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Have you ever wondered why your yoga teacher is vegetarian/vegan and interested in matters of the environment? By caring for the world, you (and your yoga teacher) are practising ‘Ahimsa’ (or non-violence or non-harming). ‘Ahimsa’ comprises on aspect of the first limb of yoga. These eight limbs of yoga provide a blueprint and guidance for living a meaningful and purposeful life and you might have come across some of the limbs already, for example Yoga Asana (or yoga poses), Pranayama (or breath work) and Dhyana (or meditation).
In the embodiment of practising ‘Ahimsa’, let me introduce you to some eco-friendly, plastic free and zero waste yoga essentials!
Let’s start with the main event: the yoga mat. My personal favourite is the Jade Yoga Harmony Mat (£70). I like the simplicity of the design and the richness of the colours (my personal favourite is the orange). It is difficult to describe but there is a nice texture to the grip of the mat and it is not as smooth as the other popular eco-friendly mats on the market (for example, Liforme and Manduka). Jade mats are sustainably made with natural rubber, they do not contain any synthetic rubber or plastic and Jade plant a tree for every mat sold (with over 940,000 trees planted so far).
I love the bright colours and graphic print of these Milochie Revival Stockholm Leggings (£76), and all their other pieces in the collection, to be honest! It is hard to find such joyful patterns and colours when it comes to yoga clothing and coupled with the high quality, these are well worth the investment (the brand is still 15-60% cheaper than LuluLemon and Sweaty Betty). All their products are manufactured in Portugal using eco-friendly fabrics where they pay their manufacturers living EU-regulated wages. Each item is wrapped in paper and sent to you in recycled mailbags.
Again, I am a complete sucker for the bright colours and graphic print of this Prana Riestling Bra (Reduced Price: £27.15) in the print Bluegrass Paradise. Prana have been leading the way in sustainable clothing since 1992 and use environmentally conscious materials, recyclable packaging and work with Fair Trade Certified™manufacturers.
Transport your yoga mat in style with these beautiful CorkYogis Yoga Mat bag (£25). Made from stunning 100% recycled saree material, these bags have an adjustable strap for easy carrying. They are made in partnership with Destiny Foundation, a charity that provides free training courses in sewing and literacy to give human trafficking survivors employable skills. They sell the handmade products made from recycled saree fabric to create financial independence. For every CorkYogis bag purchased, you are helping to provide jobs for women affected by human trafficking.
Keep hydrated before, after and during your practise with the Atlas & Ortus Stainless Steel Reusable Bottle (£12). Available in black or white, this stylish bottle will hold 500ml of hot or cold liquid, maintaining its temperature for 12 hours.
Keep fresh and smelling good for your fellow yogis with the Happy Holistics Organic and Vegan Deodorant (£5.99). This deodorant is made with Arrowroot, Shea and Coconut Butter to nourish the skin, Calendula and Chamomile to sooth sore and irritated skin and the Carnauba Wax to provide protection from sweat.
I don’t know about you but I am forever losing hair bobbles, finding them at the bottom of my bag and making sure that I have multiples ‘just incase’, so it feels good to know that the Kooshoo (£11.99) organic and plastic free hair ties will do no harm in the world. I love the colours available (no more boring black) and they are ethically and responsibly made from 75% organic cotton and 25% natural rubber.
Finally, sooth aching muscles after a dynamic yoga practise with the Muscle Joint Salve Stick from Urb Apothecary (£13.95). The herbs in the salve absorb into the skin, acting specifically on sore muscles and encouraging the flow of fresh, healing blood to the affected area.
Happy yoga-ing you gorgeous people!