Riddle me this, yogis: We wouldn’t dare re-wear clothing we’ve sweated in over and over, but why are we ok doing the equivalent with our yoga mats?
Just like leaving your stinky gym socks crumpled on the floor for weeks on end, storing a rolled up, dirty, sweaty mat can breed mildew, funky smells – or worse, according to this article in The New York Times.
So when my pal Jamie Walker, founder of SweatGuru and FitApproach (also an avid ultramarathoner and yogi), told me about a new company that had come up with a solution, I was intrigued and had to check it out.
Enter Namatse (cute, huh?), the first yoga mat hanging solution. I sat down with company founder and co-creator Neal Margulis to talk about his latest business venture, as well as why we should be showing our mats some more love.
KineticFix: Clever name! Tell us a little more about what Namatse is.
Neal Margulis: Thanks; we’d like to think so! Namatse is our solution for rumpled, still-damp-from-your-last-class yoga mats. Instead of stashing your mat in the closet or trying to hang it over the staircase, we have created a sleek, durable and space-efficient clip that you can hang your mat from, keeping it flat and dry. Whether it be from a wall or in the shower, the Namatse clip makes cleaning, storing and drying your mat as simple as a child’s pose. Namatse reminds us to show our mats some love, saying “namaste” to longer-lasting, fresher-looking yoga mats for our favorite practice.
KF: Your sites says, “Be good to your mat and it will be good to you, too.” Why do we need better mat storage?
NM: Who wants to do yoga on a wrinkled and smelly mat? Yoga is a practice of compassion and gratitude, so why not show that same compassion and thanks to your mat? It’s much easier to stay focused and balanced when the ground beneath you (your mat) is flat and happy.
KF: Agreed! So how does it work?
NM: Namatse is super easy to use. There are three ways to hang your Namatse clip:
- First, Namatse easily mounts to your wall using the peel-and-stick 3M Command Strips, which are non-marking, extra-durable 100 percent-removable adhesives.
- Next, we include a set of screws if you’d like to permanently attach your Namatse clip to a wall.
- Finally, we also include a traditional hanger loop that attaches to the clip so the mat can be hung from a closet rod, over a door or even in the shower.
Then all you have to do is prop open the clamp, place your yoga mat how you’d like it to hang, and close the clip with it’s smooth, crafted edges over your mat…and voila! Your mat will appreciate it immediately.
KF: What was your inspiration for it?
NM: Once six year-old Arden [Neal's son] found out the Yoga poses had animal names like ‘cat’ and ‘cow,’ it wasn’t long before he was making animal sounds and developing his own style of yoga. Having a clean, dry yoga mat accessible became a priority. Unable to find a commercially available solution, we started coming up with ideas, and Namatse was born.
KF: What was the development process like?
NM: I was very lucky to have the help of my dear friend, Greg Hayes, who has decades of experience turning smart ideas into sleek, highly-functional objects.
Together, we set out to make the ideal clip: one that was not just lightweight and sturdy, but also attractive and easy to use. We used advanced 3D printing to prototype a clip that can hold the heaviest mat made, but that is also easy to operate and doesn’t harm your mat.
The clamp easily props open for simple placement of the mat. The clasps are effective, but have edges that are gentle on your mat. To make sure Namatse fits any yogi’s lifestyle, we created the three options for hanging Namatse: mounted with screws, non-marking, removable adhesives, and a shower hanger. Then we chose high-quality, recyclable ABS plastic to tread lightly on our planet.
KF: And why the campaign through Kickstarter?
NM: We decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to help create awareness for our product, get real market feedback and, of course, help fund it. We’re a small, family business and really want this product to help solve people’s problems.
KF: Have people noticed any additional benefits as a result of using Namatse?
NM: Yes! Your yoga mat becomes a beautiful piece of art in your home that provides a daily reminder of how great your practice makes you feel and provides you an invitation to practice more!
KF: How long have you been practicing yoga & how’d you get into it?
NM: I’ve been practicing yoga for a little over one year. I started my love for yoga and practiced at the 2012 Wanderlust Festival in North Lake Tahoe.
KF: Got a proudest moment & toughest move you’re still trying to master?
NM: Although I can’t hold it for long, using brute force, I can push up from crow into a handstand. Even after a year of yoga, its still a challenge just to sit up straight.
KF: Any final words on why people should back Namatse?
NM: It’s time to show your mat a little compassion for all that it has given you!
Thanks to Neal for sitting down to chat; for more information and to help make Namatse a reality, visit the Kickstarter page here.