Posts Tagged ‘yoga mat’

Comfortable Planking

Posted on: August 9th, 2012 by

exercise mat in various colorsMy trainer put me through a rigorous regiment twice a week.  Embarking on new vegetarian diet means I have to watch what I eat even more.  While at the gym this past weekend, I noticed that when it comes to doing planks, everyone’s got a very different idea of what is comfortable on the ground.  For those not familiar, a plank is a very simple yet very effective form of core training.  You basically get down on the floor, back straight, and lift your body off the floor with your forearms on the floor.  The idea is you use your elbows and toes to anchor your body while your core (lower back and abdomen) support your body.  A minute of this can get pretty intense pretty fast.

 
At my gym, we have workout mats in varying thicknesses.  What I noticed was that depending on the person, different mats will provide a substantially different level of comfort and balance when planking.  A petite woman with a small frame would probably dig into a plank on a relatively thin mat like a yoga mat, while a larger, body-builder type male will not get much out of anything less than 1-3/8″ dense crosslink foam exercise mat for most floor stretches and things like planks.
When it comes to finding exercise mats for particular applications, one must always consider comfort, thickness, and (often overlooked) body chemistry. At 6’4″ and 198lbs, I found that my deciding factor when using any of the floor mats for exercise, is the actual surface material.  Smooth Vinyl on most crosslink mats, embossing pattern on closed-cell pvc mats (e.g. yoga mats) or the hard surface of the rubber gym flooring.  I happen to sweat A LOT. Like, a lot.  So much in fact, that by the time I’m doing a plank, my elbows begin sliding on the vinyl covering of a crosslink mat.  As a result, I always go for the pebble embossed 3/8″ thick closed-cell pvc mats and the 5/8″ when available.  The thickness, comfort, and grip it provides for me are just the thing needed to attempt a 90 second plank without sliding around once the muscles start to give.

Mats Mats and More Mats!

Posted on: July 27th, 2012 by

loga mats, exercise mats, play mats, gymnastics mats... I see mats everywhere I go.“Thank you for calling MatsMatsMats.com! This is Chris, how can I help you?” 

Say that 10 times fast.  My whole life is mats.  I know we all take work home with us, but that usually applies to actual work or problems from work.  I find myself noticing our products (or similar) all over the place.  From the Marble Fatigue Mat at Costco to the Jumbo martial arts tiles at the DoJo by my movie theater and the carpet logo mats I see everywhere.  

I find myself inspecting various products to see if they are ours or if they compare.  Often, they are our products and unfortunately for the various businesses, many other times they are not our products and look pretty “cheap”.   One of these days I need give those business owners my business card and the opportunity to get a product that will last, and is most likely less expensive.  All I need is a little courage, because I’m not a very pushy person- It’s easier when I get to talk to you guys because I’m really just giving you more information on something you already want or need.

Am I the only one that finds themselves being an employee outside of work? I think it’s probably that it’s just become second nature- and maybe a little pride?  Every once and a while a friend or family member will say something about needing kneeling pads, or a yoga mat or something we carry and I find myself very eager to just start spewing all the information I know about those products and why ours are better than anybody else’s. What is that?!?!  Let’s be honest, mats aren’t the most fascinating thing to talk about but for some reason I’m progressively more aware of their existence.  Please tell me I’m not alone!  I know you can’t comment below…but feel free to call me (877.777.6287)! I’d love to hear your stories.


Is Yoga Okay For Kids?

Posted on: July 19th, 2012 by

I really wish I would have started yoga as a kid. Not that I’m an avid yogi now, but if you’ve read my blog about the Runyon Canyon Yoga class, then you know I dabble- in whatever is fun for the moment. I’m not the most flexible person, so doing some poses is too difficult, and I’m impatient. I feel having started as a kid would have changed my life. As weird as that sounds, it’s true.  I’d probably be more healthy and active.  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.  I really would love to be able to get into yoga for real and feel as good as I’m sure my friends feel.

One of my friends actually has her 4 year old son in yoga already.  She’s very healthy and “green”, or organic but luckily never tries to force her way of life on me, although if I should make the mistake of asking- I get more information than I can handle.  I asked her why she thinks her son should be doing yoga. “Kids are already, NATURALLY, limber” I said.  “What’s the point?”  She had a lot of good points…

Kids today tend to be more overweight, and there’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.  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. There’s the obvious benefits of flexibility and balance, but it also makes kids more aware of their bodies and can help develop self esteem.

On  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, there’s nothing to say Yoga can be negative.  You really just have to make sure the kids don’t over stretch their muscles.  Remember that children often don’t know what they’re feeling isn’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.  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.  Anything that encourages imagination seems to be popular.  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.  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.  Yoga poses have very unusual names, make up games or ideas for your child.  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.  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

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.  This will help calm your child, increase their concentration as well as tap into their creativity.


What does going green mean?

Posted on: June 1st, 2012 by

Does “Going Green” 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 don’t like anything that makes my life too difficult.

Here’s what I’m talking about. I’m not going to buy those canvas bags that you can reuse at the market (mainly because I’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- It’s something most of us have probably done since we were kids, but!! It’s being green.

