Practicing yoga outdoors is fun and rewarding. However, soft materials like foam can be problematic when used on uneven ground outdoors. Bamboo mats solve this problem!
UPDATE March 24, 2020: Genuine bamboo yoga mats are out of stock at most major retailers.
Alternatively, you can try the Hugger Mugger Eco Bamboo Yoga Towel if you are okay with a thinner, more flexible surface.
Why Use a Bamboo Yoga Mat?
Bamboo yoga mats offer sturdy practice surfaces, with the added benefit of being an ecologically sound choice. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, and therefore can be quickly replenished. Enjoy the benefits of outdoor practice while knowing your yoga is having a low impact on nature!
Bamboo is particularly good for use on the beach, where sand can conform to the pressure of where your weight is distributed. This causes uneven practice on soft mats, but bamboo offers a solid plane with enough give to provide comfort. Bamboo also works great on pebbled or uneven stony surfaces for the same reason.
While other mats, such as cork, can offer firmness and improved absorption, bamboo will lay completely flat. As an easily worked and strong wood, bamboo offers durability and a level surface anywhere you want to practice.
Below we discuss several different bamboo yoga mats for outdoor practice.
Hanuman Beach Bamboo Yoga Mat Review
The Hanuman Beach Bamboo Mat can convert into a lounge chair using a separate frame. This makes it the best bamboo yoga mat for trips outdoors that are for more than yoga. After enjoying the benefits of bamboo for outdoor practice, relax in the sun on top of your mat. Alternatively, end your reading session with some yoga in your favorite spot.
These mats are slats of bamboo laid over a cloth backing. The slats stay flat while in use, allowing for maximized stability. When it is time to transport the mat, it can be rolled up in sections instead of staying a flat plane.
While bamboo offers an excellent surface, this bamboo yoga mat has a sealant called shark grip applied to the front and back. This allows for additional friction while performing poses that require focus on weight distribution and balance. You are protected from moisture from the ground by an additional water proofed bottom. Note that on slippery hardwood floors, this bamboo yoga mats may still slip. In that case, use a rug or towel underneath to create friction.
Bamboo is a heavier materials than the typical foam yoga accessory. The mat also measures 27.5 inches by 72 inches, which is a bit wider and longer than the average yoga mat. This means the mat is probably more ideal for dedicated private practices than for classes that expect you to come in and clear out quickly. Without the stand, this mat is around 5 pounds.
Ganesha Beach Bamboo Yoga Mat
The Ganesha Beach Bamboo Yoga Mat is the best mat for someone interested in moving their practice to different locations. This mat comes with a black mesh bag for easy transportation, and the Ganesha yoga mat weighs 4 pounds. While this is not the lightest yoga mat, it is still easy to bring to any outdoor practice space.
The Ganesha is also more slender than the Hanuman, which is optimized for lounging, and measures the standard 24 inches wide. Otherwise, the Ganesha is quite similar at 72 inches long, and it also has the shark grip coating applied to its surfaces.
This mat will benefit those fed up with towels or cloth practice mats that tend to bunch up and catch on limbs. It is also quite a bit easier to maintain than fabrics, as the Ganesha Beach Bamboo Yoga Mat is very easy to clean. Just wipe down the smooth surface.
Bamboo Yoga Mats: Conclusions
Bamboo yoga mats offer portable and easy to maintain surfaces for yoga practice in almost any setting. They are also sustainable and have the versatility to meet the needs of anyone who loves the outdoors. Both the Ganesha and Hanuman bamboo yoga mats are a great choice, especially for outdoor use.