Lululemon spent two years designing his new rug. He partnered with the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary, Alberta to study how people use their yoga mats. The team has developed a sort of “heat map” of the use areas by monitoring the spots most affected during their practice. This data, combined with the analysis of worn areas on used yoga mats, gave the design team a clear picture of where corrugations should be placed and where padding should be prioritized. .
Most of Lululemon’s previous yoga mats were made with a rubber base layer topped with a grippy polyurethane top layer. According to Morris, the usual method of creating a three-dimensional surface like the ripples in Take Form mat would be by embossing – pressing a heated die into the surface to shape the material. The problem is, Lululemon cannot apply this process to their yoga mats, given their construction. The rubber base does not retain die memory, and the surface layer uses a porous type of polyurethane that would melt under heat.
The solution was to develop a mixture of foam that would harden and hold its shape. This foam strip is then inserted between the rubber slider and the polyurethane surface. Lululemon won’t describe exactly how this mousse process works, citing its exclusive nature, but Morris likens it to baking a cake.
“Foams start off as a liquid, and as a remedy, they foam,” he says.
The Take Form mat costs between $ 118 and $ 128 depending on the version and will be available worldwide on March 23.
The market for new yoga mats – whether embellished with 3D ripples or not – is very different today from what it was when Lululemon started developing Take Form. Driven by the isolation of the pandemic, demand for home training equipment has exploded in 2020. But even as vaccines become more available and the world moves closer to a semblance of normalcy, this trend of people preferring to sweat in their homes rather than gyms and yoga studios might do not leave.
Alignment mats can be especially useful if a yoga instructor isn’t hovering over you and actively monitoring your form.
Equipment offering this type of self-guiding gear is part of Lululemon’s strategy of fully embracing the home workout trend. As the company lost sales from its retail stores at the start of the pandemic, its online sales have jumped. Additionally, in June of last year, Lululemon acquired home fitness company Mirror for $ 500 million. Pairing an alignment aid mat with personal lessons streamed directly to your home via Mirror is quite akin to the experience of teaching yoga in person. Now, if the business wants to jump on the next obvious yoga trend, they just need to start selling it. goats.
More WIRED stories