GOING DEEPER, AN ENVIRONMENTAL ASIDE:
Issues around environmental sustainability in the production of yoga mats remain contentious, with many well-informed opinions which nevertheless disagree. The ideal choice, if it were possible, would be to completely forego any and all manufactured products. Natural rubber is a popular alternative to PVC because PVC requires multiple processes and additives, emits dioxins during production, can be carcinogenic in ones home and degrades into non-biodegradable micro-plastics which cause environmental havoc. However, depending on the rubber’s source, growing demand for natural rubber puts pressure on remaining tropical rainforest ecologies, with industrial-scale rubber farming continually encroaching on their borders. In the end, natural rubber still requires vulcanisation (high heat treatment) and petroleum-dervied agents such as sulfur to produce a useable mat. 'Natural', then, isn't necessarily better than synthetic for the environment; TPE will biodegrade into the same elements (carbon and hydrogen). Apart from this, both natural rubber and latex emit very strong odours which can disrupt your practice, especially when exposed to moisture, sunlight and heat. Most importantly, they can even cause serious allergic reaction in certain individuals.
For these reasons, TPE is emerging as the best choice of material for mats, with few of the major drawbacks of the other materials used.
FAQ: About Our Mats
TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), specifically chosen by Higher Line, optimal for all practices, personal health & environment.
178 x 63cm, slightly larger than standard while remaining practically-sized, portable & useable indoors or out.
5mm thickness, provides a perfect cushion yet the joint-stability needed to properly support all levels of practice.
~850g, incredibly light weight compared to other materials, very easy to carry anywhere.
Low-slip material combined with anti-slip grip pattern, maintains grip in sweaty & high performance conditions.
Curl-free, stays flat easily without curling up after unrolling, remains firm & stable, conforms to a variety of surfaces.
Closed-cell, high-density structure material, highly durable & prevents compound emissions from leaking into environment.
Incredibly hygienic, bacteria resistant, its closed-cell structure prevents absorption of moisture & contaminants. Fast drying & easy to clean
Odourless. The closed-cell structure of TPE remains odour free compared to other materials such as rubber or PVC.
Single-layer mat is more durable (double layer mats can come apart with usage). Poor quality mats use toxic solvent-based adhesive to glue layers together. However, the use of safe adhesives does not also improve durability.
Non-allergenic material, TPE is suitable for users who may be allergic to latex or natural rubber materials.
Ashok is a meditation practitioner with 20+ years of dedicated practice under his belt. He also follows a dedicated high-intensity fitness routine. Sitting still for prolonged periods of time, together with the mental effects of self-observation highlight the positive effects physical training and developing motor-functional skills impart. In creating Higher Line, Ashok had in mind a mat durable enough to withstand high-intensity workouts, yet portable, and free of toxic emissions.
Anya has been a practitioner of yoga for over 10 years, taking in ancient and modern knowledge from teachers around the world. She is a certified yoga teacher who focuses her classes on self- discovery and therapeutic principles. Her aspiration to create suitable and supportive environment in her classes led Anya to co- creation of Higher Line products.
TPE, or Thermoplastic Elastomer is a synthetic material made from a mix of plastics and rubber. We regard it as the best choice of materials for our yoga mats. TPE is completely biodegradable and recyclable. Compared to PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) it does not require the same processes of compounding, curing or added agents, and is thus less resource intensive. Toxic emissions from PVC production not only affect the environment, but can be released in your practice space with age and usage. TPE is a healthy choice for your home and practice space.
It’s high density closed-cell structure prevents strong odours and emissions from leaking into the environment, and likewise prevents the absorption of contaminants like bacteria from moisture and sweat. This makes our mats very durable, incredibly hygienic, easy to clean and highly resistant to accumulating odour. Furthermore, unlike natural rubber or latex it is not likely to cause allergic reactions.
It just so happens that the high density material structure of TPE also makes for an excellent mat to practice on. Its combination of firmness and cushioning promotes joint-stability to prevent rolling injuries which may occur with thicker spongy mats, without sacrificing comfort. Our mats are very lightweight, making them highly practical and portable, unlike natural rubber mats which can weigh 2kg or more.
The bane of all serious practitioners is a mat that tends to curl up, which low quality PVC mats often do. This however does not occur with TPE mats, which will easily lay flat on most surfaces, keeping maximal surface area in contact with the ground, ensuring that the mat does not slide, move, or get in the way. As such TPE is ideal for our all-purpose mats, supporting your practice whether it is high intensity fitness or the subtlest practice of yoga.
Higher Line Yoga Mats are premium eco-friendly mats custom designed for mindful practice. Made to support the gentlest yoga asana to the most athletic high intensity bodyweight training.
With many years of experience between us as practitioners of yoga, fitness, and meditation, Higher Line began as the search for the perfect yoga mat, one that could complement all our practices. A mat that's durable, easy to clean and a good choice both for the health of one’s personal practice space as well as the environment as a whole. Our years of experience with substandard mats proved that this is not so easy to find.
On the one hand we found a wide range of substandard and toxic PVC mats. On the other hand, we found a number of mats made from natural materials were not sustainably produced. There are also many genuinely eco-friendly rubber mats out there, but again, they are extremely heavy, difficult to keep clean and hygienic, and emit strong odours that are also potentially allergenic. Not to mention pricey. We felt we had no choice but to put our combined experience into developing a mat of our own. One that will benefit and support one's practice in every way: the physical, the mental, and the environmental.
For us, environmental also means one's personal environment: the health of one's regular practice space and importantly the mindful elements that combine to enhance all aspects of a complete and dedicated practice