History of the Yoga Mat

The History of the Yoga Mat: Know Your Facts

  • Posted in:

Discover the History that led to Liforme’s Game-Changing Yoga Mats

What’s in a Yoga Mat?

Does it really matter what kind of mat you use for yoga? A mat can only do so much to support your yoga practice and only your physical practice at that. It will not guide you like a good teacher, even if it does have rather clever alignment markers (wink) on its surface, right? And no mat is going to help you observe any of the other limbs of yoga, is it?

But think of all the hours you spend on that rectangle of rubber (or, perish the thought, PVC). And how, when it comes to asana practice, a steady, comfortable base is actually a very useful tool in fostering a steady, comfortable practice.

There is also a valid argument that the products we choose to buy should reflect, as much as possible, yoga’s ethical values. That it’s our collective responsibility to make sure that the purchases we make for the sake of yoga are, in addition to being attractive and functional, not harmful to living beings or the planet.

So, it turns out that the kind of mat you use for yoga actually is quite important. All mats are not created equal, as you will see when you take a look at the history of how yoga mats developed over time…

The History of the Yoga Mat animated video arose from our desire to communicate just how special and revolutionary Liforme’s mats really are. During our five years of research (and boy what a journey, and a labour, of love, that was!), we looked at the yoga mats that had been available to date and determined that to achieve a better practice experience, the mat had to be rethought from the ground up. We worked with materials engineers and scientists to fulfil a brief with three main priorities:

a mat that offers grip and traction,
provides the right balance between soft-cushioning and firm-stability,
and is truly eco-friendly.

History of the Yoga Mat

The Difference You Can’t See

We know that yogis can feel the difference in our mat’s surface, which stays grippy even during a sweat-soaked vinyasa session. That they can appreciate that our two-layered construction offers the ideal balance between firm stability and soft cushioning.

But we felt that the third key aspect of our mat, namely our commitment to using more sustainable, non-toxic, and truly environmentally-conscious materials (during the manufacture, the usage life, and, ultimately, the disposal, of the mat) without sacrificing performance, was a bit harder to see. We hope that by explaining the way that yoga mats evolved, it becomes clearer just how much of an improvement Liforme’s engineering is over all the other mats that have come before.

Know Your Facts

The reaction to our visual tour through yoga mat history has been amazing and we’re so pleased that our message is coming through. A lot of people have commented that they didn’t know how harmful PVC is and have even expressed shock that this material was used to make yoga mats in the past.

So we’d just like to point out that, much as we’d like to see the era of PVC mats over and done with, the fact is that PVC remains the most prevalent material for budget (and even some high-end) yoga mats. If you don’t know what your mat is made of, chances are it’s PVC. It takes a bit of effort to choose a non-PVC mat, but now that you are aware of the difference, we hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it.

History of the Yoga Mat

Science Has Our Back

Because we don’t want you to just take our word for it (as honest as we are!) we went to the lengths of commissioning an in-depth research study into the different materials from which yoga mats are made to examine and report on the real issues. The investigation was conducted by a leading polymer expert at Imperial College London, a global top-ten university with a world-class reputation for Science.

The findings, which focus mainly on the difference between PVC and the natural rubber and polyurethane materials we use at Liforme, are available for all to download and read in full on the dedicated webpage we created for ‘The History of the Yoga Mat’. We’ve also included there a handy timeline summary of how yoga mats evolved since the beginning.

We Built a Better Mat

In our humble opinion, the mat we have made is a game-changer, and that’s before we added the final elevating touch: our unique and original alignment guide on the surface. As is often the case when you really, actually, do the hard work required to innovate, along the way we discovered a few additional things that were worth adding to the mix.

We decided to make our mats a little longer and wider than the standard so that they work for all kinds of bodies. And we include a complimentary bag with each mat to make it easier for yogis to protect and carry their precious practice companions.

We believe that the more you know, the better equipped you are to make the important decisions that reflect the values of the yoga practice we all love so much. We hope that once you watch The History of the Yoga Mat, you will better understand just how revolutionary Liforme mats are.

History of the Yoga Mat


Liv x

Originally posted: 12/19/2017
Last updated: 06/07/2018

Share on:

9 replies to

  1. Merie Ching says:

    An awesome eco friendly mat for environment.. love it!!

  2. sher teza says:

    Thank you so much @liforme for this very informative and amazing video! I honestly couldn’t blame the others if they would still opt to buy the harmful but affordable mats, they didn’t have a choice. But sharing this vid would make them rethink on how they could just repurpose their old PVC mats. 🙏🙏🙏

  3. Kerri Ann says:

    Such an informative video that I wish I saw when I first started out in my practice. I would love a Lifeforme mat that I know is as good for the planet as it is for me & my yoga practice!

  4. Karishma Gupta Agarwal says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I have only dreamed of owning a Liforme mat, I have seen Yogi’s all over the world use it, and that’s actually when I first came to know of it. I’m very active on Instagram as ashtangatemple and follow the IG yoga community actively. That’s when I saw this amazing mat, and wondered where n how n which was this mysterious mat.. On doing some more research I found Liforme and now can’t get it out of my system till I own one.. Would love to show off my mat too!! Great for me and planet friendly too!!

  5. Dana Klinkner Rodriguez says:

    I would love to win a Liforme mat because I am currently deployed and do not have a mat here with me. It would be great to share my love of yoga with my battle buddies during this deployment (without having to practice on super thick gymnastics mats or a concrete floor… my two options), as well. This video is great and I learned a lot… like why not to buy a pvc mat. 🙂

  6. Troy says:

    Thank you @liforme for spreading the word on the negative implications of regular mats, and for making such an incredible mat. I have had one for a year and it is far and above, the best mat I have ever owned. I would love to be able to give a few away to those who I know need it!

  7. Melissa says:

    I never thought something I use very day could be so damaging. Many brands out there make their mats attractive with colors and designs, but they’re not durable. So with regular replacements, I’m doing a lot of damage! The Liforme mat seems to be the perfect mat according to this cute video. Thank you!

  8. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for educating us all on these mats. I thinks important for us to be aware of what’s going on with the environment. I’m devastated knowing that my mat is and can cause so much damage to our planet. Just seeing this video so bright and educational has just made my day and opened my eyes in so many ways. Thank you again for educating us. Liforme is the greatest!

  9. A Bilal says:

    I had never considered the environment when selecting a yoga mat before. To be honest I don’t even know what materials my mat is made from or whether they have an environmentally friendly and sustainable life cycle. Yoga practise can have many benefits such as improving one’s outlook and becoming at one with yourself. I’d like to think that you also go on a journey of love and selflessness, so it’s a shame that we don’t apply these values to protecting our Earth. @notsoyogilena

Comments are closed