John Friend, the somewhat controversial founder of Anusara Yoga, introduced extra wide yoga mats this week. The pricey designs, 5-6 inches wider than typical mats, are said to offer users more room to move.
I’m all for comfort and space, but I’m not sure how I feel about supersized mats. Sure, it’s great that Anusara in general makes yoga accessible to a “wider” audience. And, by all means, it’s all good if bigger mats get more people to do downward dogs. But the real estate-obsessed New Yorker inside me is already annoyed by the yogi one row over who rolls out an extra large, SUV-style mat in an already overcrowded studio. That said, I’ll set an intention to channel my teacher Rachel, who will undoubtedly welcome all people—regardless of mat size—to her class, and remind us that we can work out any space issues and accommodate new challenges in our lives. Namaste John Friend.