Yoga Mats – what’s what?

I am sure there are many blog posts and articles written up on this very subject as there are yoga mat brands.  That’s exactly the reason why an in-depth review not directly sponsored by the maker is such a valuable resource.

As a yoga teacher and/or practitioner, do you not get an inquiry as to what you use or what you would recommend?  I sometimes do.  This review I link would have been so helpful when asked such question. Sure, when I was starting out, I just got the lower priced and prettiest I can find at any store that sells them, but then, we start caring about the yoga mat when that mat does not really do the job.  Yes, we start caring about the “quality”, especially when that first yoga mat starts spotting, fading, cracking, peeling – just generally not holding up nor does it provide the support or the grip you need. The mat selection should really be driven by the style of yoga one practices and the frequency of use as well. So reminded of these pointers,  walking in with my eco-biodegradable thick recycled mat into a Iyengar yoga studio.  The mat that works so well for morning vinyasa and evening yin flow, in Iyengar studio did not work so well.  In fact, reprimanded by the teacher (that’s their style !) in traditional Iyengar class where they want to use a very thin pliable flappy mats, for example to hurl over yoga chairs for those supported inversions.

Here is that link by Consumer Advocates  !  Is your favorite mat on the list?  Are there a mat brand you had never heard of ?  As we can’t individually try each of these mats, it’s so wonderful that those at Consumers’ Advocates’ researchers spent 250 hours to review 60 mats and broke it down for us based on our budget and needs. Thank goodness !

Thank goodness for those yogis who care at Consumers Advocates as the kind of mats that support your practice does matter – it’s not just a superfluous thing as much as your running shoes are not for that marathon, or even just a quick run around the block.

On the path

It’s fun to pay attention to all the sight sounds and smell … there are so many tiny wild flowers I did not know the names of … usually unnoticed when jogging or yogaing. Kind of like texting while driving I’m resisting at all costs – no longer multitasking- it’s one singular activity at a time – after the hike I will probably pop into a yoga studio or a hot Japanese bath or … both. Nothing like yoga and hot water bathing after “forest bathing”:)

Then reminiscing of tea cakes this teacher had served with green tea on Friday … just what I need to reboot after a hike like this.

Matcha & Tea Cakes with auspicious red and white sweet bean paste fillings.

M-san is a Tea Master with a flair for making delicate cakes … Every zen meditation should be followed or be preceded by this treat:)  A Wishful Thinking …

@ National Gallery

A docent mentioned – you may be in a madness of a crowd at the “Mona Lisa”; but this is a masterpiece we do not have to fight the crowd to see and thoroughly marvel at.

I beg your pardon: I am a mountain tiger.

– Ginevra de’Benci

Ginevra de’Benci, a beautiful 17 year old is portrayed by Leordardo Da Vince.  This Muse was Leonardo’s first portrait.