Over the years here at Cali Bamboo, we’ve seen our fair share of creative uses for our bamboo products, but one common practice that has kept us curious is the use of bamboo flooring in yoga studios. We’ve had dozens of yoga studios order their yoga flooring from Cali Bamboo, and while we understand why they chose bamboo from an aesthetic and durability perspective, we couldn’t help but wonder, “What’s the connection between bamboo and yoga?” As it turns out, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
The use of bamboo flooring in yoga studios, like most else in yoga, is intentional. From a physical standpoint, bamboo flooring is durable, flexible, soft under foot (or head or hand or stomach depending on the pose) and withstands heat, moisture and humidity better than hardwood (hot yoga, anyone?). Cali Bamboo flooring in particular is also ultra-low VOC, helping yogis to breathe a little easier while shavasana-ing. The physical characteristics of bamboo alone make it a great option for yoga flooring.
But what we found to be even more interesting is how bamboo flooring aligns with the philosophical aspects of the yoga lifestyle as well. Patanjali, an author who is attributed to numerous important Sanskrit works including The Yoga Sutras, outlined what are called the 8 limbs of yoga more than a millennium ago.
Of the 8 limbs, the first two limbs called Yama and Niyama represent the mind and body that support yoga and meditation. Specifically, Saucha, one of the Niyamas, is representative of cleanliness and purity. In yoga, cleanliness relates to your body, but also external factors around you such as the cleanliness of the air you breathe and the environment surrounding you. Additionally, Brahmacharya, one of the yamas of yoga, refers to conserving life energy in the form of excess energy while exercising as well as how you use environmental resources. To learn more about the 8 limbs of yoga, we suggest this helpful article by Love My Yoga.
Bamboo, being a sustainable material, bodes well to both Saucha and Brahmacharya. It’s physical makeup, absence of formaldehyde, and ability to be pruned consistently without negatively effecting the environment, work to enhance the yoga experience from not only the physical, but mental capacity as well.
So, the next time you’re in a downward dog, take a closer look at the flooring under your yoga mat. Chances are, its bamboo, and for good reason.