Clothing/Equipment

RIGHT AT HOME: Design meets downward dog in new yoga mats

Homes Right Yoga Mats

This undated photo provided by anymatic shows a yoga mat the company made in 2009 that benefitted the New York Food Bank. (anymatic via AP)

By Kim Cook,  Associated Press

While comfortable clothes and the right teacher are important, a cool mat can make yoga more enticing and enjoyable.

Forget that plain, boring slab of rubber; yoga mats now come in a variety of designs. You can stretch on a faux sand beach or rippling lake, or do your cobra on a faux Persian carpet.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most stylish mats (choosing a favorite may be harder than aligning your chakras):

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Yoga Design Lab’s Horizon mat features a photo print of a sunset over gently lapping waves. The Tribeca Sand mat has a prismatic pattern in warm jewel hues. (www.yogadesignlab.com )

Scenic vistas are also brought to you by Yogamatic, where waterfalls, beaches and deserts are depicted in vibrant digital prints. One mat with a hypnotic image of swimming carp is by Los Angeles photographer Jennifer Cawley. Or her sepia-toned image of Edward, a teddy bear plopped on a comfy-looking bed, would help soothe a stressed-out stretcher. City dwellers might like the views of the Chicago or Manhattan skylines. A portion of sales of a mat printed with luscious orange slices goes to New York’s Food Bank. (www.yogamatic.com )

Designer Sophie Lenninger of Oakland, California, creates eye-catching mats, including one referencing Uzbek Suzani patterns in a palette of pink, green and aqua. Aztec motifs of rain clouds and cactus flowers enliven her El Nino mat. And she’s got a range of mats for children too, in happy Hawaiian, Southwest and Provencal prints. (www.magiccarpetym.com )

Surfboard artist Drew Brophy has illustrated some kids’ mats with hip ’60s-style prints of suns, rainbows, turtles and waves. (www.spiritualrevolutionyoga.com )

Homes Right Yoga Mats

This undated photo provided by anymatic shows a yoga mat resembling Italian tiles. (anymatic via AP)

Brooklynite Kyle deWoody, founder and creative director of gallery and art shop Grey Area, commissioned work from seven artists for a collection of yoga mats. Among them are Daniel Arsham’s haunting tonal image of the moon in inky outer space, and Eric Cahan’s sunset over East Hampton, which creates a meditative mood. (www.thegreyarea.com )

Yoloha Yoga’s cork mats, with simple, laser-engraved dream catcher and wildflower designs, can be personalized. (www.yolohayoga.com )

You can store your rolled-up mat in a neat bag, like the one from Brogamats that looks like a log. Or channel your inner “Hunger Games” character by toting your mat in a bag that looks like a leather quiver. (www.brogamats.com )

Some pretty mat bags and yoga ball covers are made by the Thai and Nepali women artisans of Global Groove, a fair trade organization. There are ikat, peacock and geometric prints in low-key color palettes, all made of 100 percent cotton. (www.alternativesglobalmarketplace.com )

Categories: Clothing/Equipment, Fitness

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