14 July 2020
14 July 2020
When you first think of cork, it’s usually wine bottle stoppers and old school bulletin
boards that come to mind. However, this Earth-friendly wonder product continues
to evolve and wow with its multitude of uses - including yoga mats. In addition to being
a non-toxic, sustainable resource, cork has all of the characteristics that a good quality
yoga mat should have. It’s antimicrobial, durable, supportive and has an incredible
ability to maintain its anti-slip properties - even when wet - making it the perfect choice
for hot and sweaty yoga practices.
So whether it’s your first time on a mat, or you’re teaching a class, it’s worth
investigating why cork yoga mats are being embraced by yogis everywhere.
As a highly sought after, versatile and eco-friendly material, cork has made an
appearance in a variety of industries from badminton shuttlecocks to interior design. Its
reputation for being long-lasting, sustainable and healthy (it’s also resistant to mould
and bacteria) make it a stand-out among its competitors.
As the uses for cork in manufacturing continued to broaden, surfers began to take
notice and cork eventually found its way onto the tops of surfboards and stand up
paddle boards. Cork’s amazing ability to not become slippery when wet made it a top-
performing material that didn’t require the use of wax or other synthetic additives for
traction - a win/ win for surfers and the planet. The leap from surfboards to cork yoga
mats didn’t take long as yogis embraced having a non-slip, antimicrobial mat that wasn’t
harmful to the environment.
Cork yoga mats are sustainably produced from the bark of Cork Oak trees which are
most commonly grown in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
When the cork is harvested from the trees, the trees are not cut down - only the bark is
stripped from the outside. This makes cork a highly useful renewable resource as the bark
can be stripped every 9 years and the trees normally live between 200-300 years.
These amazing trees also absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in their
stripped state so harvesting cork actually helps the environment. To top it off, cork is
also recyclable and biodegradable. There is very little waste in the production of cork
products as smaller pieces can be ground up and used to make additional cork items.
Although there are some yoga mats made entirely of cork, many cork yoga mats,
like this Perfect Alignment mat, are made with a natural rubber backing to provide a little
extra support and to ensure that the mat stays put on otherwise slippery surfaces.
Regardless of how eco-friendly cork yoga mats are, none of that matters if they don’t
perform well during your practice. A cork yoga mat is a great all-rounder as it provides
enough cushioning for a comfortable practice on any type of flooring or outdoor surface
while also maintaining traction on the top of your mat throughout your whole practice.
One of the biggest complaints about yoga mats is how slippery they get when you start
to sweat. Not only is it hard to maintain proper form if your hands and feet are slipping,
but it can also lead to a higher chance of injury. This is where cork yoga mats have a
major advantage - their grip factor actually increases as additional moisture
accumulates on the surface. When cork gets wet, it releases a waxy substance called
suberin, making the mat extra grippy. Those new to yoga will appreciate having an anti-
slip mat as it will be much easier to learn how to hold each pose properly without
worrying about your feet slipping.
More experienced yogis will find that cork yoga mats allow smoother transitions
between poses and provide more stability when doing inversions. Whether you’re
working up a sweat in power yoga, or enjoying the heat of a hot yoga class, there’s no
need to worry about losing your footing during your practice with cork yoga mats.
Across the globe, eco-friendly products like hemp and cork are gaining popularity in the
yoga world and it’s cork yoga mats Australia loves as well.
Traditional synthetic PVC yoga mats often smell of harsh chemicals when they are new,
and they tend to harbour other unpleasant odours the longer they are used. As cork
mats are free from chemicals and toxins and they naturally inhibit the growth of bacteria,
mould and fungus, your yoga mat will maintain a naturally fresh smell all the
time - which will be greatly appreciated while you’re in downward dog or dolphin pose!
Additionally, with high antimicrobial properties, cork mats are far more hygienic than
their counterparts. Yoga is about embracing a healthy mind and body, as well as
connecting to the natural environment. Cork yoga mats naturally align with these
A yoga mat is your own personal, private space to let go and give in to your practice, so
you want it to be comfortable and not a distraction. If your wrists hurt because the mat
is too thin, or your hands start sliding as you’re trying to sink into a pose, you’re going to
feel a lot more stress than bliss.
In order to be present and keep your mind focused on your practice, your mat shouldn’t
hinder your flow. With subtle differences in thickness, texture and grip, it’s important to
find one that works for your yoga style and your body. Thinner mats (normally 1-3mm)
are great for packing in a suitcase and traveling but often don’t provide enough support
when placed on top of a hard surface. The thicker mats do a better job of lessening the
impact on your joints, bones and ligaments, and offer more back support when doing
The great thing about cork is that you get the best of both worlds. Its high density and
resiliency provide support (the mat doesn’t get compacted over time) but cork yoga
mats are also much lighter than traditional mats as much of cork’s cellular make-up
consists of air. This Chakra Mat is a pleasant 5mm thick, lightweight, and comes with a
natural jute carry strap to easily transport your mat from home to wherever your
practice takes you. As a bonus, these mats are super durable and easy to keep clean by
gently wiping with a damp cloth and letting it air dry before rolling it up.
Whether you’re brand new to yoga or regularly practicing balancing poses and
inversions, cork yoga mats are well worth the price and loved by people of all stages in
their yoga journey. With their self-cleaning ability (nasty odours, germs and bacteria
won’t stick on a cork surface), antimicrobial properties, and amazing grip factor, cork
yoga mats are a stand-out from the rest. A great quality mat that feels right for you and
your practice may cost more upfront but it will last longer and provide you with a
With all of their redeeming qualities, it’s not surprising that cork yoga mats are gaining
popularity around the world. You’ll know you made the right choice each time you step
onto your mat, feeling steady and supported throughout your practice. Recycled Mats
ships their beautiful cork yoga mats Australia wide as well as internationally and offers a
complete range of eco-friendly yoga accessories.