I try not to have water running while I’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 it’s convenient. For instance: If you’re on a website, like MatsMatsMats.com, because you’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 ).  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.  Do whatever you can, when you can. One thing at a time.  It’s easy to make changes.  It doesn’t matter how many steps you take, just that you’re moving.

Being “Green” doesn’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.  Make small changes to your lifestyle to conserve energy and re-use products when possible.  If all 6 billion people in our world did as little as I do, the effects would be monstrous.

One added benefit of trying to be eco-friendly is the peace of mind that you’re doing what you can to preserve the planet for the next generation!


I just found a yoga class that I love

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by

I just found a yoga class that I love.  I’m not really an athletic gym type, but I do like being active and I’m forever on a mission to find ways to stay active, without feeling like I’m doing a chore.

If you live in Los Angeles, or the next time you visit L.A., you’ve got to check out Runyon Canyon- I’m in LOVE!  There’s everything I love about Southern California – a great view, celebrity sighting, nature and good old fashioned people watching. I’m always finding new trails and just the other day I discovered this yoga class! It’s totally free and perfect for beginners, like me!

Starting a new yoga class can be really scary- ESPECIALLY if you’ve never done one. The seasoned yogi’s and instructors can make you feel unwanted and it can be hard to have the confidence.  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.


Yoga Mat or No Yoga Mat? That Is The Question

Posted on: March 21st, 2011 by

There are definitely many benefits 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.  One of the obvious reasons to use a yoga mat, also called a sticky mat, is to reduce the risk of injuring yourself. Yoga mats can prevent injuries that can occur while practicing yoga. The surface can be slippery (bare floors). 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?  Purchasing your own yoga mat will limit the exposure to bacteria and germs and you are only exposed to your own germs. You are responsible for your mat and you can clean it any time.  If you are not using a mat you are exposing yourself to others germs and your well-being.  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 considering buying a new yoga mat, don’t forget to look at 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).


Finding The Right Yoga Mat For You

Posted on: July 17th, 2010 by
Find A Yoga Mat That's Right For YouThere are so many yoga mats available today.  How do you choose the right yoga mat for you? Yoga mats can prevent injuries that can occur while practicing yoga.  The flooring is typically a slippery surface (e.g. wood floor) . Yoga Mats will cushion the floor and provide support, which is needed for improving balance and coordination and provide better overall health. Purchasing your own yoga mat will limit the exposure to bacteria and germs and you are only exposed to your own germs. You are responsible for your own mat and you can clean it with a disinfectant spray or yoga mat cleaning wipes anytime.

People want different things from their yoga mat.  Some people care mainly about the color, some want a thick yoga mat, while others prefer a thin mat and some want an extra long mat, while others want a shorter mat.  Most people want the mat to be non-slip or skid resistant (a sticky mat), while others don’t care because they are putting something (e.g. a yoga blanket or yoga towel) on top of the mat.  Determine what features are most important for you in a yoga mat before you begin your search.  A well chosen Yoga MAT will help you create a yoga space which is relaxing to you and your body.


Yoga Mat Rolls

Posted on: June 16th, 2010 by

yoga matsI never knew yoga mats were available in rolls that can be cut to specifications suitable to each individual…but they can…they are!  Yoga mats do, of course, come in pre-cut sizes, or in “finished” mats you either fold or roll up and tote away in your yoga bag, but if you run a facility where you have students in varying heights, or even with children, then the “one sized fits all” approach isn’t really your best approach, now is it?

The rolls of yoga mats, like the one pictured here, are 2’ wide, and come in 100’ rolls, in several colors, and can be purchased by the roll, or can be purchased at cut lengths; you decide.  This approach to buying yoga matting for people you know who are avid about their yoga is ideal in that you can provide yoga mats that are perfect—height-wise—for them…or you!


Meditation Cushions and Supplies

Posted on: June 15th, 2010 by

yoga meditation suppliesYou know? Father’s Day is almost upon us, and if your dad is a healthy guy who likes to work out or generally stay in shape, why not introduce him to yoga by buying him either a yoga mat, some other yoga props like a yoga props video [DVD], and then complete the “intro package” with some choice meditations cushions or other such supplies.

Now, if you’re thinking, “Well”my dad’s not into yoga; why would I want to introduce him to yoga?” Like I said, if your dad is a healthful kind of man who can appreciate something new and challenging, why not surprise him with a truly unexpected gift, like yoga props and meditation cushions? And if you’re still thinking “no” on the meditation cushions, then why not at least get him some yoga straps, which are fantastic to assist people with their stretching exercises just before a work out?


Pilates Mats

Posted on: May 21st, 2010 by

While you browse various types of exercise mats, look closely to find Pilates mats as well.  Just like there are many types of traditional exercise mats, there are many kinds of Pilates mats, too; from varying densities, thicknesses, materials, colors, and sizes…you can find what you’re looking for even if you don’t know it yet!

For example, if you want something along the lines of a yoga mat, the black Raja will surprise you in its suitability for use as a Pilates mat.  The Raja is a mere ¼ inch thick, but is extra dense and highly tear resistant, as well as providing superb traction.  The lightly tacky surface provides excellent slip prevention as well as ideal rebound; the Raja mat comes with its own harness for carrying, too.