May 24th, 2013 by Stag
I recently went camping / back-packing. Â Now this was a small trip in comparison to some of my more ambitious ventures in my recent past. Â Just a two day hike up into the San Gabriel Mountains here in Southern California. Â Now even though it is 90+ degrees where we live, believe it or not it is actually still snowing up in the San Gabrielâ€™s (yes, it does snow in Southern California).
So I stuffed your usually things into my trusty backpack. Â I packed in my sleeping bag, inflatable cushion for sleeping, my food and water filtration essentials. Â But this time I brought a specially little experiment along with me. Â Just to see how it would fare. Â Thatâ€™s right ladies and gents, I brought Mexican blankets up into the snowy mountains of the SoCal.
Now you would not think that this type of material would do so well up in the mountains, and frankly neither did I. Â However to my very amazement, I found it to be quite useful! Â Not really as a blanket, but as so many other things. Â I could not help but thinking of the Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxy as I romped through forest with my now trustee Mexican blankets.Â It was the equivalent of the Towel in those books. Â I used it as a towel, as a napkin, I stuffed it into my sleeping bag cover and bunched it up to use it as a body pillow, when I got stressed I used it as a meditation cushion, and I even used it as a beany of sorts to keep me warm and wick away the sweat as we made our assent.
I have to say that the sheer versatility of this little blanket was marvelous and I will certainly be making them a permanent part of my mountain ensemble.
May 24th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I came down with a nasty flu this week. Not nasty in length, but in severity. 103 degree fever for a solid four plus hours or so. When it finally broke, I felt like I was hallucinating. And I actually was. You see, I thanked my girlfriend for bringing me the glass of water that I didn’t ask for and in reality, wasn’t even there. After stumbling from bed to the kitchen for some refreshment and battling my cat to not trip me as I shuffled my feet in what can only be described as an alien imitation of human bipedalism, I had a revelation. I was sick from the gym! Of course! All the grime, sharing equipment, and that one folding exercise mat
I used… I remember the one. I had a bad feeling about using the common exercise mat
but I went ahead and did it anyway. Four days later, BAM! Sick as dog. Now, I wouldn’t dare suggest that this particular facility does not disinfect its workout mats
regularly, but I have my suspicions.
I always wondered why we sell our mat disinfectant
. That sounds stupid… I know WHY we use them, but I never really thought about it in context. But the sweat, the grunts, the exhausting of ones body to the limits while perspiring sweat and salival grunts, well, let’s just say your gonna be swapping fluids (involuntarily) with a couple of people at your gym. I’d like to think that ALL gyms (and after researching OF COURSE THEY DO) disinfect their daily use common equipment with disinfectants and a mat cleaner
, but if you happen to be extra paranoid like me, take your own aerobic mats with you from here on out.
May 15th, 2013 by Stag
I am not sure as to how prevalent or obvious it is through these blogs, but I have a very non-stop kind of â€œover-thinkingâ€ brain process. Â I constantly question and second and triple guess each and every thought, motive and action. Â Although an asset at times; and it certainly has been in the past, it is also been a source of frustration.
With this said I decided to attempt and calm this part of myself in some fashion. Â My first attempt was what is commonly known as an isolation tank. Â It is a large metal box essentially. Â It is filled with about 12â€ of water that is saturated with 800 lbs of salt to make it incredibly buoyant.Â You simply lay in this water and float, and then the fun part. Â You close the door to this box and it is completely black. There is no sound, no visuals or stimuli of any kind. Â In fact after a few minutes you begin to feel as if you are actually floating and completely weight-less. Â Although this is not for everyone, it is quite an experience and I highly recommend it.
However although very fun and interesting, this isolation tank is not exactly the â€œcalmingâ€ experience that I really need, nor is it something that is practical to do on a consistent basis. Â So I began to dabble into the good â€˜ol meditation. Â Now, I am in shape and that shapeâ€¦is round. Â So needless to say, I need some comfort to brace between the floor and I. Â I tried many things, from a yoga mat, to a bamboo meditation bench and then finally the meditation cushion.
