Yoga is in the news a lot. It’s practiced by everyone from millionaires to office workers to the homeless, and many people believe it’s a fast and effective way to improve their physical health. Yoga mats are no exception to this; there are many to choose from, including budget-friendly options like the one from Union Yoga, which sells for just $19.95.
PRO Yoga Mats, by Union Yoga, are the latest trend in mats. The mats are available in many colors, including white, green, blue, orange, pink, blueberry, purple, and black. They are also sold online as the Matflex mat. The mat is made out of recycled cork. Cork is a natural product and can be found in all parts of the world. It is used for making wine corks, wine stoppers, and golf balls. The cork is made from the bark of the Cork Oak tree. The mat contains zero VOCs and is biodegradable. It is made of 100% recycled cork. The mat is lightweight and durable. It is backed by a lifetime warranty.Denial: The brand sent me the product for free in exchange for my honest and open review. All opinions in this article are my own. As a yoga teacher, there is only one thing I love, and that is getting in a good sweat. It is the discovery of amazing new tools that make this flow safer, more comfortable and more fun. I’ve spent the last 50 days testing the most important accessory in the yoga arsenal: the Nature PRO cork yoga mat from Union Yoga. Read on to find out where the Nature PRO yoga mat excelled and where it failed. FACTUAL OVERVIEW About the brand: Union Yoga is a Spanish team of yoga and nature enthusiasts who strive to reduce the yoga industry’s devastating impact on the environment. Your Nature PRO’s cork yoga mat is certified plastic-free by the European Vegetarian Union. It is 100% natural, biodegradable and light for Mother Earth. Ideal for: indoor yoga and fitness classes. Top layer: Portuguese natural cork Bottom: recycled natural rubber mixed with shredded cork. Weight: 1.35 kg Dimensions: 186 cm x 66 cm Thickness: 4.15 mm Price : €89,99 Delivery : worldwide
♀️ Pressed? Here is my verdict on the Nature PROyoga mat
What I liked best:
- Pillow versus stable balance – training on Nature PRO is like stretching on clouds. I like the resilient foam base that doesn’t affect postural stability.
- Good grip – nothing beats wet grip. A few drops of water and you have a natural version of a traditional sticky rug.
- Respecting the environment – Nature PRO is made of natural and recyclable materials that do not harm the planet.
TheNature PRO has a simple yet elegant design – perfect for minimalists. What could be better:
- The durability of the foam is great because the bottom is made from recycled rubber. At the same time, I feel like she’s too fragile. After about two months of use, I’ve already noticed some cracks and tears in the material. For now, I’m not taking my yoga mat outside because I’m not sure if it will hold up. Which is a shame, considering how easy it is to do.
- Transparency – I would like to see Union Yoga provide more information online about the production cycle of Nature PRO products, including where and how they are made, what certifications the factory has, etc. Corporate responsibility and transparency are essential if we are to move towards a greener future.
What is PRO Nature made of?
All materials used in Nature Pro are natural and biodegradable. The top layer is made of cork, which is an excellent alternative to the synthetic materials usually used. Not only is it durable, antimicrobial and easy to use, but it’s also really eco-friendly. No trees may be felled for cork production. The bark is harvested by hand without damaging the tree and regenerates itself by absorbing CO2. Yes, this is the same cork used to make wine corks. Nature PRO’s cork comes from environmentally friendly sources and is used in Portugal to make yoga mats, which is another big plus. Spain is very close, so the products do not have to travel halfway around the world. Less transport = less emissions. The Nature PRO floor is a flexible foam made from recycled rubber mixed with cork. ⚠️ Note that the bottom layer contains latex and should not be exposed to sunlight or heat. I asked Union Yoga about the recycled rubber, where it came from and especially how the lower and upper layers of the mat were connected. Unfortunately I didn’t get much information, except that all the material is collected in Portugal.
Nature PRO arrived in a cardboard box, absolutely no plastic (uh-oh!). Surprisingly, it didn’t smell like rubber, which was a big plus for me because I could skip the usual bleeding/cleaning and go straight to yoga. I like that most cork yoga mats don’t get used as much as synthetic materials. However, I recommend wiping the surface with a damp cloth before the first workout, as there was a thin layer of cork dust on it. The carpet was ready to use straight out of the box – no need to clean or air it out.
