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If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your yoga mat to an on-trend cork option, let this video be the sign you need to make the change.
Mel Kiss Life takes viewers to Portugal—which accounts for 50 percent of the world’s cork growth and production—for an in-depth look at how the material is harvested from the Quercus suber (cork oak tree) and turned into a yoga mat or surfboard. She speaks with Sofia Garushka, director of the tourism company Algarve Rota, about how the cork is grown and its many uses, as well as Miri from Hayati Yoga Algarve about the longevity of cork yoga mats and why she uses them in her own practice.
Cork yoga products have carved their way into the mainstream, and for good reason. Cork is a completely renewable material—it’s harvested by peeling the bark off the trees, so they never have to be cut down. The bark regrows every 8–14 years over their 200-year lifespan. Cork is also biodegradable, which means it can be composted, keeping your product out of landfills.
Finally, cork mats are naturally anti-bacterial and extra grippy, making them great for any yoga practice that makes you sweat. With summer on the way, now might just be the perfect time to make the switch.