Lululemon spent two years designing its new mat. It partnered with the Canadian Sports Institute in Calgary, Alberta to review how folks used their yoga mats. The crew developed a type of “heat map” of usages zones by monitoring which spots folks touched probably the most throughout their observe. That knowledge, mixed with evaluation of the worn-down areas on used yoga mats, gave the design crew a transparent image of the place the ripples ought to be positioned, and the place padding wanted to be prioritized.
Most of Lululemon’s earlier yoga mats have been made with a base layer of rubber that’s topped with a floor layer of grippy polyurethane. According to Morris, the same old technique of making a three-dimensional floor just like the ripples within the Take Form mat could be via embossing—urgent a heated die into the floor to make the fabric take type. The downside is that Lululemon can’t apply that course of to its yoga mats, given their development. The rubber base doesn’t retain the reminiscence of the die, and the floor layer makes use of a sort of porous polyurethane that will soften from the warmth.
The answer was to develop a foam concoction that will harden and maintain its form. That strip of froth is then inserted between the rubber runner and polyurethane floor. Lululemon gained’t describe precisely how this foam course of works, citing its proprietary nature, however Morris compares it to baking a cake.
“Foams start out as a liquid, and as the cure, they foam,” he says.
The Take Form mat prices between $118 and $128 relying on the model, and will likely be obtainable worldwide on March 23.
The market for brand spanking new yoga mats—whether or not they’re adorned with 3-D ripples or not— is far totally different now than it was again when Lululemon started growing the Take Form. Spurred by the isolation of the pandemic, demand for at-home exercise tools exploded in 2020. But at the same time as vaccines change into extra obtainable and the world inches towards some semblance of normalcy, that development of individuals preferring to sweat of their houses as a substitute of in gyms and yoga studios won’t be going away.
Alignment mats could be particularly helpful if you do not have a yoga teacher hovering over you and actively monitoring your type.
Gear providing that type of self-guidance gear suits in with Lululemon’s technique of absolutely embracing the at-home exercise development. While the corporate misplaced gross sales from its retail shops early within the pandemic, its on-line gross sales surged. Also, in June of final 12 months, Lululemon acquired the at-home health firm Mirror for $500 million. Pairing an alignment-aiding mat with private classes beamed proper into your house via Mirror will get fairly near the expertise of in-person yoga instruction. Now if the corporate needs to leap on the subsequent apparent yoga development, it simply wants to begin promoting some goats.
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