These Zafu and Zabuton meditation cushions were certainly my favorite thus far and are eco-friendly. They made it much easier to â€œlet goâ€ per say, rather than thinking about how hard the ground was. Â So although I am a grave novice at this point, I shall see where this little rabbit holes leads and report on my findings down the road.
May 8th, 2013 by Kelly Green
I lose my keys. Why? I blame DNA. My father lost his keys and his father before him and when my great, great, great, great great great great great great grandpa came home from a night of carousing with his fellow caveman, he probably lost the keys to the family mammoth. I have tried everything I can think of to prevent key loss. I put them on a carabineer and clipped them to a belt loop.
47 broken belt loops later, my wife demanded I lose the carabineer.Â I have purchased remote electronic devices that, when you press the button, are supposed to cause the paired key chain to loudly â€œchirp.â€ I lost the stupid remote. I purchased a zafu zabuton set and tried meditation.Â It didn’t work for my keys, but my organic meditation cushion has proven to be beneficial nonetheless.Â I even paid my daughter to follow me around and if she found my keys before I did, I would give her a dollar. I ended up with a rich little pick pocket, now I jump at shadows thinking itâ€™s my daughter about to steal my keys for a dollar.
Every man I know has this problem. This got me thinking. How can I stop this pitiful cycle of unrelenting key loss? How can I make sure that my own son will never have to plaintively whine, â€œHoney, have you seen my keys?â€ Why are all of those public restroom keys attached to objects that are big enough to require their own zip-code? AHA! If I could attach my keys to something I deemed vital, important and large enough that I couldnâ€™t lose it, my suffering would finally end. Sadly, my wife refused to volunteer.
I did manage to find this Key Chain Baton. I discovered the idea while watching martial arts movies.Â Large enough that losing it will be more difficult but it also has the potential to serve a purpose. The Kubotan, developed by Grand Master Takayuki Kubota, is a self-defense device which doubles as a key chain. Originally developed to be used by police officers, the Kubotan technique has revolutionized the concept of unarmed self-defense for not only law enforcement officers, but also karate enthusiasts and everyday citizens. Easily found on the MatsMatsMats.com website along with many other martial arts supplies.Â It also feature a DVD and book outlining simple self-defense techniques that utilize the mini baton. Now I shall never be without my keys again!Â Now, where did I put my glasses?
April 23rd, 2013 by Chris Aviles
Iâ€™m pretty lucky. Iâ€™ve worked for some less than moral companies and at times have had to question my own morality. Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to do what we have to do in life.Â Anyway, my point is itâ€™s nice to work for a company thatâ€™s upfront and stands behind their products. Very rarely do you actually find inexpensive quality. I truly believe that at matsmatsmats.com we are honest and have quality products at great prices.
The only downside is most people (myself included) are quick to voice their opinion when theyâ€™re unsatisfied and rarely do so when they are satisfied. Being that a big part of our job here is customer service, we hear about the rare instances when there are problems and complaints. That kind of thing is expected to some degree, especially with the volume of business we do. Â I mean, accidents happen, especially when you package and ship as much as we do.
When I see positive feedback, itâ€™s usually on the website and itâ€™s our customers talking about how great our customer service is (it really is!) or how fast they got their product.Â Much like a puppy thatâ€™s been adopted, I donâ€™t usually hear anything about how well our product is doing- until last week.Â I had a customer call and order a supply of our SoftFoot Pilates Mat.Â The owner of â€˜Synergyâ€™, aÂ Pilates Studio in Cookeville, TN, just celebrated their 6 year anniversary and needed mats to accommodate their growing clientele.
