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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 09:50:15 MST Print View

I've been increasingly practicing yoga, thus far focusing on doing daily sequences while recieving help from a highly skilled friend/teacher. I'm trying to make a daily habit of it. This morning was cold (by Southern California standards); dragging myself into the backyard and onto a small deck to do my routine was a choreā€¦but I always feel so good afterwards.

Looking for more help with form, I recently went to my first free class at a highly recommended and popular local studio. I was given a loaner mat for the session. The class was OK, save for the fact that I was surrounded by people, was indoors, had trouble finding parking, and had to fill out a legal waiver before participating.

Promptly after the class finished, I was greeted with small talk by the teacher and eventually led to the "store" of the studio and given a tour of all of the recommended accessories that I could buy as a beginner. Yoga mats (Chinese made PVC ranging from $40 to over $100), yoga mat bags, yoga mat straps, yoga towels, yoga mat cleaning solutions, yoga pants, yoga shirts, yoga water bottles, yoga blocks (both Chinese foam and cork), yoga socks, yoga gloves, and a myriad of CDs and DVDs ranging from yoga instruction to waterfall music.

I won't be going back.

I need yoga in the mountains, practiced barefoot and in the dirt. I need garage yoga. Backyard yoga. Doesn't anyone do this down and dirty style?

Where are the feral yogis? There've got to be some around here. It's a big country. I'm going to start searching the local canyons and alleyways of Venice Beach.

You would think that a practice rooted in quietude and mindfulness would be free from all the commercial trappings. You would think.

"So you've started a new hobby; here's what to buy."

Of course, this happens everywhere. Everything reeks of it.

Kind of like backpacking. I wonder how much John Muir worried about packs with increased air flow to minimize back sweat.

Doing things requires buying things, so we're told, and so often buying things becomes a surrogate for doing things.

And then buying things becomes doing things.

How often we forget to ask ourselves:
Do I really need this crap?

Brian Crain
(brcrain) - F

Locale: So Cal
Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 10:15:08 MST Print View

Good post!

I've been guilty of getting caught up in buying things to do things and am just now starting to ask that important question: Do I really need all this crap?

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 10:38:48 MST Print View

Craig,
I'm guessing you are in the 909 and if so, these start up yoga boutiques are trendy, and for profit.

I can suggest you look up yoga groups that meet in the 626 and 818 city parks, no sign up lists, no fees, no upselling... also no english, just engrish.
Just show up. It's usually an asian senior citizen group with a few non-asians, they rotate between yoga and Tai chi.

They have them also in 714 Square mile park, and 310 at that Korean bell friendship park.

Also since you surf, there was a hybrid of surfers and SUP that paddle to the newport backbay where the water is calm, and they do yoga on their surf/SUP boards. That's bad ass to balance in the bay, positively redefining water boarding ;)

it's all free style, online group meet up.

if you don't find one you like, start your own group of tattooed bad ass mo fos that do yoga when they are not bone crushing their rival gangs.

Good luck

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 10:41:51 MST Print View

I've been doing yoga for 10+ years and have never had an instructor/studio/whatever recommend purchases. Ever. That's just strange. I wouldn't go back either.

I only bought my own mat because, suddenly, PC class etiquette seemed to include a full wipe-down with anti-bacterial wipes. BLECH.

I'm always surprised by posters who admit to not having gone backpacking yet, but are "tweaking" their gearlists.

To be honest, I've always thought of this as more of a "Y chromosome" characteristic, along the lines of "have the right tool for the job". ;) My DH (who isn't a backpacker) vows every year to get in better shape, and the resolution always starts with a trip to the store for the right pair of "workout shoes". He has a whole closet of them.

Edited by DetroitTigerFan on 02/04/2014 10:43:05 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 10:44:52 MST Print View

"To be honest, I've always thought of this as more of a "Y chromosome" characteristic, along the lines of "have the right tool for the job". ;) My DH (who isn't a backpacker) vows every year to get in better shape, and the resolution always starts with a trip to the store for a new pair of "workout shoes". He has a whole closet of them."

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Amazing how pervasive this sort of thinking is, how easily it creeps up on you without diligence.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/04/2014 10:45:02 MST Print View

We meet with a group for meditation, when it's nice we meditate at a park, under a large tree and when it's raining or cold, we meet a yoga studio which we are allowed to borrow for free i think.

Nicely, no solicitation or selling of anything whatsoever. Even the belief system stuff is pretty passive and laid back for the most part.

I understand where you are coming from, i think, but using and thinking about stuff is fine. It becomes a problem when too much attachment to it is formed. Having been an extremist in the past, i now try to avoid that on both or any side. I have a side to me that has long said, "f it and move to Alaska and live off the land", but that's also part of my extremist side. Moderation and balance i've found, is a much smoother and fulfilling way.

