Who says yoga has to be serious? As my teacher Dolly has noted, yoga is supposed to be fun! Switching your practice up a bit helps with this, as does laughing when your Crow takes a nosedive.
Ding-Dong, the Purple Mat is Dead! (I wish)...
If you're tired of the ubiquitous purple mat and Yogitoes* skidless towel, Plank Designs may have just what you're looking for to inspire a not-so-serious yoga practice.
The company, founded by Doreen Hing and Jennifer McKinley, "...is a sophisticated resource of cheeky, unique and beautifully designed accessories for yoga and life." And cheeky they are. And expensive. But, if you're willing to spend...
I think their PlankYoga Mat (see left), of the Photo Series collection, is hysterical. Sure to be a conversation starter when you visit other studios—so if you're shy, or moving to a new place, this might be perfect for helping you break the ice.
Also delectably silly: The Text Series Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Yoga Mat and matching bamboo Chocolate Towel Set. Are you a foodie-slash-yogini? Does chocolate inspire you (like it does me)? How fun would Downward Facing Dog be with a Chocolate mat underfoot? Again, just another way to lighten up the mood a bit.
Also interesting visually, and possibly back for a very limited engagement: The Deluxe Yoga Mat from Nike—my mat du jour. While I haven't tested any Plank Designs products, I love this Nike mat so much I bought two, and rejoiced when I did, because it sold out on its first run. I've had the least amount of slippage on this mat, even though I'm beginning to realize that with perpetually sweaty palms in the studio, slippage is inevitable. I love this mat—nice neutral colors, interesting design, and the canvas strap rocks! It not only doubles as a yoga strap for your practice, but it makes a perfect cross-body sling for toting your mat hands-free.
Why can't I have a mat collection, like a handbag collection?
I'm seriously considering putting together a mat collection. This flies in the face of bramacharya (moderation), but if it helps me be a better yogini on and off the mat, doesn't that count for something? Wouldn't it be fun to have a little menagerie of mats to match my mood (hell, maybe even my outfit!)? For a yoganista, the mats and the props and the towels are merely accessories to the yoga togs. So, if I'm feeling tired, wouldn't it be cool to have a beautiful, vibrant green mat to roll out in class to wake me up? Honestly, I can totally see myself doing that...I think my friends would probably agree...you never know which me you'll get on any given day. A mat is just an extension of the way I express myself, I suppose.
Anyway, I'm thinking in print. But this is really starting to sound like a lot of fun. And again, that is the point.
* On the subject of Yogitoes, why can't they make one in black or a soft neutral? Grey? Ecru? Cream? Sage? Yeah, yeah—I know the colors match the chakras, but something aesthetically pleasing (for the girl eternally in black) would please my chakras way more than a chakra-matching rainbow color. That's half the reason I don't have one!