With so many people turning to yoga to get fit and healthy to keep anxiety and stress at bay, Sabi Phagura speaks to Bianca Fasenbeckh, Global Sales Manager for Yoga Design Lab, about this ancient practice, as well as how their products can help.
Luxurious Magazine: Yoga’s popularity has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you think this is?
Bianca Fasenbeckh: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been forced to deal with lockdown situations that have put enormous pressure on their physical and mental wellbeing. Those who may have previously been reluctant to attend a public class are now recognising how yoga can be a powerful tool to deal with uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical wellbeing.
It’s convenient and appealing in that it can be done in the privacy of your living room.
LM: How important is yoga to our mental wellbeing during these unprecedented times?
BF: The increasing popularity of online classes has provided a community to those suffering from isolation. A sense of connection is a reassuring reminder that we’re all in this together. Yoga also teaches us mindfulness, which keeps us in the present moment. During these unprecedented times, it’s easy to become preoccupied with the uncertainty of the future. Practising mindfulness helps ground us knowing that we are safe in the here-and-now.
LM: Tell us briefly about Yoga Design Lab (YDL) and the philosophy behind the brand.
BF: We take pride in providing studio-quality products that combine performance and functionality with beauty and sustainability. Yoga Design Lab is known for creating eco-conscious products that are designed to complement various styles of yoga and last through rigorous conditions.
From our hot yoga mats, composed of biodegradable natural tree rubber and 15 recycled plastic bottles, to the water-based inks used in our printed designs, we believe everyone can start by choosing better products for the earth.
LM: There are a number of different style of mats out there. Can you run us through some of them?
BF: Not all mats are created equal. Ours are designed to complement different styles of yoga. Some provide grip, others provide absorbency, and all come in various thicknesses allowing for either portability or extra joint cushioning. Our products are made from natural materials, like PET microfiber, cork, rubber, and water-based inks, because they reduce waste impact.
LM: How important is it to get the correct mat?
BF: Different yogis like different mats. The style of yoga you practice will determine which features you prefer: thick versus thin, or textured and grippy versus sleek and smooth. Ultimately you want to choose a mat that best suits your practice, lifestyle, values, and budget. The more you love your mat, the more likely you are to make yoga a regular practice.
LM: Have you seen a change in the number of people getting in touch with YDL enquiring about yoga and your products?
BF: Since the start of COVID-19, we have seen an increase in YDL interest. It’s validating knowing that we can help solve an array of issues people are having, whether it be what they need to do to kit out their home studio or educating new yogis on the right type of mat for them. It’s been rewarding to be able to provide guidance through these unusual times.
LM: What advice would you give someone who has never practised yoga before?
BF: Don’t let your first time be your last time. It may take a few attempts to find the right style and teacher that resonates with you. There is no such thing as being ‘bad’ or ‘good’ at it. The goal of yoga is to unite the mind and body, which can be achieved whether you can reach your toes or not.
While asana, the physical aspect, gets all the attention, a yoga practice can look like many things, including simply being still and observing the natural flow of your breath. The point is to make it feel good, not only physically but mentally too (be aware of your self-talk). Set aside any expectations you might have and give yourself permission to be as you are.
LM: How long and often should we be getting on our mats?
BF: We tell us we ‘should’ be doing this or doing that about every other aspect of our lives, but let’s not do that when it comes to yoga. However, knowing the ‘why’ behind your motivation to practice will make you more likely to stick with the habit. If it feels like another task to cross off your to-do list, consider what might make it more enjoyable.
For example, some like to practice in the morning, while others prefer evenings. Some benefit from a two-hour flow, while others are fulfilled with just 15 minutes. Surrounding yourself with colours, patterns and textures that soothe and inspire the senses will help you fall in love with your practice.
LM: How quickly can you start seeing progress both in the mind and body?
BF: Of course, you can’t expect to see a difference immediately, but you will get out of it what you put in. The process of progression is subtle and not always so obvious. Set specific, measurable and achievable goals, and remember to have patience with yourself. Yoga is a lifelong practice that will teach you things you couldn’t have ever expected. After all, ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’.
Yoga Design Lab – Where and How?
For more information on Yoga Design Lab, visit www.yogadesignlab.com.
Read more exclusive interviews by Sabi Phagura here.