How to Cultivate a More Eco-Friendly Yoga Practice in 2024

eco friendly yoga practice 2024


In a world that is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental challenges ahead, it's essential to extend our commitment to sustainability to all aspects of our lives.

As yogis, we understand this commitment through the yogic value of Ahimsa. Ahimsa translates to non-harming, or non-violence, and is first of the five Yamas (ethical principles for interacting with the world). This call for non-violence does not just apply to our interactions with other humans, but to all forms of life, including Mother Nature herself.

In the 8-Limbed Path of classical yoga, Yamas preceed the physical practice of yoga, or Asana. Therefore, engaging in environmentally conscious practices is actually a foundational act in developing a yoga practice. 

But Wait, Isn't Practicing Yoga Already Eco-Friendly?

 The yoga we practice today has come a long way since the yoga of ancient India. 

The modernization of the practice and its entrance into global mainstream culture is a two-sided coin. On one side, it has brought yoga to the lives of thousands of yogis who may not have found it otherwise. On the other, it has created an industry. 

And the modern yoga industry — just like any other — is full of fast fashion, inflated margins, and greenwashing. 

As yogis and members of that industry ourselves, we believe it's our job to hold ourselves accountable to the ethics of our practice, and by extension, help shed light on the not-so-yogi parts of the yoga world.

In this article, we'll explore some ways to cultivate a yoga practice that not only nurtures our well-being but also contributes to the vitality of our planet.

Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Yoga Practice in 2024

Invest in an Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

Most yoga mats are made from synthetic materials that are harmful to the environment and take years to decompose. To make things more confusing, most yoga mats that claim to be sustainable are usually still made from a plastic material such as PET, PVC, or PU. Even natural rubber yoga mats can be negatively impactful if the source of the latex is not certified.

Investing in a high-quality, truly sustainable yoga mat can significantly reduce your ecological footprint. Consider those made from natural materials such as cork, which is biodegradable and provide excellent grip and support. Other options include jute, or organic cotton towels. This suggestions also apply to your yoga props like blocks, straps, and bolsters.

gecko x sea shepherd cork yoga mat

Check out this whale-saving yoga mat from Gecko x Sea Shepherd

Choose Sustainable Yoga Clothing

Extend your eco-conscious choices to your yoga attire. Look for eco-friendly and natural materials such as organic cotton or bamboo.These fabrics are not only gentle on the environment but also provide the comfort and breathability essential for a satisfying yoga session.

Avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester, and even items made from recycled plastic. While clothes made from recycled ocean plastic may seem like a great environmentally conscious choice, they actually leach microplastics into the water supplies (and back into the ocean) with each wash.

If you want to give something a second life, consider buying second-hand or swapping clothes with other yogis to reduce waste.  

Practice Outdoors

Practicing outside on a warm summer day is the original hot yoga. Embrace the natural elements and connect with the earth beneath you by practicing outdoors.

Instead of heading to a yoga studio that likely uses air conditioning or heating, try rolling out your mat in your backyard, at a local park, or on the beach. 

practice outdoors

Visit Eco-Conscious Yoga Studios

In case you choose to practice inside, support yoga studios that prioritize sustainability. Look for those who use eco-friendly cleaning products, energy-efficient lighting, and implement waste reduction practices. You can always inquire about their environmental policies and see if they offer eco-friendly options for yoga props and accessories.

Reduce Transportation Emissions

Consider the environmental impact of how you get to your yoga classes. Instead of hopping in the car without a second thought, try biking or walking to your next yoga class. If a longer journey is necessary, explore public transportation or even carpooling with other yogis from your studios. 

Practice Mindfulness & Gratitude

Yoga is a practice of mindfulness and gratitude, and these qualities can extend to the environment. Take time to appreciate the natural beauty around you and connect with the earth. You can also incorporate eco-conscious intentions into your practice, such as sending positive energy to the planet and all living beings.

Empower Others

Share your eco-friendly yoga practices with others and encourage them to adopt sustainable habits. You can start by talking to your yoga teacher and fellow yogis about your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you feel comfortable, take a step further and share your tips on social media or start an eco-friendly yoga group in your community. Just remember, always communicate from a place of love and ahimsa.

2 yogis on a cork yoga mat

Ready to make the switch to an eco-friendly yoga mat in 2024? Explore our collection of sustainably made cork yoga gear.