September 18th, 2012 by Ben Gonzalez
It is totally inevitable that when you go vegetarian (2 months now), there will undoubtedly be questions from friends, co-workers, and acquaintances to the tune of “we’re mammals. we’re supposed to eat meat,” or “what the hell are you gonna eat now,” and my favorite one of all is the horrified look on someone’s face as they ask “BUT WHY?!?!”.
While I generally don’t want to ascribe to any kind of moral higher ground, it is a highly personal decision (I promise, this is going somewhere).
#1- A high animal protein diet, especially when lower quality meats are consumed,Â continues to show more and more links to cancer, obesity, and a plethora of other premature chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
#2 – I’m simply an animal lover. I’m not saying someone who enjoys a burger would eat their dog. For most, it’s a far removed thing as few of us EVER have to kill, skin, and cure our own meat.
#3 – Meat industry is horrendously bad for the environment, the planet, and the amount of suffering that chickens, cattle, or farm raised fish face is something that any child, if made aware of, would immediately give up hot dogs for. Both my nieces did.
Which brings me to my point.Â Most companies are far from perfect, but many more are trying to regulate their carbon foot print in whatever they can. That’s why I’m very happy that we at MatsMatsMats.com at the very least offer an eco-friendly section of products for those who try to be a little more conscious of environmental impact.Â From yoga mats to playground surfaces to door mats, there’s actually a pretty generous selection of products that are made in America and are made from recycled or natural materials.Â Stop on over check it out!
Now that the preaching is over, I can admit that a big part of the reason for vegetarianism (and the raised environmental/social awareness thatÂ comes with it) Â is… le ‘wife’ won’t cook meat anymore.Â Sad faces all around.
September 4th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
As you have probably figured out about me, Iâ€™m a jack of all trades- master of none.Â Iâ€™m a very curious person, and enjoy sampling different parts of life.Â Working for MatsMatsMats.com, I get to talk to so many diverse people that every once and a while I feel like â€œhey.. youâ€™re interesting.Â We need to be friendsâ€.Â Usually because Iâ€™m talking to somebody that is passionate about something.Â
Lately Iâ€™ve been curious about meditation, but how do you learn to meditate by yourself?Â What meditation supplies to I need to get started? Iâ€™m guessing that these are pretty common question amongst people just starting or wanting to start.Â From what Iâ€™ve heard from a few customers, for the bestÂ meditation experience you simply need a meditation cushion (zafu or zabuton) to make yourself comfy and imagine yourself in a very tranquil place- for example, the beach, the mountains, or a forest.Â Iâ€™m so easily distracted I would actually need to go to the beach or mountains.Â If youâ€™re like me I heard other more â€œphysically-orientedâ€ techniques are more helpful.Â You can do things like following your breath, or you can focus on different body sensations.Â These sensations will tend to move, and following them is one form of meditation!Â The hardest part for me will be to clear my head, but I heard using a mantra is very helful.Â Something simple like â€œOmâ€ or a hum can work.Â This is supposed to stop all the random thoughts.Â I guess it just takes some practice.Â First I need to just get started.Â Make it a habit.Â
One of my customers told me I shouldnâ€™t ask so many questions, just do it.Â She said questions about best time of day or technique are really disguised ways to look for an EXCUSE not to meditate.Â She did say not to meditate right after I eat.Â â€œIf you meditate right after you eat, you’ll usually fall asleep.â€
August 21st, 2012 by Ben Gonzalez
I was going to do a follow up regarding a blog I posted a couple of weeks back, Â but my customer has yet to put his prototype drum together and send me pics. Naturally, I was sweating what I was going to write about so I decided be literal and write about… sweat!