Comfort and stability
With a thickness of approximately 4 mm, Nature PRO is ideal for cushioning joints and maintaining stability in balancing positions. I especially liked the elasticity of the bottom rubber layer. It sinks to just the right depth to make the uncomfortable pose more bearable (pun intended!), but comes back without a trace. Nature PRO is designed to make your knees happy. If you need good insulation, this is also confirmed by Nature PRO. I even walked my newborn on a carpet on concrete without fear of him getting cold. I tested the Nature PRO on a variety of surfaces, including tile, concrete, and grass. While the mat is great for hard surfaces, I found it too soft for grass. It was not flat, and balancing proved to be a challenge. You can see how the carpet seems to sink into the grass, creating an uneven surface.Balancing in Orel proved to be a challenge.
✋ Drying handle
The cork must be wet to adhere. That’s the whole idea. The wetter the hands, the better the grip. But my hands don’t usually sweat, and yours probably don’t either when you step on the carpet. So is it worth carrying water all the time? It’s better not to, because hydration is the key to any workout. But it also works without it, because Nature PRO is surprisingly dimensionally stable when dry. I put all my weight on my arms and legs and felt pretty confident, even on dry ground. You cannot compare a dry cork surface with a modern self-adhesive carpet. Your hands and feet don’t feel like they’re glued to the surface, and you may notice that your hands occasionally slip into the downward dog.
Apply a little water to the surface to simulate sweat, and the magic happens. Once the carpet was a little wet, the grip increased and I felt much more confident and stable. If you like hot yoga or Bikram, you won’t be disappointed.
Weight and portability
Needless to say, Nature PRO is very light. Weighing less than 1.5 kg, it is easy to transport to and from the studio. The only problem is that it doesn’t stay rolled up and you can’t put it in your pocket when you’re in a hurry. You should secure the mat with a strap or put it in a bag specifically designed for yoga mats, which will prevent it from rolling. The unfolding didn’t bother me too much, since I was using Nature PRO as a permanent decoration on my bedroom floor.
I have always found cork a difficult material. Finally, it absorbs all sweat and body oils. Who the hell has time to clean up this mess? It turns out that cork contains a substance called suberin that makes it waterproof (exactly the opposite of what I thought). The result: Nature PRO is an easy-to-clean carpet that practically cleans itself. From time to time I washed it with a damp cloth to remove the dust. Also, at one point, there were grass stains on the ground. All my attempts to remove it have been in vain. Not that it’s that important, but I think it should be mentioned. Visible grass stains on the lower layer.
Nature PRO is a yoga mat for minimalists. Other than the small logo and rounded corners, this is a normal cork yoga mat. The top layer has a beautiful structure and gives character to even the simplest piece.
Cork is a very strong material that can take a beating. To test the mat, I left it unfolded. So not only did he resist my yoga classes, but he was being stepped on several times a day. Here are some observations:
- The cork layer seems to be very well made. So far, I haven’t noticed any crumbling or wear.
- I lined the Nature PRO several times for extra padding, and it wore well.
- There is no evidence of separation of the upper layer from the lower layer.
However, I have one complaint about the foam floor. After about 2 months of use it already showed some micro cracks and scratches. Probably since I took my yoga mat outside. Union Yoga has a great promotion where a girl takes her climbing mat – trust me, this is not a good idea if you want to keep your mat in perfect condition for a few years. You can also put an old yoga mat or cloth under it to protect it (but I find that tricky). I would also keep Nature PRO away from your cat if you have one.
⚖️ Final Award
Despite the durability issues, I have enjoyed using the Nature PRO, and you will too:
- Looking for a yoga mat to practice on hard, non-abrasive surfaces
- preference for sweaty yoga styles – Hot Yoga, Vinyasa, Power Yoga
- Have sensitive joints or like a good pillow
- You are looking for a simple but elegant and environmentally friendly yoga mat.
Keep looking anyway if you :
- Latex allergy
- Looking for a yoga mat for an outdoor yoga class?
- in patterned yoga mats that stand out.