Regular yoga mats are made of PVC,TPE, or micro-fibre materials that harm both our body and the environment. An all-natural alternative to them are the hand woven herbal yoga mats from Nishchala which are truly one-of-a-kind.
Made by the rural artisans and weavers of South India, adept especially in traditional artforms of handloom weaving and ayurvedic dyeing, a Nishchala yoga mat is eco-sustainable and produced on the principles of fair-trade.
What’s most interesting is that, at various stages of its production, the yoga mat is woven with different grasses, natural fibres, and medicinal herbs that literally rub off on you when you practice regularly on it. While the primary materials are cotton and jute (both of which are natural and biodegradable), the mat also packs in a variety of ayurvedic herbs that are dyed into the organic cotton through the process of ayurvedic dyeing.
Ayurvastra, a branch of Ayurveda, emphasises on the therapeutic properties of herbs and spices when they come in direct contact with human skin. Built on that principle, the mat is said to be infused with three major herbs – tulsi, turmeric and triphala.
While tulsi (holy basil) is anti-inflammatory and helps de-stress by supporting the nervous system, turmeric (curcuma longam) is known for its antibacterial, antidepressant and mood-elevating properties. Infact, turmeric is known to be truly beneficial in treating diseases like cancer, Alzheimers to skin diseases by cleansing the chakras.
Triphala (terminalia bellirica) or the blend of three native herbs—namely, amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki—is a potent antiseptic and natural detoxifier, instrumental in healing you both physically and emotionally.
Other herbs used in the making of the mat include: reetha (soapberries) for washing the yarn after bleaching, due to their cleansing properties that save your skin from chronic diseases such as eczema and psoriasis; natural softeners like coconut and castor oil to ready the yarn for curing and amla (myrobalan) as a natural dye with great therapeutic value that helps prevent diseases of the skin, muscle, bone as well the vital organs.
Finally, the mat is also hand brushed with natural rubber for better grip. What’s more, they’re super low-maintenance as well. All you need to do to keep them in good shape is wash them periodically with a mild herbal soap and cold water, and let them dry in the shade. In between washes, to maintain hygiene, wiping them with wet cloth is also recommended. You could, concurrently, also spritz them with a spray made of tea tree essential oil and water.
If you’ve been wanting to invest in a new yoga mat, this non-toxic, phthalate-free and dioxin-free one from Nishchala will ensure that you have an unwavering connection between your mind, body and soul because you would be treating yourself to an experience that has its roots in the ancient practice of Ayurvedic wisdom and healing.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)