For thousands of years, Yoga mats were not really needed as the practice consisted mainly of seated breathing and meditation. Yogis back then would use animal skins or basic cloths if they needed a bit of cushioning.
As more challenging asanas (physical postures) became more popular, more supportive surfaces were needed. Over time, mats started to evolve from the more basic folded cloths on which Yogis would sit, into rugs that were a little bit more like the Yoga mats of today.
By this time, as asana practice had developed more and more, many Yogis were using rugs to practice upon. Shaped like the rectangular mats with which we're familiar now, these rugs were made from cotton or synthetic alternatives.
The more dynamic posture based practice (and of course the other limbs of Yoga too) were becoming more and more popular, and this type of Yoga was spreading all across the World. It was during this decade that one clever Yogini adapted a piece of foam carpet underlay into a Yoga mat! This laid the foundation for the mat as we know it today.
By now, so-called 'sticky mats' were firmly established on the Yoga scene. However, a common problem with these early sticky mats was that they didn't last very long. Their soft foam material tended to deteriorate far too quickly.
In order to try and tackle the durability problem, harder and tougher mats were made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which became the standard. But it turns out there are some big issues with making Yoga mats from this material!
PVC is good for underground piping but not Yoga mats!
When Yogis throw away their PVC mats they will most likely end up in landfill where they could take hundreds or even thousands of years to fully break down! And what's more, these chemicals are toxic when released in to the ground.
If PVC Yoga mats are burned (i.e. if the mats end up in a municipal incineration facility, or in some countries an open fire burning site), the situation is even worse - watch the video for more details!
PVC mats were also so slippery that Yogis started using towels on top of them. These towels tended to flap around, distracting Yogis from their practice. Not to mention the wasted water and detergent pollution from frequently washing these towels, or the added cost of buying them in the first place!
In early 2008, some dedicated Yogis (yes, that's us at Liforme!) embarked on a journey to create a new mat which would deliver all things Yogis really wanted, and which would be truly environmentally considerate.
5 years of research and innovation with some of the World's best material engineers and scientists, and gathering countless feedback from Yoga teachers and students around the World...
Even when sweaty-wet!
PVC free, biodegradable in 1-5 years and made using high quality non-toxic materials.
Intelligent markers. Originally Designed.
For a stable and comfortable practice.
The wise Yogis around the World have caught on to Liforme's truly revolutionary Yoga mats! Liforme's game changing mats are being used in over 85 countries Worldwide.
Use a mat that will really support your practice, made by a company whose ethics and values you can really believe in!