Thursday, June 4, 2009

Karma Funktafied Yoga

Karma class... how I love you. Yoga for 5$, ALL of which goes to a different charity each month. As the prices for yoga classes keep inching up, and our economy keeps crashing down, the only classes I can afford now are by donation, community and the karma class at BreathingSpace. What I love about BreathingSpace's Karma class (as opposed to other local studios) is their candor about exactly where all the money raised is going and how much they have raised so far (700$+ since Valentine's Day!). (Sherry practicing at Peggy's Cove as a Lululemon's ambassador... I know, I know. She's still fantastically awesome)

I briefly tried their Manduka Eko mat (one I've been gaga over from afar). I've been staying away because I knew I'd be soooo tempted to just BUY IT. Tonight my mat was conveniently slippy from having another dunk in the tub from my sweaty Baron Baptiste heated class on Tuesday (and all the Guerrilla yoga!). I was pumped- this was THE TEST. I rolled it out (it was deliciously heavy) and got ready for my downward dog.... spreading my fingers on the scrummy, dirty surface.... wait a minute!! Ugh. Looks like they aren't super great at keeping their mats clean. Yuck. With all the stomach, swine, death flues going around, coming in close contact with more bacteria was not my idea of Karmic Zen. I held my breath, determined to give this mat a go- it's my choice eco-mat after all!!

It smelled funny. Not sure if it was all the sketchy yogi-funk or the rubber mat (although it didn't smell like my rubber mat, which smells like... well... tire). It also wasn't as sticky as I expected. Well, it was just as sticky as my Lotus Wear rubber mat, that was actually kind of slippery compared to it's regular life. I just knew that the smell-funk-slip would totally distract my practice and I was not in the mind space for that life lesson. So I quickly rolled it up before class began and settled back on my trusty Lotus Wear mat... which actually didn't do that terribly considering how long it soaked and my previous bathing consequences! The difference this time: I let it air dry for almost three days. I love that Lotus Wear is a Canadian company and maybe I started to panic a little prematurely about the little flakes... (see here for panic post).

I haven't quite put the kibosh on Eko Mat... but I think my next eco-mat real life exploration will take place with the lovely Jade mats.

I have been seeing a lot of TPE (themoPLASTIC elastomer) mats being labeled as "eco" friendly and "biodegradable" lately. I've decided that this is a whole post onto itself and will be doing a bit more digging to provide you, my fantastic eco-yogi/ni's with knowledge to make an informed eco choice :)

For now, Andrew and I are going to drink some beer, watch Aliens 2, and get ready for a big, wedding (not ours!) filled weekend! WOOT! :)



  1. Gee - I never stopped to think about where my mats (I have two, pretty standard) came from or whether they were made of anything objectionable. Hmmm . . . well, since I have them, the most ecological thing would be to use them as long as it makes sense. My biggest yoga problem is that I don't seem to have time or space to practice. I need inspiration! (Also, a class I can get to on the bus would be excellent.)

  2. "...I was not in the mind space for that life lesson." You are too funny! This is so...relatable!

    I've actually never heard of karma yoga before reading about it on your blog. I'll have to do some more research on that.

  3. I love it when yoga and charity combine--I did one yoga benefit event last month and am doing a big yoga mala/solstice party thing at the end of this one.

    As for mats...I'm thinking I'm just gonna keep using the old beat up one I've got as long it doesn't come apart completely...which there really doesn't seem to be much danger of any time soon--guess that's one thing to be said about those mass-produced styrofoam/nuclearwaste yoga mats, they're durable....

  4. Mary Ellen: yup- keeping your mat for as long as possible is a fantastic idea! :)
    I find that trying to practice yoga in the mornings before work just never happened- I like sleep WAYYY too much. You can download certain yoga sequences on (or create your own with pictures!). So- i started to practice after work, before supper.
    I hear you on a class you can get to by bus, my goal is to begin walking to class... but I seem to never get home from work in time.

    Yoga Witch: haha, I had Om Shanti's post on "learning to practice with distractions" in my head when I was thinking maybe I should use this as part of my practice.... NAH. lol. I have heard that some studios have Karma Yoga where the students actually help clean and such in the studio- very cool :)

    YogaforCynics: oh yes- keeping your mat, as you've said before, is the best idea! I'm just a sucker for pretty new things lol.
    Ouu- a yoga/solstice party! it will be Litha after all!

  5. Yeah, I wouldn't be able to get past the icky mat to truly focus on ANYTHING...ACK!! Decontaminate, decontaminate....*shudder*

    You should know that I've postponed my yoga aspirations until I find out what sort of mat I should be buying....not wanting to make a poor choice in a mat that I will wanting to be lasting me for all eternity...

    How's about a "Eco-Yoga Newbies - What Ya Just Gotta Have" post? *grin*

  6. I love your posts!

    The funky mat made me laugh. At the gym where I teach it is so hard to keep the mats nice and clean. People are always using them with shoes on etc. They are shedding and flaking, and I'm sure they don't smell good.

    I have tried hiding the mats, putting up signs on proper use. And, we clean them every week. But what a turn off. Blech.

    Enjoy the beers and the wedding!


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