I have been practising yoga for 4 years now, and everything was fine. I was even a Hot Yoga only kinda girl, spending days and hours in hot rooms, while everyone just sweats and “detoxifies” as they drip on the mats.
Then about 6 months ago every time I walked into a yoga studio I started developing skin allergy. It’s eczema type of allergy where my skin just start developing hives. Super itchy, and they spread if you scratch them. The longer I stay in the studio the worse it gets, and as soon as I leave the studio the allergy will go away by itself in a few hours.
It is really not helpful, especially now I am not just a yoga student but I actually teach yoga. So every day the hives just come and go.
I tried every single kind of ointment, even allergy medicine. They help, but only temporary. The hives come back every day as soon I walk into the studios. When I am stressed it gets worse (that’s normal for allergy). I thought I was allergic to dirty mats or floors at the gyms, and didn’t think there was anything I can do about it since… well.. that’s where I practice and teach.
Then two weeks ago I went to see a homeopath on my spinal issue. And I thought I would discuss with him about my allergy too. He ran a few tests with me. When I was so ready to hear him confirming that I am allergic to dust. He said, “No, you are not allergic to dust.”.
So what is it???!! I was perplexed. Then he said, ” You are allergic to latex, which is.. well, natural rubber.”
When I started practicing few years ago, most studios use PVC mats. As people become more concerned about the environment, most brands start to use natural rubber as the material for yoga mats. Many practitioners and teachers including myself also switch to rubber mats including myself. That includes my favourite JadeYoga mats, Lululemon mats and my best travel mat from Manduka!
Rubber is almost the perfect material for eco friendly yoga mats. It’s natural and sustainable (as long as it’s from sustainable forests). Rubber is really dense but springy, so rubber yoga mats are great for the perfect combination of balance and comfort.
I came home and did a little research about the mats, and realise most of my “good” mats at home are made with natural rubber. I also put them on top of the studio mats….
So sad. The only mat choice I have is the Manduka PRO mat, which is made with PVC. I guess I can try a wool mat or cotton mat. but I am not too convinced as I sweat all over my mats.
I guess the good news is, the homeopath also tested me on other potential allergies and said I am NOT allergic to gluten and dairy.
Feeling annoyed and frustrated, l went to grab a bagel with cream cheese. Haha.
Now… Can you share with me what is your favourite yoga mat?
The not Eco-friendly Cora