What if an exercise mat could teach you yoga?
How would a mat do that? With LED lights and high-tech sensors — that's how!
I know, sounds a little far-fetched, right? But talking mats may just be the wave of the future for the yoga world.
Developed by Munich-based company Lunar Europe, this yet-to-be-released fitness mat called "Tera" is embedded with LED lights and sensors, and syncs with an app which allows it to track and guide its user through activities such as yoga.
The LED lights react to the information from the sensors and illuminate to show the user where to position their hands and feet, and alert them if they're doing so incorrectly. At the end of your yoga sesh, this futuristic guru of a mat logs your progress and stores the data to help it develop more individualized workouts. It's basically like having your own personal yoga instructor, minus the actual "instructor" (well, in flesh form anyway).
The specific deets on how much this talking yoga mat will cost you and when it's set to be released to the public has not yet been announced, but it does make me wonder what kind of response it would receive.
From a yoga instructor's point of view, I think it's a neat concept and but one that's almost the antithesis of what it sets out to do. Sure, it would be cool and somewhat helpful to have a mat track your progress and tell you when you're messing up, but I think it's missing the bigger picture and purpose of developing a meaningful yoga practice.
We come to yoga to better ourselves, which results in bettering our lives and relationships with others. We step onto our mats to relieve stress, to restore peace, to revive our bodies, to relax our minds. How are we supposed to accomplish that with a talking yoga mat, tracking our every move? Yes, we all strive to improve our practice and learn new poses, but focusing on each and every imperfection should never be your goal in yoga, or life for that matter. Not to mention that no amount of technology will ever teach you the same lessons that true, authentic, human-to-human interaction will (yoga classes for the win!).
That being said, I definitely still encourage the use of new products, apps and even social media to help inspire and further your yoga poses — just make sure to never lose sight of the true purpose of your practice.
Hey, that's just one little yogi's opinion!