By Project Wellness Now
Yoga is an ancient practice. Therefore, you wouldn’t think there’d be much in the way of innovation within this discipline. After all, it’s a series of poses and mental/spiritual states. There’s not a lot you can do after 26 centuries of practice.
However, you’d be wrong if you thought there was nothing new under the sun when it comes to yoga.
Yoga is Eternal, but Innovation is Forever Fresh
Have you seen what they’re doing with yoga mats these days? Today’s most creative minds are hard at work putting together some truly incredible examples of what can happen when technology, creativity, and yoga all come together.
Following are four examples of yoga mats you might want to check out.
1. The YoYo Self-Rolling Yoga Mat
If rolling up your yoga mat after yoga is frustrating or annoying (or too time-consuming) for you, then the YoYo mat is for you. The YoYo company has invented a mat that curls up when you’re done, like a retracting New Year’s party favor.
After practicing yoga to stretch out your muscles and ease your back, who wants to squat down and hunch over while you roll up your mat?
The mat unfolds itself too. The technology is based on the same mysterious engineering that made snap bracelets all the rage a few years back. The surfaces are very grippy so you won’t slip, and the mat itself is thick and comfy.
2. Yoga Mats Made from Algae
Here’s a new way to live more harmoniously with the earth: use yoga mats made from algae. A company called Bloom Holdings uses algae to make the foam you see in a lot of gym products, including yoga mats.
They visit fish farms and wastewater facilities and the occasional lake, where they harvest the algae by scraping it off the surface. Then, it’s mixed and dried, then converted to pellets.
Isn’t it great to know you can get yourself a yoga mat that’s sustainable? Consider this: traditional yoga mats are made from petroleum! Plus, by removing algae from wastewater, the company is helping control algae blooms that are harmful to the environment.
3. Other Environmentally Friendly Yoga Mats
If you’d rather skip the ubiquitous polyurethane yoga mat for something that’s all natural, you have a few options. Polyeurathane is everywhere because it provides a lightweight, soft, flexible and, most importantly, grippy surface.
Rubber provides the same benefits.
Alas, however, the problem with rubber is that it’s usually harvested from Amazonian rain forests. Destroying rainforests is not exactly earth-friendly!
There are, however, sources of all-natural rubber that don’t come from protected environments. Several manufacturers offer them, and they’re usually comprised of natural rubber plus other materials like jute fiber or hemp.
There are also yoga mats made from heavy felt. Look on Etsy and there’s a chance you’ll even find some made from re-purposed felt: even more environmentally friendly!
4. Yoga Mats That Double as Room Decor
Tera is a yoga mat that doubles as a rug. It’s not just any rug, however. It’s a high-tech maze of LED lights that guide you when you’re practicing yoga. The rug connects to an app which directs your yoga practice by lighting up points on the rug where you should place your hands, feet, arms, or whatever part is necessary for the pose of the moment.
When you’re not doing your downward dog or your sun salutation, the mat is simply a rug. It’s made of wool, too, which enhances that home decor function like a rubber mat could never do.
So now you have four new styles of yoga mats to yearn for. Just remember that no matter what your mat is made of or what technology lies behind it, the important thing is to enjoy your practice. Namaste.