As I was hanging up with her she let me know that the set she currently has, the ones that were purchased from us over six years ago, and the ones sheâ€™s buying now arenâ€™t even to replace those mats. Â I was informed that her Pilates mat is used all day, every day and she hasnâ€™t found a better exercise mat or a more economical mat.Â That information really is good to know.Â Iâ€™ve always been confident in telling our customers how great our products are, but actually hearing it from you guys reassures me that we not only have a large yoga mat and Pilates mat selection, but our prices and quality are really good too!
April 17th, 2013 by Kelly Green
When someone mentions meditation to me, all I can see in my mindâ€™s eye is an old guy shouting, â€œSERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW! â€ But when my darling better half said she needed a Zafu to go with her Zabuton, at least I knew better than to say, â€œGesundheit.â€Â If my rather excitable little wife wants to invest in some inner peace quality time, all I have to say is, â€œYes please.â€ And, â€œHow soon can that be delivered.â€
For me, if push came to shove, I would admit that a little down time, meditating on, where Iâ€™ve been, where I am, and where I am going, would probably be very beneficial . . . right up to the point where I grabbed the remote to find out what the score was or the phone to order a meat lovers pizza.
However, my wifeâ€™s interest in this product led me on a merry chase as I looked for these specialty items. Imagine my surprise when I found all these products and more at MatsMatsMats.com. Did you know that the type of stuffing can make an immense difference to the meditator . . . er,Â meditate- ee. . .um practitioner.Â The covering come in cotton, eco cotton, silk (although if you have a silk Zabuton with a silk Zafu, I have no idea how you would keep from sliding off the mat into your Zen garden.
I also found something more along my lines with a meditation bench. (Of course I also picture me using it next to my mini fridge.) There is a Shiatsu Massage Mat there that I have been eyeballing. I wonder if I can convince my wife that giving me a massage will count as a workout for her.
April 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Luckily for our customers, we do our best to navigate them through the various pros and cons of anything from 3/16″ PVC yoga mat vs the 3/16″ natural rubber yoga mat or 1-3/8″ thick crosslink vs 2″ thick. This,
however, can’t guarantee against the guiles of a stubborn customers who despite their best intentions and frugality do come into play in our daily routine.
Our SoftWood flooring is one of our most popular items and one of the ones surrounded by this exact kind of issue. A soft EVA foam with a nice laminate top emulating various wood tones like cherry, walnut, and two shades of oak are a perfect additions as kids playroom flooring, a family room in the basement, or most commonly, display booths at trade shows. This is where it gets ‘controversial’. While these tiles are very durable, a trade show has higher than normal amounts of actual foot traffic. A good portion of this foot traffic can be women’s (or men’s… we don’t discriminate) heels. While it depends on the type of heel and the person walking on it, we stress that THEY CAN but won’t necessarily leave an imprint or permanent indentation. In the worst case scenarios (happens less than 1/100 times!), a tile might even get punctured. It’s stressing these kinds of points to our customers and having an honest dialogue, as opposed to just driving a sale, that really makes a customer feel comfortable making a decision to purchase something online from a person across the country they can’t even see.
One of our recent customers, Allan from Picaboo Yearbook, just sent me this today:
“Hi there, Love the [trade show flooring] floor, it is a great compliment to our booth. I think I may have sold 2 more floors for you to other exhibitors. I gave them your company name. Thanks for your help!”
March 14th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
THIS IS AWFUL… I know… all Iâ€™ve thought about the past month has been moving… and now that we moved (earlier than expected as a result of misunderstandings with our landlord), it seems the worst of it is over.Â Now the sun seems to be coming up figuratively and literally, itâ€™s warming up! Finally… all this 50 degree weather was beginning to be an icicle in my… well, you know… life. I guess, now, it’s okay to get off that zafu pillow and bust out my outdoor yoga mat.
The warm weather is encouraging my girlfriend, me, and well, it seems everyone, to get up and go outside. Put away those video games, young padawans, it is time to venture into the outside world! Sun, trees, grass, and beautiful bodies (of water) await your curious eyes!
