Yoga has become such a commodity to sell, the challenge being convincing a cohort of individuals who practice a discipline that encourages non-attachment and internal validation instead of external consumerism, to be consumers. That in order to be a "better" yogi(ni) you *need* _______ (insert product here).
Of course it helps that these products be "eco-friendly", helping to soothe probable consumer-guilt. Cuz we all know that buying more "stuff" really is the problem that has brought us to a world filled with garbage and pollution. We know this, but sometimes companies are pretty good at convincing us that having something "extra" to help with our practice really isn't all that bad. Especially since they're made of organic cotton!
Nevermind that special socks for yoga are completely superfluous.
Let's consider the true ramifications of purchasing "extras" on the environment first.
Regardless of whether they are made from sustainable materials (Organic cotton), these socks aren't something that will last forever. How long do your regular socks last? My socks that I wear once a week will last about six months, and I'm really easy on my socks. Special yoga socks I'd have to wear three, four times a week where I would be putting higher amounts of pressure, sliding along and I can assume increased wear.
As a result, these "eco" socks will wear out earlier than regular socks. So I'll have to purchase new ones. In the course of my lifetime yoga practice that is hundreds of socks. Wow, *that* doesn't sound wasteful...
As consumers, we know these socks are completely wasteful and unnecessary. But sometimes we just get caught up in the marketing of it all. We need to remember to take a deep breath and step back.
From a necessary aspect to yoga practice, I find it a little silly. I understand being slippery during the practice. Usually this happens when we sweat a lot, our mats aren't very sticky and most importantly when we are pushing outwards when we should be pulling inwards.
Sweating a lot isn't something that will go away if you're like me and sweat a lot anyways (removing your sweat glands, although I considered it, isn't really ideal lol). Things like bringing a towel from home really do help with that and is free.
Investing in a non-pvc sticky mat, such as a rubber mat (Jade, Manduka and prAna make really nice eco-rubber mats) will also go a long way in decreasing sweat-caused slippage. As opposed to purchasing a few new ones each year, your mat should last years-plural and can be reused a million ways after it has met it's maker. (click here for some fantastic ideas by Jade).
I think the most essential bit of advice I've received about slippage has been about the *how* I do my asanas. Instead of constantly pushing outwards, muscling through the postures (no pain no gain type), I need to bring the energy inwards and up. This essentially means using more of my core energy, bringing muscle energy inwards (very Anusara, but it works).
Finally, yoga really isn't about achieving the most beautiful posture and the accessories that you can collect to get them. And well, I didn't really get into their ad campaign. I think we've already discussed all that...
What are your thoughts on the eco-aspect of yoga accessories?
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com