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Journey Pages, The Hugger Mugger Yoga Blog

Rubber Yoga Mats

posted by Charlotte Bell on November 24, 2013 |

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rubber yoga mat

Tapping a Rubber Tree

We’ve sold out of our Urban and Native Rubber Mats. Check out our great, new Para Rubber Yoga Mats!

Natural Rubber Yoga Mats

The rubber plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia provide the material for our Urban (Recycled Rubber) and Native (Natural Rubber) mats. Native to South America, rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) are tapped for their latex, the source material for all natural rubber products. While more than half the rubber used in manufacturing today is synthetic—from petroleum sources—we use only natural tree-sourced rubber in our mats.

Rubber’s name comes from one of its early uses—as an eraser. When latex first arrived in England in 1770, Joseph Priestley observed that it was great for rubbing pencil marks off paper. In other words, the new material was the perfect rubber.

Friction is what makes rubber the ideal material for an eraser. It’s also the quality that makes it a great nonslip Yoga mat. Plus, rubber is sturdy, flexible, sticky and provides excellent cushioning. We offer two great choices for rubber mats:  our Urban and Native mats. Here’s a rundown of these two mats:

Urban (Recycled Rubber) Mat

Made from sustainable rubber—from trees in Malaysia and Indonesia—and recycled rubber, our Urban Mat is holds its shape via a scrim made from recycled cotton and polyester fibers. The Urban Mat combines a thin profile for stability and rubber’s excellent cushioning ability for a comfortable and stable surface. This mat should give you  years of service, but when it reaches the end of its useful life, all but the polyester portion of the scrim will biodegrade very quickly.

Native (Natural Rubber) Mat

Along with our Urban Mat, the Native Mat is a great choice for eco-conscious yogis. Made from a blend of non-Amazon rubber and recycled rubber baked into a cotton scrim, this mat is fully biodegradable. Because we use all natural materials in producing this mat, the surface pattern may vary from mat to mat, but its function is consistently excellent.

Caring for Your Rubber Mat

Rubber is a sturdy material—think 50,000 miles on most standard tires—but because the surface of a rubber Yoga mat is processed to be spongier than tires, they are a bit more delicate. Here are some tips for caring for your rubber mat:

  • To clean, dip a fabric towel or clean cloth—not a paper towel—into a warm, 1:20 solution of mild dish soap and water. Wring out the towel, and wipe your mat very gently.
  • Do not use paper towels to clean your rubber mat. Paper towels disintegrate in contact with a rubber surface, so little bits of the paper towel will get stuck on your mat—very annoying!
  • Hang to dry.

If You Have Latex Allergies …

Some people are sensitive to latex. ALL natural rubber products are derived from latex harvested from rubber trees. People with latex allergies should not use our Urban or Native mats. Symptoms of a latex allergy can include mild itching or redness, sneezing or coughing, and in severe cases, anaphylactic shock. The Mayo Clinic‘s website has great information on latex allergies, their symptoms and treatment.

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. For details on Earth Elements mats, as well as their “care and feeding,” visit this post.


Post By Charlotte Bell (229 Posts)

Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. 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) was published in May 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.

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