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Journey Pages, The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Earth Elements Yoga Mat

posted by admin on September 13, 2012 |

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Earth Elements Yoga Mat

Earth Elements 3mm – New Color: Iris!

Earth Elements Yoga Mats

The first limb of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, Yama, contains the seeds of sustainable living. The Yamas are precepts for ethical living, and the first of these precepts is ahimsa (non-harming). Add to that three of the other Yamas—asteya (non-stealing or taking only what you need), brahmacharya (wise use of life energy) and aparigraha (non-greed), and conscious, sustainable living seems to be at the heart of Yoga practice.

In the early ’00s, we began exploring ways to use more eco-friendly materials in all our products. While none of our Tapas® line of mats has ever contained the heavy metals and phthalates intrinsic to most PVC-based mats, we knew some of our customer base were interested in taking sustainability a step further. In 2005 we unveiled our Earth Elements line of mats. We have three options for thickness: Earth Elements 3mm, Earth Elements 5mm, Earth Elements 10mm.

Earth Elements yoga mats are made from a recently developed and patented foam called TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer). TPE contains no PVC and uses no toxic materials in its production. TPE also has no rubber, meaning it’s perfectly safe for those with latex sensitivities. TPE has a closed-cell structure, so liquids cannot penetrate it, making mold and mildew a non-issue. TPE requires less energy to produce than other mat materials and is fully biodegradable. Because of this, it requires a different kind of care than a PVC mat.

Unlike PVC and rubber which have a “wetter” feeling surface, TPE has a dry-sticky feel. TPE is a durable material, but you will find that it stretches more than other mats in poses such as Downward Facing Dog or standing poses. TPE is a great material for my particular body chemistry—dry skin. We’ve also had reports that it works well for people whose hands and feet tend to perspire.

Because these mats are biodegradable, they will eventually break down, but with proper care you can enjoy your Earth Elements Mat for years. I have a 3mm Earth Elements Mat from the very first batch from 2005. I used it for years as my “teaching mat” because it’s so lightweight and easy to carry when I walk to class. With the exception of a few kitty-claw marks—not the mat’s fault—it’s still in good condition, and just as sticky as it was when it was new.

One of the secrets to keeping your Earth Elements Mat in good condition is to keep it in a mat bag when you’re not using it, especially if you plan to leave it in your car. Because it is designed to biodegrade, TPE will break down if you leave it exposed to the hot sun. Storing it in a bag eliminates this problem.

earth elements yoga mat

Earth Elements 3mm Mat – New Color: Ocean Sunset!

There are several ways to clean your Earth Elements Mat. Here are our suggestions:

  • •  Spray with our PUREMAT® Mat and Gear Wash and wipe with a clean cloth or towel.
  • •  Wipe down with a very dilute (1:20) solution of mild dish soap and water. Hang to dry.
  • •  JoSha Wipes are great to carry with you if you like to clean your mat after each use.
  • •  We don’t recommend putting your mat in the washing machine to wash it, and definitely don’t put it in the dryer, unless you’ve been wanting to have a reason to replace the drum inside your dryer. The heat from your dryer could cause the mat to get stuck to the inside.
  • •  If you want to deep clean your mat, put it in a bathtub but don’t submerge it. Wipe it down with PUREMAT® or a dilute solution of mild dish soap and water.

Here’s a review of Earth Elements by health and fitness blogger Tara Burner. Read it here.

If you have any experiences with Earth Elements or tips on caring for TPE mats you’d like to share, please do! We love learning from our community.

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6 Responses to “Earth Elements Yoga Mat”

  1. Journey Pages » Blog Archive » Care and Feeding of Your Yoga Mat: Part 4 Says:

    [...] If you have a latex allergy but are interested in using a sustainable Yoga mat, we have lots of great alternatives to rubber. Check out these great mats:  Earth Elements, Sattva Jute and Tapas Terra. For details on Earth Elements mats, as well as their “care and feeding,” visit this post. [...]

  2. Journey Pages » Blog Archive » Care and Feeding of Your Mat: Part 2 Says:

    [...] Next week:  Care and feeding of your Earth Elements mat! [...]

  3. Care of Your Tapas Mat Says:

    [...] Next week:  Care and feeding of your Earth Elements mat! CharlotteCharlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986 following a four-year apprenticeship of intensive study. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice, published by Rodmell Press. Her second book, Yoga for Meditators (Rodmell Press) will be published in April 2012. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.Website – More Posts [...]

  4. Caring for Your Rubber Yoga Mat Says:

    [...] If you have a latex allergy but are interested in using a sustainable Yoga mat, we have lots of great alternatives to rubber. Check out these great mats:  Earth Elements, Sattva Jute and Tapas Terra. For details on Earth Elements mats, as well as their “care and feeding,” visit this post. [...]

  5. Laurel Says:

    I have 3 of these mats, but the oldest one has completely lost it’s stickiness. It has not been left in a hot car or anything like that. Can the stickiness be restored by cleaning with something? Thanks in advance.

  6. Charlotte Bell Says:

    Hi Laurel, Thanks for your inquiry. I will send your message to Nichole in customer service. She can give you more info on restoring stickiness than I can. Thanks!

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