A woman sitting on a bed with a candle beside her doing yoga

3 Tips for Detoxing Your Yoga Practice

Oct 05, 2022

Did you know that many of our yoga products are made of petroleum-based ingredients? 

These petroleum-based ingredients make up things like our yoga blocks, foam rollers, and yoga mats.

In fact, yoga mats are often made of PVC or vinyl—one of the most toxic types of plastics that don't biodegrade easily. And making PVC or vinyl involve some of the most toxic chemicals known to man, such as:

  • Chlorine gas
  • Ethylene dichloride
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Mercury (a neurotoxic heavy metal)
  • Dioxins (one of the most toxic chemicals known to man)

These toxic chemicals do not stay inert in yoga products either. While you use them even more, they are being stored in your home through normal wear and tear and the passage of time. 

These chemicals can be released into your indoor air and dust and make their way into your body. What's worse is that when you don't even need these products anymore, and you've discarded them, they go into our landfills or float in our oceans because they don't biodegrade easily; they continue to contaminate our environment for years and some for decades.

So in this blog, I will be sharing with you three tips on how to detox your yoga practice. What's great about these tips is that they're not only great for our environment but also for you and everyone you live with.

After many years of clearing all the plastics I could find in my home, like the plastic food containers, beverage containers, toys and more, I didn't realize that many of my yoga products, like my yoga mat and the yoga blocks, were also made of plastics and other petroleum-based ingredients!

I Never Realized How Toxic Yoga Was for Me:

After feeling like I had detoxed my home entirely and then spending time on a yoga mat to get my mind and body even healthier,  it was fascinating and alarming to realize that my hands were in constant contact with toxic chemicals from my yoga mat! Even after realizing that, it took many hours of research to identify healthier options which I have summarized here for you.

What To Look For in a Practical Nontoxic Yoga Mat:

When shopping for a yoga mat, look for yoga mats that are: 

“made of 100% natural rubber or cork or even a blend of both.” 

I have two yoga mats made of 100% natural rubber. They are very similar to traditional yoga mats that are made plastic:They're soft, flexible, and relatively not slippery, maybe even less slippery than yoga mats made of plastic.

Questions to explore further when evaluating your next yoga mat:

  • Is the key material 100% natural (like natural rubber or cork)? Could it be a blend of natural and plastic?
  • Are toxic chemicals used in any adhesives used? For example, is cork adhered to another type of material with adhesives that may off-gas?
  • Are toxic chemicals used to color the yoga mat?

Yoga Blocks and Rollers—What to Look for:

When you're looking for yoga blocks, you can find yoga blocks that are made of 100% hardwood or cork

Similarly, if you happen to be shopping for a roller, most rollers are made of petroleum-based foam. You can find rollers made of cork as well. Again, you want to look for yoga products that are made of 100% natural rubber, cork or a blend of those two.

You might find products made with other natural materials like jute

Similarly to when shopping for a yoga mat, questions to explore further when evaluating your next purchase of yoga blocks or a roller:

  • Is the key material 100% natural (like natural rubber or cork)? Could it be a blend of natural and plastic?
  • Are toxic chemicals used in any adhesives used? For example, is cork adhered to another type of material with adhesives that may off-gas?
  • Are toxic chemicals used to color the yoga block or roller?

So What to Look for?

In summary, when shopping for yoga products, look for products made of:

  1. 100% natural rubber 
  2. 100% natural cork
  3. 100% natural hardwood or a nontoxic wood
  4. Blended materials that are 100% natural
  5. Nontoxic adhesives
  6. Nontoxic colors or dyes

đź’ˇ Bonus Tip:

Read the product labels for Prop 65. Prop 65 is a label that's required by the state of California if there are toxic exposures in the product that are known to the state of California to be harmful to human health and above a certain threshold . 

Wash Your Hands:

Last, wash your hands at the end of your yoga practice. 

Even with nontoxic yoga products, there's dust everywhere. Dust can contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. So it's always great to wrap up your practice by washing your hands. 

If you found this blog helpful, then you may also want to listen to my Practical Nontoxic Living podcast and learn more about my 40-Day Home Detox adventure. 

And to stay more easily updated  on new content to help you detox your home, diet, self-care and technology, follow Ruan Living on Instagram: CONNECT.

Remember: Small detox tweaks can transform. Ruan Living is here to support your home detox journey!

Thanks so much for reading our blog. 

See you next time.

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About Ruan Living

Ruan Living simplifies a nontoxic lifestyle through its Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, free detox workshops, online D-Tox Academy, and transformative 40-Day Home Detox. It aims to help you avoid toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from what you buy, own, and do— without compromising your joy and convenience. Ruan was founded by Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of the bestselling critically acclaimed book A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Toxic Exposures and several detox workbooks. A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Business School, Sophia has served on the Brown University School of Public Health Advisory Council and Well+Good Council. A popular nontoxic living speaker, consultant, and teacher, Sophia lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters. Her passion for empowering others to enjoy nontoxic living began with the birth of her first daughter in 2007. Everything she creates is a love letter to her children and for the healthiest, brightest future possible. You can learn more here: Sophia’s Impact.


This article is for informational purposes only. This information is provided “as is” without warranty.

It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. We do not offer medical advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other opinion on your conditions or treatment options. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ruan Living.

In no event will Sophia Ruan Gushee or Ruan Living be liable for any damages or loss of any kind resulting from the use of this website. Anyone relying upon or making use of the information on this website does so at his or her own risk.

Some of the services and products recommended on this website provide compensation to Sophia Ruan Gushee or Ruan Living. All recommendations are based foremost upon an honest belief that the product, service, or site will benefit our site visitors in some way.  

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