Shared Kharma

Kharma Khare mat - 01I got the privilege of trying out a Kharma Khare yoga mat this last week while studying with Noah Mazé in LA.  Twenty-two 300-hour-teacher-training focus pose classes later, I have a pretty good idea of how I feel about this mat.  Made from recycled tires in a clean, environmentally friendly process, nobody can argue against this as a good environmental program just in itself.  Check out their web site for more details on the how and why.  I want to talk about my experience as an asana practitioner.

To preface this, I want to acknowledge that I sweat a lot–profusely when I’m practicing.  One time, I had a sweet yoga teacher offer me a hanger and help to drip-dry my mat after a hard practice.  I was using a regular mat and a Manduka eQua towel (also an awesome product) to cover it.  Yeah, that type of sweat.

I slip on regular mats after only a little bit of practice.  I have used my Lululemon The Mat with pretty good success, but after a bit too much sweat, it gets a little slippery too.  I got the eQua towel to solve this problem by covering my mat up with a non-slip, microfiber towel, but as wonderful as the eQua is, it’s a towel that’s on top of my mat, it can get in the way sometimes, and once I soak it through, I’m working on a wet surface (sticking to it, but it’s still wet).  My heart was drawn to the Kharma Khare company as soon as I learned about it.  They’re just doing the right thing.

Now that I’ve tried the Kharma Khare mat, I’m pretty sure it’s my go-to mat most all of the time.  It’s heavier than my Lululemon mat, but not significantly so.  At first it felt hard, but that was deceptive.  Really, it’s stable and firm, but if a small enough bone (elbow, knee, etc) pushes into the mat with enough weight, the mat gives nicely to cushion and protect.  It’s rock-solid and non-slip.  Dry, I didn’t slip.  4-5 hours of asana classes later, I didn’t slip.  Sweat didn’t pool on the surface but instead was drawn away from the surface.  My Lululemon mat does this too, but not as well.  The feel is soft, almost velvety smooth.  It allows me to slide over it easily, such as when sliding my front heel forward in Hanumanasana, without the feeling of tackiness that some mats have.  The smell from a brand new mat was minimal–far less than the Lululemon mat which took months to finish it’s off-gassing of seemingly noxious fumes.  The only negative I’ve found is that it takes longer to hang dry than my Lululemon mat.

If you ever need a replacement or a different mat from Kharma Khare, you can send back your old mat for 50% credit on a new mat.  Right now, they even have a 30-day trial program.  For $30, you get 30 days to try it out.  If you keep it, you pay two more installments to bring you up to the regular price.

To wrap up, Kharma Khare’s mat is a little heavy, it feels great, it does not slip no matter how you sweat but is also not tacky, and you’re doing one more positive thing for the future of our planet.  Now that’s Khare for your Kharma.

Learning All Over Again

trikonasana_001This week I’m in LA, studying again with Noah Mazé and the rest of my 300 hour crew looking to expand our teaching knowledge.  Our plan for early this week is to expand on the basic Iyengar pose scripts we developed last time and add in refinements to solve common errors and misalignments.  We’re also moving beyond shared class teaching and into fully themed and focused class preparations.  Nothing new in concept, but it’s on a whole new level of difficulty and commitment.  Starting Friday and through the weekend, we’ll be sitting with Douglas Brooks and learning more history and philosophy, as well as both practicing asana with Noah and assisting his classes for this weekend intensive.

It’s great to be back with this great group of accomplished and dedicated yogis.  I’m taking it all in and will bring it back to you as I am able to process it all.


Pick a Direction, or Many Directions

parivrtta_trikonasana_001Life draws you in all sorts of directions.  Some people say to go with the flow.  I say it just might work.  You take a step one way, driving your body that direction.  You look to the side at what happens next.  You push against something.  You reach the other way with all your might, looking for what you are hoping to receive next.  And where do you end up?  Here.  Wow.  It’s worth it to go with the flow.  You never know where you might end up.

You, too, can do this.  Come to class to learn how or improve what you already know.

Changing Perspective

prasarita_padottanasana_001I remember years ago when I started practicing yoga; this pose, Prasarita Padottanasana, was a real challenge.  My legs wouldn’t spread apart very far.  My body would not fold at my hips.  My hands didn’t want to reach the ground.  My leg muscles used to cramp up.  Now, as you can see, my practice has improved greatly.  With lots of time and effort, I have completely changed my perspective from looking at the ground right in front of me into looking at the world upside down and behind me.  And there’s still a lot more to learn and much more growth that can happen.  I’m glad I didn’t get too frustrated and quit.

Trust in yourself through the hard parts so that you can see beyond what’s just in front of you.  With effort, you will grow and you can shift your perspective into a whole new direction.