When you unroll a BallerYoga mat at your local yoga studio, it’ll feel like you’re unfurling a prestigious red carpet, designated for the rich and famous.
This yoga mat gives off an air of luxury, as it’s truly the A-list mat in the yoga industry: an 80-by-26-inch rectangle of premium grain leather that will set you back $1,000. Rolling this bad boy out in front of other yogis loudly states you’ve arrived, and you’re ready for some serious…uh, ‘yoga-ing’.
Oddly, despite BallerYoga Mats catering towards the most dedicated of yogis, something must be said about practicing yoga – with roots in Hinduism – on the hide of the religion’s sacred animal. Perhaps an innocent oversight, but no doubt a tad disrespectful for the religion many Western yogis co-opt in their yoga practice.
BallerYoga founder Cedric Yau, did comment on the paradox, pointing out many Hindus wear leather shoes, and “India is one of the top three countries in the world for leather exports.”
“…there’s a misconception that Hinduism and yoga are linked; yoga has evolved, the religious dogma has been kind of left out,” he added.
Despite the questionable material choice, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see more and more luxury yoga equipment in the future. Since it came to the West, capitalists have been feeding at the yoga trough all day, salivating at any opportunity to create a new product yogis ‘must’ buy. That equates to serious cash money.
“Yoga has become a show, a market place, and an extension of ego-driven, capitalistic bottom-line enterprises,” says Jill Wheeler, a longtime yoga instructor.
Again, Yau backed his BallerYoga mats, arguing that if his football-inspired mats gets men more interested in the spiritual practice, it’s a positive. The mats are crafted from the same material as Wilson’s NFL-licensed game balls.
“I was really trying to create a better yoga mat; it’s more grippy,” he says, adding that “it gives men permission to do yoga.”