Smart Mat to take Yoga to the Next Level – And Beyond!

There’s been a lot of buzz lately in the yoga world about SmartMat. The world’s first yoga mat with embedded sensor technology it basically simulates the adjustments of a real live yoga teacher to guide you through a series of visual and audio yoga poses based on your own personal positioning on the mat.

Launching on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in late September, Smart Mat reached its funding goal of $110,000 in less than 24 hours – Proof, if you needed it, that yoga practitioners were not afraid to embrace futuristic technology if it promised a fresh and complementary way to evolve their yoga experience.

With the 31-day Indiegogo campaign due to close tomorrow (31 October) with double their original financial goal raised, Smart Mat have now been able to extend the campaign to run up to December which may allow them to meet further development milestones in addition to the core feature of pre-programmed course work.

These include custom music options and fitness add-ons to help with weight loss, back pain and to support athlete workouts, multi-user support enabling the whole family to use it  and the ability to program whatever class you want from a database of 62 poses.

“The stretch goals (on Indiegogo) are already in the roadmap and we do plan on developing each and every one of them.”  Smart Mat CEO and practicing yogi, Neyma Jahan told Muuyu.  “Getting the funding and reaching the goals simply means that we will be able to implement them sooner than later.”

For Jahan and the team the aim of Smart Mat is not to replace teachers and studio-based classes but to enhance the yoga practice for both beginners and the more advanced yogi.

“While there will never be a replacement for human intuition and instruction,” Jahan says.  “What Smart Mat offers can be considered a complement.  A computerized brain will never be able to accurately read the thousands of elements a trained Yoga teacher can decipher just by looking at the student for a moment.  However at the same time, a human will never be able to read the micro points of balance and equilibrium required to achieve a “Perfect Pose” based on the specific measurements of the practitioners body.”

He adds, “It’s our hope that Smart Mat allows the practitioner to take their practice to the next level with this futuristic technology.”

Finding a balance between the ancient yogic tradition and, this futuristic fitness technology is hugely important to the company and all the additional add-on classes and programs take this into consideration.  Indeed, as Jahan states, “As Yoga practitioners ourselves it is important for us to create coursework that really meets the needs of our community.”

Sounds good to us – but what do you think?

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Siobhan is the Head of Communication and Content with Muuyu and a co-founder of the company.  Born in Ireland she has close to 20 years’ experience working in the areas of PR, communication and journalism.  She is also the editor of the Muuyu blog.  Siobhan has been practicing yoga on and off for most of her adult life.  However it was while doing a post-natal yoga class when pregnant that she really began to connect with her practice and she has been a regular practitioner ever since.

Connect with Siobhan here.

3 Questions to ask when finding yourself… for yourself

Written by Briana Young Roane

It’s been a while since I actually stepped foot in a yoga studio.  I’ve found myself lately just enjoying practicing at home or alone in the studio after teaching.

I couldn’t point to the real reason why I found myself drawn to a solo experience until the other day.  After all my students had left and I started my own playlist I was readying myself for a 30 minute flow down when a huge uncontrollable smile hit my face.  I wanted to be alone!  My body was craving the time to itself.

On an average week I might see six private clients, teach seven classes, record three video classes, and then have my real life to conduct.  There is little time for me to give to myself  like I give to my clients, students, daughters, husband, family and friends.

So instead of going through that funky sweaty flow I had planned, I took to my journal.  I asked myself three questions that I needed to have answers for before I left the mat.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just full of other people’s energy, maybe you should ask yourself these three questions and see what you find out about yourself.

  1. Have I given any personal attention to myself? 

Think about this question hard before answering.  I don’t mean just the car ride through carpool or that pep talk you gave yourself in the bathroom to get through the next 5 hours of work.  I mean did you spend a good amount of time (possibly more than 30 minutes) alone with your own thoughts, decompressing from what life will add to our bodies?  Did you hug yourself physically and emotionally?  Have you sat without uttering a word for close to hour?

Maybe it’s just as simple as disconnecting for a while: no phones, no social media, no emails, just you.

We all need personal attention. It’s pretty corny to think about it but you must be in love with you first to be able to love others. You should want to steal away a few hours a day just to sit with yourself, laugh at yourself, cry with yourself, or just enjoy a good cup of joe by yourself.

So… have you given any personal attention to yourself?

  1. When was the last time you really laughed?

I don’t mean a chuckle, I mean laughed until your stomach hurt. I’m talking about that laughter that can still bring a smile to your face just thinking about it.  Laughing is nature’s tickle – and a must for everyone.  Laughing is free medication, no prescription needed.  Literally laughing speeds up your blood pressure releasing more oxygen into your body tissues.  It’s a full muscle work out for your face, and it gives the same effects to your brain as exercise does.  So… why aren’t you laughing more?

  1. What would make you happy right now?

Life is unpredictable and unscheduled. We never know what’s going to happen and in return we should never take it for granted.  Happiness shouldn’t be a bubble drifting in space, it should be something we all hold and enjoy.  Really think about what would make you happy. What can you actually change at this very moment that would benefit your life in a positive way.

In that thought try not to worry about what others would think or say about your decision, only focus on you! It may seem selfish but it is not.  If you are not happy and right within yourself you cannot be right with anyone else. Choose you!  Decide at this very moment that your happiness is required to live and that really finding yourself is a must to survive.

After these questions you may feel like your mind is working harder than it was when you started but it’s for a very important person: you!  You should work hard for you!  And finding yourself is a beautiful gift, so go un-wrap the magic within.

 briana_pranamYoga teacher and practitioner Briana Young Roane has over 350 hours teacher training and workshop experience. She started her teaching career in 2005 and since then has owned and run two different studios.  Born in Inglewood, California, and now living and working on the East Coast, Briana brings her sunny CA disposition to each and every class that she teaches whether private or group.  You can find more information about Briana and the classes she teaches here or continue to follow her on her own yoga blog.