I try not to indulge in endorsing products on this blog [other than shamelessly plugging for Apple of course, but that's a different story].
It probably sounds like a shopworn cliché but I do break the aforementioned rule when I come across something remarkable or different. Something readers of this blog should know about.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to practice on the new LiForme yoga mat.
Its name is a portmanteau of "Life For Me" and is the outcome of years of research by a team of seasoned Yogis (one of them is a friend).
Hellbent on pushing the envelope further than anyone else they decided to design their mat from scratch.
On hearing this, my immediate reaction was mixed. I mean, what's so special about a mat? Yogis throughout the ages practiced on soil, rocks, concrete, and all types of terrain, and did quite well without a mat.
But then it downed on me: I'm not one of those timeless yogis. My days are defined in 30 and 60 minute slots, I'm constantly plugged in and in flux—physically and mentally.
A good Yoga mat is indispensable for us mere mortals. It offers a sense of spatial legroom (physical and mental) and provides the grip we would otherwise miss when practicing on the lacquered wood floors of modern Yoga studios.
What's more, a yoga mat is something we spend hours with every day. There's a strong visceral element in play, as we come in close physical contact with the mat. A yoga mat is probably one of the most intimate things we carry and use.
So, having established the significance of Yoga mats, here is what I like about the LiForme gear I tried.
To begin with, it is adorned with special markers that assist the practitioner with correct alignment.
It is called "AlignForMe system" and plays a navigational role for the asana practice, i.e. helps me position my legs and hands with greater accuracy.
[I was relieved to hear those markers are not drawn using ink, but rather etched on the material itself, so no chemical and nasties to worry about.]
But what impressed me from the very start of my session was the grip. Despite the heavy sweat, my hands didn't slip as they often do with other mats. That gave me confidence to push further into my asanas.
To say that the Liforme mat is spacious is an understatement. It truly is the largest mat I've practiced on. That gives me that extra bit of assurance I'm not inadvertently encroaching on my neighbours' airspace during Halasana.
Clearly, this is not the most mobile, travel-friendly mat but it easily beats any other product I've tried (including the Manduka Pro) in terms of comfort, grip and attention to detail.
As of today, the LiForme mat will replace my Jade gear for my daily practice at home.
I am enamoured with products that are obsessively well designed: from the packaging, website all the way to marketing material and company websites.
I was truly impressed with the rigour behind the online presence of LiForme, as I think you will too. Give the site a visit, try the mat and enjoy their online community.