Be aware that I’ve NEVER done HOT YOGA, so I’m mainly referring to what I would call “normal yoga” although I’m sure the same applies.Â In any case… It’s well known that individuals’ body chemistry varies greatly.Â One of the common issues we run into as a result is that some of our yoga mats are stickier than others… depending on who uses them. My personal favorite mat is the Natural Fitness Elite Yoga Mat.Â It’s made of natural rubber so not only is it not filled with chemical softeners like most vinyl, but it just grips.Â Being a very, very sweaty individual (ALBEITN CLEAN AND HYGENIC I SWEARTOGOD DON’T JUDGE ME!) at my extremities made me assume that the best option for all sweaty guys and gals would be a natural rubber yoga mat.
WRONG! Something people don’t take into consideration is that everyone’s skin has natural oils that excrete at different levels based on sex, diet, and genetics.Â As a result, a person who sweats a lot and very easily yet doesn’t have very oily skin, can benefit from a mat such as the rubber ones.Â However, someone who sweats a lot and has oilier (is that a word) skin will most likely need to lay a Yoga Towel on any mat regardless to maintain their grip and comfort on the mat. Â Other alternatives for varying body chemistries would be something like Mexican Blankets (we called them “sarapes” when I was growing up).
Well, happy sweating!
July 19th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
I really wish I would have started yoga as a kid. Not that Iâ€™m an avid yogi now, but if youâ€™ve read my blog about the Runyon Canyon Yoga class, then you know I dabble- in whatever is fun for the moment. Iâ€™m not the most flexible person, so doing some poses is too difficult, and Iâ€™m impatient. I feel having started as a kid would have changed my life. As weird as that sounds, itâ€™s true.Â Iâ€™d probably be more healthy and active.Â Friends of mine who do take yoga seriously, and go at least once a week, seem to have more energy and just over all freshness to them.Â I really would love to be able to get into yoga for real and feel as good as Iâ€™m sure my friends feel.
One of my friends actually has her 4 year old son in yoga already.Â Sheâ€™s very healthy and â€œgreenâ€, or organic but luckily never tries to force her way of life on me,Â although if I should make the mistake of asking- I get more information than I can handle.Â I asked her why she thinks her son should be doing yoga. â€œKids are already, NATURALLY, limberâ€ I said.Â â€œWhatâ€™s the point?â€Â She had a lot of good pointsâ€¦
Kids today tend to be more overweight, and thereâ€™s not too much we can do about it. Their interests have changed to more technological stimulants which are great mentally but can cause us to neglect our body.Â I myself have noticed a trend among younger parents who seem hesitant to enroll their children in sports or activities with a competitive nature. This is causing them to find an alternatives that gives their kids the same benefits as competitive activities. Yoga seems to be the go to. Thereâ€™s the obvious benefits of flexibility and balance, but it also makes kids more aware of their bodies and can help develop self esteem.
OnÂ americanyogaassociation.org I found some interesting information about yoga and kids, which I will definitely pass on the my friend. The good news is, so far, thereâ€™s nothing to say Yoga can be negative.Â You really just have to make sure the kids donâ€™t over stretch their muscles.Â Remember that children often donâ€™t know what theyâ€™re feeling isnâ€™t normal- it may not always cause pain, per say. They should only practice light stretches or simple poses for no longer than 20-30 mins.Â Considering children have lower attention spans and smaller bodies and may not do so hot with position-holding or the meditative aspects of yoga. Try to be playful, mimicking animals is a fun one.Â Anything that encourages imagination seems to be popular.Â Here are a few good techniques I got from newbieyoga.com to help you practice yoga with your child.
First, get a yoga mat for kids – not an adult sized yoga mat.Â Kids love to do things themselves and the smaller sized kids yoga mats are easier for them to handle on their own, plus there are usually some cool colors and/or designs for the kids to choose from.Â
Now, make doing yoga fun.Â Yoga poses have very unusual names, make up games or ideas for your child.Â For example, if your child is in Warrior Pose, have him or her imagine being a warrior. Tell them about the strength and courage a warrior would have. In Tree Pose, tell them to imagine what it would be like to be a tree.Â Pretend that their legs are strong roots and branches and have your child lift their arms up to the sky like the leaves of a tree, opening to the sun.Â Â
Allow them to move through poses at their own pace. They may not be able to concentrate for too long on each pose so make the time between each pose shorter.
