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how my yoga mat became my friend

I had a love/hate relationship with my first yoga mat. She came with me to all the short 30 minute gym classes at my university, proudly displaying her bright sky blue plastic synthetic self for all to see. I adored her at first. After all, she was a steal from Marshalls – $12? Yes please!
Then, after a brief forgetful moment left out in my car on a hot day, she took on the smell of old crinkled leather and car interior that saw one too many hurricanes with a leaky sunroof. Yuck. And then there came the black tattoo from getting caught under my car seat – metal doesn’t seem to appreciate her synthetic beauty. Or at least I thought it was beauty. But I guess I was superficial too.
After that, she seemed less attractive. Her smell that never went away, her plastic outer shell started to break down and wear off from use. Her real true nature appeared.
Then I moved to Rincon. I started taking a power yoga class. I was moving and working and testing the durability and strength of her like never before. She held up, she kept the pace, she didn’t falter. But I could tell I was pushing her, wearing her down. Her synthetic fibers just couldn’t handle the stress. So then I did something I knew she would hate & love at the same time.
I bought a new mat.

I bought a durable mat. A natural mat. A mat that gives back, and lasts, and doesn’t smell, and holds up to pressure. I bought a Jade Yoga mat.

Jade is a mat made from natural rubber – yes that exists. Rubber actually comes from trees! These mats are slip-resistant, produced in the US and give back to several organizations. First, this company plants a tree for every mat sold. That’s awesome! They actually have a whole page of organizations they support – read more here!

My old mat, the one made of PVCs and harsh synthetics, mass produced in China… she’s still around. Evan inherited her, and she doesn’t seem to mind. She doesn’t go to class anymore with me. But she enjoys a bit of yoga every time to time.

That’s okay. I have no regrets. She gave it a good run, but Jade is my new best friend.

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This entry was posted in: yoga


Chelsea is a marine scientist in Puerto Rico. Her interests include invasive species ecology, fish biology and ecology and marine protected area management. She is a co-founder of the only field course coordination company in Puerto Rico - Isla Mar Research Expeditions.

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