In honor of my recent re-re-renewed yoga practice I ordered myself a replacement yoga mat. My current one has lasted 9 years. Yes, my practice was intermittent, but I still put a lot of miles on that mat when you add them all up. From “Om”ing in Yin to sweating in Bikram, this mat has experienced a rich and varied life– minus some months-long stretches rolled up in the closet.
My very first yoga mat had been a gift from an ex-boyfriend. I couldn’t quite separate the link between the two and correctly concluded it was time to move on, so I ordered this mat from huggermugger.com in 2003. It has a light blue, rippling pattern that I splurged an extra $5-10 for even though I was on a college-student budget.
Even with my erratic yoga practice, this mat has soaked up my blood, sweat and tears. Literally. There is a stain from when I just couldn’t stay away from yoga after I fell off my bike, and opened up a few of my scabs in class. I recall weeping during a heart-opening meditation class shortly after my mom was diagnosed, big, fat salty tears silently rolling down my cheeks. And as I mentioned above, I’ve dabbled in Bikram, so enough said about the sweat.
I have a hard time letting go of things, and apparently that extends to yoga mats, but the time has come. My old mat is starting to break down and it has lost its cushion. So, out with the old and in with the new! There may have been eco-friendly mats back in 2003, but I’m not entirely sure. If so, I suppose they were prohibitively expensive at the time. For this 2012 mat purchase, I decided to go with Jade. My new mat is sustainably made in the United States with natural, recycled rubber. Also, Jade plants a tree for every mat purchased. This seemed to be among the most ethical, earth-friendly options available for yoga mats on the market, and I’m excited to try out my new mat.