Thursday, December 21, 2017

6 Essentials for a Toxin-free Yoga Practice

6 essentials for a toxin-free yoga practice

6 Essentials for a Toxin-free Yoga Practice
Erin Vaughan

Today we have a special guest sharing with us the 6 essentials for a toxin-free yoga practice. Erin Vaughan is a writer for

Welcome Erin.

It’s about that time of year when most people start feeling the pull to purge themselves of toxins.

Like most holiday revelers, you’ve probably been cooped up indoors, plying yourself with unhealthy food and drink. Or you’re rushing around to holiday events and shopping malls, leaving little time left over for your yoga practice.

Thankfully, January offers the perfect chance to recommit to your yoga routine—or start one from scratch.

But if you’re going to devote yourself to healthier habits, you might as well try to leave the toxins behind in the process.

And I’m not talking about bodily toxins here.

Unbeknownst to many yogis, the equipment used in their yoga practice may be full of harmful chemicals!

Conventional mats, for instance, are often made with phthalates, a chemical that’s been linked to everything from asthma to fertility issues.

Also, workout clothes may be hiding a whole host of unhealthy textile chemicals, such as phthalates, PFCs, dimethylformamide (DMF), nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), and nonylphenols (NPs).

The good news is that it’s possible to avoid these chemical "boogiemen" by purchasing non-toxic products.

Here’s what you need to rid yourself of dangerous substances for your purest practice yet!

Non-toxic Yoga Mats

The best way to avoid chemicals in yoga mats is to steer clear of ones made with plastics like polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC. All-natural rubber, cork or jute are much safer choices and are increasingly easy to get your hands on. Environmental news site EcoWatch has put together a brief list of options for non-toxic, low-imprint yoga mats for your practice. But as a general rule, don’t buy anything that contains petroleum-based materials like PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), PER (Polymer Environmental Resin), and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer).

Chemical-free Yoga Pants

Yoga’s surging popularity has meant you can now buy every kind of yogawear imaginable, from cozy cottons, to spandex emblazoned with pizza slices. However, activewear is not all created equal, especially when it comes to their chemical impact on your health. Certain patterns, like screen printing and plastic prints, contain phthalates (once you start researching phthalates, you realize they’re in just about everything). Instead, look for pieces that use organic and raw fabrics. And if you can find pants that have bluesign System certification, buy them. That labeling means the manufacturer has either avoided hazardous chemicals entirely or kept them to a minimum during production.

Gentle Yoga Mat Cleaner

So far, we’ve been talking exclusively about man-made substances. But after a round of sweaty yoga, the funk on your mat can be just as harmful as any chemical—organic or not!
However, you obviously don’t want to rely on synthetic sprays to keep your yoga mat clean. Instead, look for an all-natural solution made from tea tree oil, revered for years as an organic disinfectant. You can also make your own spray using tea tree and eucalyptus oils, vinegar and water. Can’t get more natural than that!

All-Natural Blocks

Foam blocks and other yoga props have problems of their own. They’re typically made from polyurethane, a petroleum-based substance. Polyurethane sometimes contains isocyanates, known as a carcinogen and skin irritant. While some foam rubbers are made without isocyanates, your best bet is to look for blocks made from recycled cork or balsa wood. As a bonus, they’re better for the environment, too!

Organic Cotton Straps

Straps help you elevate your practice and get into stronger, deeper postures. But like any textile-based product, they too have their issues. To avoid chemical hazards, look for a strap made from 100% organic cotton and all-natural dyes. There’s no better way to work on challenging postures!

Safer Yoga Towels

Nothing brings out the sweat like hot yoga! But after sweating out all those toxins, you don’t want to go around wiping your face with chemicals. Hand-loomed organic cotton towels dry quickly to help you mop up during practice. Many towels are made with eco-friendly dyes, too, meaning they’re low-impact as well. After all, your practice should be as gentle on the Earth as it is on your body!

Erin Vaughan is a yoga fanatic, runner and sometime cyclist. She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes for, the leading online marketplace to find a local personal trainer that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals!

Thank you Erin Vaughan for contributing to Smile For No Reason.

I am not being compensated for this article.

If you have any questions please email me here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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