Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A brief history of the humble Yoga Mat

While working on another blog post here at DownDog Boutique I became interested to learn about the origins of the Yoga Mat that many of us practice on.

After a little digging around I came across this post by Steve
at the http://theconfluencecountdown.com it seems to cover the topic nicely and briefly therefore no need to reinvent the wheel (or that mat) so here is the story:

Famously, ancient yogis practiced on tiger skins, if they were highfalutin, or deer skins, if they were closer to the 99% than the 1%. If you were near the bottom of the 99%, chances are you practiced on bare ground.

As yoga — speaking in terms of asana, now — got popular, newer practitioners began bringing along towels or cotton mats. As we all know, just putting a towel down on a wood floor is a recipe for yogic disaster.

Enter Angela Farmer. She seems to be credited with being the first person to grab a piece of “carpet underlay” — you know, that multi-colored squishy material — and cut it down to size. She did so when teaching in Germany in 1982, and when she returned home to England, the idea caught on in her local yoga scene. Her father then worked with the German manufacturer, and voila! The first yoga sticky mat (apparently in white) was born.

Hugger Mugger gets the nod for being the first mass producer or yoga mats, sometime in the early 1990s. In other words, 30 years ago.

But back to the rug. According to Nancy, you shouldn’t be taking time out in the middle of your practice to roll it out, or squirt it with water or anything else that draws away your focus and your breath. And being able to stay balanced on the rug is the point, and will help you build strength.
Check out a full range of Yoga Mats  at www.downdogboutique.com