A rug turns into a yoga mat turns back into a rug. Presto change-o, LED-o! Yet another way yoga is integrated with our everyday lives? Tera, an interactive yoga mat/pretty rug is part of a series of “active furniture” created by the award-winning design team of Lunar Europe. When in use, the circular mat, equipped with LED lights and sensors, lights up and responds “intuitively” to movements in tandem with a special Tera app. Based on pressure and body weight shifts the mat can guide the practitioner to do the poses “correctly.” Data can be recorded and then shared with a personal trainer, or yoga teacher, through social media. So sort of like the MIT disco mat but trés chic and way less nerdtastic.
And THIS is JUST the beginning of the yoga mat revolution and their plan to take over the world one home practitioner at a time! Give them a name and now they have BRAINS and think they can control us. Save yourselves!
Basically a “glowing game of Twister,” as Fast Company describes it, when not in use, the mat acts as an accent rug made of “eco-friendly shear wool by premium manufacturer Kvadrat,” that is “wear- and slip-resistent,” though we’re not sure how well it absorbs the sweat smell. (We assume there will be NO at-home hot yoga before company.)
Roman Gebhard, co-founder of Lunar Europe, welcomes the Twister comparison:
“We felt that we wanted to create a truly immersive experience where the user [is] directly in direct touch with the product and not just staring at a screen in the room,” Gebhard explains. “To me the Twister game does have that great immersive and direct experience that pulls you right into the game in a very physical way.”
This double use idea sounds nice in theory but we’re already not cool with people accidentally stepping on our yoga mats let alone inviting a regular stream of foot traffic. Though it’s still in conceptual stages and not on the market yet, it definitely seems like this LED interactivity is where our tech-centric at-home yoga practice is heading.
[Fast Company via Apartment Therapy]
Let me tell you what I’m not cool with: a carpeting-based, sensor-based gamification scheme that uses the law of large numbers to try to grok that I will move in set prescribed ways atop a level 2-dimensional surface. Even the Wii Fit Balance Board has its detractors, but I am fascinated with yet unfamiliar with this.
Maybe I’ll change my mind when they could figure out ecstatic dance–even a fairly simple schematic such as 5 Rhythms and try to piece together, a practice, not so cardio/not so difficult, where everyone makes up their own steps. Gabrielle Roth (late founder of the practice) is watching from her grave, smirking.
I love the idea that “yoga equipment” becomes central to our lives and to our homes, instead of having to put it away every time. This way yoga itself might become more central.
In our electrified world, where we’re already being overexposed to electromagnetic
radiation from electric and wireless gadgets and from cell phones and cell phone towers 24/7, this “electric” yoga mat is ill advised for yoga practice.
Check out the research of Dr. Sam Milham, Dr. George Carlo, and Dr. Magda Havas on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) exposure – and see how all of this exposure to EMF’s can and will harm your body.
Google “Dr. Sam Milham + Dirty Electricity” Google: “Dr. George Carlo + EMF danger”
and look at Dr. Magda Havas’s website.
Yoga is supposed to be restorative. If you want to experience restorative yoga, don’t use an electrified yoga mat, Use a traditional yoga mat.
If you’re looking for a mat that will guide you through a practice like “Tera”, there is an excellent product called “Yoga By Numbers” which is a traditional style mat that has numbers printed on it, just like a twister mat, and comes with a DVD you can watch. You can google this too.
That could be a start, a Yoga by Numbers practice. As could a number of alignment-focused practices. Or a savvy yoga teacher, here and there. One might still have to have enough kinesthetic self-sense to modify for range of motion or body proportion differences. Pilates classes could supply some of the missing links in that regard. As could any teacher of any mind-body discipline, who is – face it – anatomy-obsessed. No one should dismiss the importance of this.