Do yoga together. This can increase the bond between you and your child.
At the end of your yoga session lead them through a relaxation in Savasana(Corpse Pose) by telling them a story or a visualization such as being birds in a beautiful garden, imagining to be fish in the sea or eagles soaring over green pastures.Â This will help calm your child, increase their concentration as well as tap into their creativity.
June 8th, 2012 by Alex Miller
- A Very Happy Customer
June 1st, 2012 by Chris Aviles
Does â€œGoing Greenâ€ mean you have to become a hippie? Absolutely not! You can do your part to help save the environment without trying very hard. Believe me, I donâ€™t like anything that makes my life too difficult.
Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m talking about. Iâ€™m not going to buy those canvas bags that you can reuse at the market (mainly because Iâ€™ll never remember to bring them with me), so rather than throwing away the plastic bags I use them as trash bags in my smaller trashcans at home- REUSE!- This, is going green.
I have a recyclables can next to my trash can so I can easily toss paper, plastic and other non-biodegradable junk in there with no extra effort- RECYLE- Itâ€™s something most of us have probably done since we were kids, but!! Itâ€™s being green.
I try not to have water running while Iâ€™m doing dishes, or brushing my teeth, and I close the fridge for the 10 seconds it takes me to pour a glass of milk. None of that sounds like much, but it adds up AND helps with your utility bill. REDUCE!
Some other simple things you can try is buying eco-friendly products whenever you can, and when itâ€™s convenient. For instance: If youâ€™re on a website, like MatsMatsMats.com, because youâ€™re already planning on buying a yoga mat or meditation cushion or whatever, check to see if maybe they have an Eco-Friendly section (which they do – www.matsmatsmats.com/eco-friendly ). Â It may take a few extra clicks, but you can do something small to help something great.
What I am trying to say is, don’t let the super green people make you feel like your contribution is inadequate.Â Do whatever you can, when you can. One thing at a time.Â Itâ€™s easy to make changes.Â It doesnâ€™t matter how many steps you take, just that youâ€™re moving.
Being â€œGreenâ€ doesnâ€™t have to consume you. When you are shopping for things take a moment to see if there are eco friendly alternatives, like an eco yoga mat, eco door mats, etc.Â Make small changes to your lifestyle to conserve energy and re-use products when possible.Â If all 6 billion people in our world did as little as I do, the effects would be monstrous.
One addedÂ benefit of trying to be eco-friendly is the peace of mind that youâ€™re doing what you can to preserve the planet for the next generation!
May 17th, 2012 by Chris Aviles
I just found a yoga class that I love.Â Iâ€™m not really an athletic gym type, but I do like being active and Iâ€™m forever on a mission to find ways to stay active, without feeling like Iâ€™m doing a chore.
If you live in Los Angeles, or the next time you visit L.A., youâ€™ve got to check out Runyon Canyon- Iâ€™m in LOVE!Â Thereâ€™s everything I love about Southern California â€“ a great view, celebrity sighting, nature and good old fashioned people watching. Iâ€™m always finding new trails and just the other day I discovered this yoga class! Itâ€™s totally free and perfect for beginners, like me!
Starting a new yoga class can be really scary- ESPECIALLY if youâ€™ve never done one. The seasoned yogiâ€™s and instructors can make you feel unwanted and it can be hard to have the confidence.Â The instructors at Runyon seem to love what they do, make you feel so comfortable and it feels like a relaxing day at the park rather than a workout. You really just need a yoga mat, some water and a good attitude.
