As we unrolled our mats for another day of yoga teacher training in Montanita, Ecuador, the floor became covered in stripes of black, gray, some blues and a hot pink.
As I unrolled my multi-colored chevron mat my teacher took notice and commented on how different and beautiful it was. I told her I’d wanted a mat that was bright and uplifting. Although we were on a beautiful beach, it was rainy season and I needed a lift away from the gray clouds. She hadn’t given much thought to using our mats as a tool for stabilizing our mood or self-expression and it inspired a conversation about beautifying our space and specifically where we practice – our mat.
We use clothing, like our bright, patterned yoga pants, and accessories, like scarves and mala beads, to represent or to remind ourselves of our intentions, passions, attitudes, and beliefs. Some take it further and get beautiful intricate – and permanent – tattoos of mantras, yogic symbols, and deities. So I ask, why not bring that same expression to the mat?
Thankfully, companies like Yoga Design Lab are pushing the envelope with stunning designer mats and yoga accessories aimed at inspiring that beauty in us.
It’s refreshing to see a company applying the same logic to such an integral part of yoga. Color is at the very core of yoga…just look at our chakra rainbow. I love practicing color meditation working upwards through all seven or focusing where I feel unbalanced. Yoga clothing embraced the rainbow a few years back, stepping away from a white linen clad gurus and black yoga pant clad western yogis.
Like all of you, I spend a lot of time in Adho Mukha Svanasana and having something beautiful to set my gaze upon definitely lifts my spirits and tailbone a little higher.
Michelle Hurley is yogi and world traveller. She has been traveling South America consulting with emerging companies and non-profits the last two years. She is currently taking a month off to do her yoga teaching training in Ecuador.