Physically speaking compared to most other animals, we have pretty weak and un-adaptable bodies. For example, your perception of cold that morning. I bet it wasn't *that* cold actually, but some insulation would have been nice. Doesn't mean one has to go out immediately and buy a new jacket, but we're still relying on "stuff" to some extent. Even much, much, much less materialistic groups of humans have relied on stuff to some extent or degree. Take pre Euro arrival Native Americans, still using stuff to be more comfortable, still designing things, but just not obsessed with it--just more a means to an end.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Yoga in the mountains on 02/04/2014 11:38:29 MST Print View

Best yoga session I had was last summer in the Trinity Alps, overlooking a lake, sun rising behind me and a mountain. Granite was cold but my shoulders warmed up with the sun and I was ever so present and grateful and tuned in .

Damian Chavez
(DamianC) - F

Locale: Southern California
King of the Hill on 02/05/2014 00:42:39 MST Print View

This thread reminded me of the time Hank Hill used a welcome mat at his doctor prescribed yoga classes. But, yes, on a sunny day, outside yoga is much better than inside yoga. I've enjoyed the free yoga classes at Bluff Park in Long Beach, CA (at 11am every weekday) overlooking the ocean before. Something about the slight wind and sun on the skin that makes it that much better. I was the guy using a beach towel.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: King of the Hill on 02/05/2014 14:55:43 MST Print View

Hank... yup. uh huh. ehem. Boy I tell you what.

Yoga episode.
--> Wind Relieving Pose.

I loved that show. I found out that the WRP is also called Dog Stretch, or Dog Bowing or Dog Prayer pose.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/05/2014 15:10:06 MST Print View

You didn't know there was an ENTIRE industry built on it? Lol....man, don't ever read Yoga whatever magazine that is pumped out. It is a magazine held together with ads :-P

Not sure why you are upset. It is kind of like hiking. No one is saying you can't shove bread in your pockets and go strolling. And yoga is like that...some are happy outside, on bare ground. Others see it as a lifestyle. Just like walking into REI....hah.

I work out in a gym and like most of the ladies I see there, I have at least 4 complete gym outfits. Heaven knows you don't want to wear the same outfit back to back. At the same time, I could just work out in a set of holey sweat pants and a ragged t-shirt ;-)

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - M

Locale: Western Washington
It's right here....it's looking at me! on 02/05/2014 17:40:24 MST Print View

As I'm reading this thread, the ad at the top of the page is, you guessed it.....an ad for yoga mats!

Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
re on 02/05/2014 18:24:46 MST Print View

I love this post. Simplicity at its finest. We are so used to having ads force fed to us that we think we aren't affected by them. We think it is totally ok. I mean think about it! There are commercials for MEDICATIONS! The only people who should be telling you what to take are doctors.

So I love to hear when other people realize this concept. My wife does yoga and is upset that I don't enjoy it. I have told her many times that if we went out into the forest for REAL peace and serenity I would LOVE it. I can't stand being squished between two sweaty ladies wearing $150 worth of workout clothing.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: re on 02/05/2014 19:07:34 MST Print View

"I can't stand being squished between two sweaty ladies wearing $150 worth of workout clothing."

That's because you're married. I dream about being squished between two sweaty ladies, and I don't really care what they're wearing!

Logan Spader
(___o2) - F

Locale: .
re on 02/05/2014 22:13:56 MST Print View

Hahaha. I laughed out loud.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/06/2014 01:40:24 MST Print View

Years ago NPR did a great parody on exercise machines touting the FLOOR as an exercise machine. It was hilarious : "Get a FLOOR today! It is permanently powered by GRAVITY! It fits under your bed!" An so on.

It feels so silly walking on a treadmill. I have a lifetime of experience working hard and getting nowhere. At least if I go for a walk, I get around the block, fresh air, sunshine and far less chance of falling on my face.

I could go to thrift stores and come back with a. truckload of yoga mats in an afternoon.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/06/2014 07:21:56 MST Print View

but can you use a yoga mat to sleep on when backpacking light?

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Subway removing "yoga mat chemical" from bread on 02/06/2014 14:50:24 MST Print View

News Headline: Subway removing "yoga mat chemical" from bread


slow news day.

Craig W.
Since you object to the yoga mat merchandising... perhaps someone here will MYOG a yoga mat for you made from Subway sandwich breads...

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Why you shouldn't buy a yoga mat. on 02/12/2014 17:50:22 MST Print View

Craig -- i used a foam sleeping pad one time. I received some really odd looks from the other people in the class (yogaites? ) even the instructor, who I learned later is a hiker, found it amusing, but I could tell not really. So more crap. I bought the mat.

I quit yoga and gave the mat to one of the kids. Why do I want to sit in a hot, windowless room with someone giving me orders?