cork is impermeable to liquids which makes it resistant to moisture. Not only does this mean cork doesn’t deteriorate from moisture, but it also prevents liquids causing any unwanted slips while you are practicing yoga.
Cork yoga mats carefully balance traction and cushion to allow you to easily practice on any surface. Cork feels great under your hands and feet and is great for those with sensitive knees. In addition, cork lacks the smell of processed rubber that plagues traditional yoga mats, instead, having a soft, natural earthy texture.
You might also like: What is the Ultimate Best Non-Slip Yoga Mat? Here Are My Top 3 Picks
5. It’s Good for Cork Yoga Blocks
Cork isn’t just used for yoga mats, but also makes a fantastic material for yoga blocks. Yoga blocks are great for improving your body’s alignment which prevents injury, increases strength, and helps you make the most out of any posture. While a foam block might be softer, it doesn’t provide the same stability as a cork yoga block.
Cork yoga blocks benefit from all the same properties as the yoga mats, such as being lightweight, sturdy, antimicrobial and providing great traction, making them ideal for use in yoga. Yoga blocks are perfect for helping your posture and can help increase stability when doing more complex poses, especially those that involve balancing, allowing you to focus on things like alignment and breath.
With so many yoga mat options available, it can be hard to find one that is right for you and which provides the high-quality that you are looking for. Cork yoga mats and yoga blocks are a great choice for any yogi and will deliver on performance and quality, while also aligning with your natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
In summary, cork yoga mats are high-performance, durable, lightweight, environmentally friendly, antimicrobial and a joy to practice yoga on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Dan Baker, SPD UK
Dan Baker is a Content Writer that works with SPD UK, a family run cork manufacturer and supplier based in the UK.