Is donating your yoga mat really helping the people of Haiti? This image popped up on James Follows blog over at The Atlantic yesterday and has since been splashed across the web with the likes of Gawker, Boing Boing and HuffPo all having a crack at it, inciting references to Alicia Silverstone’s character in Clueless who donates her skiis to the Pismo Beach Disaster. What most readers and snarkopolists (commenters) deduced was that yoga mats for Haiti was simply a waste of time and that those stinky hippies just want to get rid of their old sweat-beatin mats! The Gawker team received a response to clear up the message:
Hi there! At the end of last month the annual Yoga Journal Conference was here in town at the Hyatt regency. JADE yoga mat, one of the vendors, took it upon themselves to invite attendees to bring old or used yoga mats to be donated to overcrowded hospitals to be used as bedding. We simply acted as a place where people could drop the used mats and we then took the mats to JADE yoga’s booth at the conference. From there, they organized sending the mats to Haiti to be used as bedding.
Thank you for your question and hopefully my answer clarifies the intention behind the mat drive.
(Leila Burrows co-founder of The Pad Studios in SF)
There you have it, case solved! Right? Not exactly. Still looming is the question of whether or not any sort of donation of “stuff” is useful. After this explanation, Gawker edited their post with a slightly hinted “oops”-update (we said slightly), while Mr. Follows at the Atlantic added a wrap-up post with counter arguments and logistics to feeling good about donating “stuff”.
Is donating your old yoga mat really adding to aid or is it karma yoga chasing its own tail?
Follow the discussion in progress at one of our favorite blogs It’s All Yoga Baby or share your thoughts below.