Perfecting Livity’s signature Mandala Mat took time. There was a lot of testing involved to design the right yoga mat. A cork yoga mat wasn’t the end goal, just a happy surprise. The original prototypes were made from all natural rubber. However, there were some issues. Here are our eco friendly yoga mat iterations:  

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Prototypes

It was so exciting to receive the first batch of yoga mats. But opening the box was underwhelming. They had a peculiar odor to them that permeated out of the package. This detracted from the earthiness of the brand. Not to mention, the original colors chosen were black and blue. The sample productions resulted in a poor mixing blue.

All natural tree rubber mats Livity Yoga protoypes blue on left, black on right

Outside of the aesthetic features, there were manufacturing errors. In this particular batch, the added proprietary film appeared like a white dusty layer. Generally, proprietary film is added to rubber yoga mats, so they can be non slip. This film increases grip for users. There were second thoughts about these materials because of their environmental qualities. 

Proprietary films in yoga mats:

  1. Prevent the rubber from being recycled.
  2. Can be toxic to some yogi’s.
  3. Wear off easily, decreasing grip.

A Non Slip Cork Yoga Mat 

After going through multiple tests, a cork sample cut arrived. The little square was a textured delight. It had character and grit, something the rubber yoga mats were missing. And the practical advantages of cork were appealing.

Pros and cons of cork yoga mats:

Pros

  • Antimicrobial 
  • Non slip gripping properties
  • Biodegradable
  • Made with a Natural Material

Con

  • Peeling

No doubt beautiful, using solely cork has a pitfall. The first prototype cork yoga mat came with an all cork top fused to a natural tree rubber bottom. Unfortunately it didn’t hold up in the testing phase. The cork top began to peel, half way through the year. To ensure a premier product, it was sent back for a final iteration. 

All 3 iterations of Livity prototype yoga mats: cork on the left, blue in the middle, black on the right

The new product has the same durability of a plastic yoga mat. How? The cork layer features an inclusion of recycled rubber (Styrene-butadiene rubber aka SBR). This innovative manufacturing technique bonded cork to pieces of synthetic rubber. This bond holds the cork in place without a proprietary film. The all natural rubber bottom prevents movement during practice. Culminating in the best non slip cork yoga mat with a body alignment system.