If you know me, you know I like to do my research before I spend my money, making sure I pick the very best of the best that fits my needs.
A few years ago, I was in the market for my first yoga mat, and I thought I had done thorough research in making my choice on which to buy. I had narrowed my choice down to two potential mats and eventually made my choice… however, with the power of hindsight (and being lucky enough to try out the Valka Yoga cork mat recently), I would make a different choice now...
Having done a thorough comparison using both my existing yoga mat and the Valka Yoga cork mat, there are 3 factors that would make me now pick the Valka Cork Yoga mat instead:
- Weight – it’s lighter and easier to carry than the one I brought.
- Material – the cork doesn’t rub off onto my clothes, unlike the coconut husk on my existing mat.
- Slip resistance – no matter how much I sweat in a yoga class, the Valka Yoga cork mat does not get slippery, meaning I can focus on my form rather than having to reposition myself because my hand's and feet are slipping.
Let’s chat about Cork
Cork is a fascinating material; did you know that no trees are cut down in the process of harvesting cork?!
That’s because cork is harvested from the bark on a Quercus Suber (cork oak) tree, and is only stripped of its bark every 7-10 years. This means the carbon is kept locked away, making this a renewable and sustainably conscious material. Apparently, a harvested cork oak tree absorbs up to five times more carbon dioxide than one that isn’t harvested.
Other than not being a synthetic material, which I love, cork is also naturally mould and mildew resistant, helping it prevent bad smells from occurring. The natural waxy surface of cork also makes it non slip, making it perfect for those hot sweaty yoga sessions.
There are two key materials in the Valka Yoga mat – cork (obviously) is used as the top layer on a natural rubber base. The mat contains no PVC, PER, TPE or adhesives. It is also printed with environmentally friendly inks.
Danny, whom I had coffee with a few months back, started Valka Yoga with the purpose of making high quality and ethically sourced yoga gear which is accessible to everyone, and to create a mat free of toxins and which is kind to the environment.
Being honest, transparent and having all the information easily available, in my books, is key to being a strong Ethical and Sustainable brand, and these guys offer just that.
And to top it off, I am a sucker for a company that plants trees, and Valka Yoga do that with every purchase. Working with Carbon Neutral AU to help plant native trees in the Yarra Yarra valley.
Overall, I can’t rave enough about this yoga mat, it ticks all my boxes (which is many) and to have a face to face with the person behind the brand adds that extra level of trust to the product and brand.
If you are yet to invest in a yoga mat or your current one is at the end of it's life check out Valka Yoga Store and enjoy a 15% discount on your next purchase with the code 'ECOSOCIETY'.
If you are replacing you old mat make sure you check out Danny’s post on ‘How to reuse or dispose of your old yoga mat’.
*partnered blog with honest review