If youâ€™re like me, I bet you can â€œbearlyâ€ stand eating alone.Â So â€œbearâ€ down, find your Mexican blankets, pack a picnic, bring a friend, bring the whole family, and even the dog because in Southern California sunny weather means sunny disposition. That is unless, of course, you are allergic to grass. Or pollen… or the sun… or people.
Hmmm… didnâ€™t think that one through now did we. Not a problem though! Â Iâ€™m sure we can improvise some use from our gigantic warehouse full of mats and goodies to work for us. A towel is not only tacky and soooooo 90â€™s to lie down on grass at the park, itâ€™s also not entirely comfortable. Try a multi purpose mat like our tote-n-mat instead. What if you’re sun bathing? Well you can certainly use a folding exercise mat. Comfortable enough for the home or the park, these UV treated vinyl mats will suffice for outdoor use for you and your loved ones to lay around and bask in glorious, nurturing sunlight!
February 25th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Posture is an often overlooked and easily correctable cause of back and neck pain.Â Speaking from personal experience, it can also be the difference between a lasting first impression or an awkward and hopefully forgettable moment with a cute stranger of the female variety.Â Certain people that I have noticed have a bigger tendency to slouch or have this S-shape posture (chest in, gut out, and neck down) are gloomy teenagers, long-haired beat-nicks, and just about ANYONE that sits in an office chair 8 hours a day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it was to stand up straight when I moved boxes in a warehouse.
A simple trick to get you to cock up that chest and drop your shoulders is by literally restricting the exact posture that encourages your muscles to rest at such positions. A yoga bolster
or comfort pillow
can help when used properly.Â Place the yoga bolster or comfort pillow on the lower backside of your back between the back rest and your back on your office chair.Â This can help by forcing you to lean back towards your chair and make you drop your shoulders. Also, proper stretching in the morning and the evening can help greatly with the office-workout stress on your muscles with some simple stretches. Using yoga mats
or any type of exercise mats
when stretching makes it much more comfortable.
January 23rd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Unchecked male aggression is one of my pet peeves. All the macho with none of the class. When our reptilian brain beckons daily to just eat and breed, itâ€™s no wonder the addition of entertainment on demand to our latest generation of teens and pre-teens can help provoke some of our less self-disciplined cubs to bully, steal, or just be all around jerks. Not only that, but add the pressures of social expectations in the face of adversity for many and you have a recipe for what seems to be a never-ending news feed of disenfranchised youths taking to recreational drugs, a stance against critical thought and educational institutions of any sort and in the worst cases, violence towards others.
I recently spoke to a customer who is working in the one of the poorest counties in the state of Kansas and is taking it upon himself to start a free youth wrestling program.Â His program is aimed at teaching kids discipline, poise, and most importantly, self-control through the likes of wrestling mats. I couldnâ€™t help but be a bit moved by the idea given that when I was growing up, programs like that greatly affected me and really did keep me deterred from expressing my more troublesome tendencies in an outwardly destructive ways.
Now I was never very athletic, but I distinctly remember how after-school programs that offered Tae Kwon Do, soccer, and even roller hockey, offered an alternative to the pressures of being a teenager in a low-income neighborhood where aside from staying indoors playing video-games and listening to music, there was little incentive for the â€˜nerdyâ€™ kids to go outside and socialize. Through a little positive influence and motivation from young adults such as this customer and mentors, kids can turn to martial arts, wrestling, exercise, and even using yoga products (which I have seen more and more recently especially here in Southern California) to make new friends, stay active, healthy, and build confidence and self-discipline.
MatsMatsMats.com is always happy to offer additional discounts to various local and volunteer funded programs on just about all our inventory from martial arts mats or exercise flooringÂ toÂ a yoga mat or meditation products. If you, much like many of these mentors and willing individuals, wish to make a difference in your community, give us a call and weâ€™d be more than happy to help. While generally we donâ€™t have second-hand items or donations available, we offer highly competitive pricing and might even be able to point you in the right direction if we donâ€™t have exactly what you are looking for.