My Journey Making Yoga Mats

It's happening, they are finally here.  I have made my own yoga mats.  It's been a long journey for me, researching and trying to design something that just feels right.   I want to share with you how they came to be and what has inspired me along the way.
As many of you know I moved to Spain a few years ago in the South, near Granada.  The place has been an inspiration for me, with its pure white buildings, it's succulent and cactus plants and the constant blue skies and sunny days.  I started to make paintings that embodied the Mediterranean aura, taking you away on a journey of relaxation.  
It took me a lot of time to design and paint something that felt right. Paintings that were forever evolving and changing.  These mats were not something that came easy.  They took me on a journey and I had to work hard to make something that felt the way I wanted it to.
in the studio blog 2I came up with two designs, one with a soft golden glow and subtle natural sweetness.  It was the time of year when our orange tree started to bloom and the flowers around the figure on Apricot glow are these very flowers. Inspired by citrus colours, I also had a pot of neroli oil that I could smell as I painted. I wanted this design to revitalise and energise the body, quiet the mind and help you find an inner balance.
apricot glow yoga mat handsThe second design I wanted to make something very grounding.  I looked to the greens of the Earth.  Something that can transport you to a fresh morning in a welcoming old-growth forest.  This mat I wanted to test myself and come up with an abstract design. It took many drafts before I came to a point where the deign was exactly how I envisioned it.  I took the shapes from the terrazzo tiles around my house, along with palm shadows and petals drifting in the breeze.  
algae forest yoga mat shadowIt was not only the design, but I wanted to make a mat that was made from natural materials.  Something without plastic and harmful toxic chemicals.  It's so important to me to look after and care for our planet, and the people in it.  At the same time I wanted to make a product that performs.  If any of you are like me (I am one of the sweatiest people out there) there is nothing more annoying than slipping around when you need to focus on your body and how it is moving.  It's a distraction that can be easily avoided.
In the studio blogAfter a lot of research the best option I could find was a vegan suede and natural rubber mat.  It is made from natural materials and the more the sweat the gripper it becomes.  A dream!  Now it was production time and the exciting part, seeing my designs come to life in a way that I had never thought possible.  The mats arrived after many months.  I could hardly contain my excitement opening the package to see how they were.  The softness of the vegan suede was just lush and the quality of the mat beyond what I had imagined.  
Algae forest yoga mat homepageThe next step took me to making the packaging wraps and photographing them in use.  They are now ready to share with you all.  I hope that they can help you in your practice.  Whether its yoga, exercises or meditation I want you to enjoy!
You can shop the mats HERE