September 23rd, 2011 by Mark Carmer
Trying to find a yoga mat today is not difficult.Â Yoga mats can be found everywhere today. However, if you are looking to get discounted yoga matsÂ by purchasing yoga mats in bulk, then your task might become a little more difficult. Â Now if you wanted something that is also eco-friendly and affordable your search becomes even harder.Â
Well, search no more, because we are sure to have exactly what you want.Â Our selection includes discounted pricing on yoga studio mats in 8-packs or 12-packs and yoga mat seconds in quantities of 12. Â All of the mats are 100% latex free and are eco friendly yoga mats made from CleanPVC.Â A CleanPVC eco yoga mat is made ofÂ Polymer Environmental Resin (PER) and does NOT have toxic phthalates, furans, dioxins or heavy metals.Â The production process is also ecologically safer, which is better for the workers and the environment.Â
In addition to the many yoga instructors and yoga studios that have been purchasing these mats for years, they are also being used throughout the country at schools, wellness centers, clubs and gyms. Try our yoga studio mats or yoga mat seconds today.
June 2nd, 2011 by Mark Carmer
Yoga studios have been popping up like Subways throughout the United States for the past 10-15 years.Â Initially, everyone thought it was just the latest trendy thing to do, but I guess we can now finally say that yoga is not a fad and is here to stay.Â
With the increase in the number of people practicing yoga and the number of yoga studios came the myriad of yoga mats.Â Different colors, patterns, lengths, thicknesses, textures, materials and so on.Â Many people are not just doing yoga, but also wanting to use their mat for Pilates and/or general exercises.Â With all the yoga mat choices out there, very few mats are suitable for all of these various exercises.Â Sometimes you need better grip, sometimes you need more cushion, sometimes you need it to be easily transportable to and from classes and sometimes you need all of these things.Â
With all the various exercises, the one common factor is alignment.Â Whether youâ€™re doing yoga, Pilates or general exercises proper alignment is crucial.Â With all of this in mind, Iâ€™d like to introduce you to the YogaForce A-line Mat.Â This alignment mat improves your posture and makes you look great.Â It is ideal for yoga, Pilates or general exercises.Â The A-line mat is 30â€ wide at the top and tapers down to 20â€ width at the bottom.Â This exercise mat has patented alignment guides to assure proper positioning on your mat at all times. Whether you are a beginner or advanced in your practice, these guides take the guesswork out of your posture for a perfect workout.
This alignment mat also comes with a hands free adjustable shoulder strap and only weighs 4 pounds. It is easy for urban dwellers to transport on the run. This ergonomic mat also comes with a removable wallet to hold personal effects, such as sunblock, a cell phone, iPod, car keys and credit cards.
If you are in the market for a top quality exercise mat, Pilates mat and/or a yoga mat, the YogaForce A-line mat is the perfect mat for you.
March 21st, 2011 by Mark Carmer
There are definitely many benefitsÂ when using a yoga mat… and more specifically, having your own yoga mat and not borrowing one from the club, gym, yoga studio or from a friend.Â One of the obvious reasons to use a yoga mat, also called a sticky mat, is to reduce the risk of injuringÂ yourself. Yoga mats can prevent injuries that can occur while practicing yoga. The surface can be slippery (bare floors).Â Especially if you are taking yoga classes where floors are not being cleaned between classes.
Is it better to borrow/rent a yoga mat from a yoga studio or to bring your own yoga mat to your yoga classes?Â Purchasing your own yoga mat will limit the exposure to bacteria and germs and you are only exposed to your own germs.Â You are responsible for your mat and you can clean it any time.Â If you are not using a mat you are exposing yourself to others germs and your well-being.Â Additionally, mats will definitely cushion the floor and provide support which is needed for improving balance and coordination and provide better overall health.
If you are consideringÂ buying a new yoga mat, don’t forget to look atÂ all the yoga mat options that are available (clean pvc yoga mats, rubber yoga mats, cotton yoga mats, thick yoga mats and many other eco friendly yoga mats).
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