“I didn’t want to just practice for today,” said Tamayo, 50, “I wanted to be able to practice for a lifetime! So I created the sequence and the accompanying Atmananda Yoga Mat to protect my joints and maintain my health”
Beginner and regular yoga practitioners alike are unsure if they are practicing the poses correctly, often questioning if their hands and feet are in the right places, or wondering if their stance is too short or too wide in certain poses. Not only does this confusion inhibit the practitioner from the full meditative benefits of a yoga class, it also puts the practitioner in serious risk for physical injury. For example, when a yoga student is practicing Downward-Facing Dog (pictured below), two mistakes are common:
First, there is a tendency for the yoga student to over extend his body (Photo A), placing an exorbitant amount of stress and strain to his Achilles tendons, and over-arching his spine, collapsing his solar plexus. The second common mistake is not stretching the body enough, or cutting oneself short (Photo B). Not only does this mistake cramp the Achilles tendons and strain the wrists, the yoga student will also never see any improvement in strength or flexibility because he is not stretching his body enough. If these mistakes are practiced consistently, overtime, the yoga student will find himself injured and no longer able to practice yoga or pursue other forms of physical activity.
The Atmananda Yoga Mat ™ ensures that the yoga student is practicing each posture with the correct physical alignment (Photo C), and is therefore able to receive all of the benefits of the postures while steering clear of physical injury.
The Atmananda Yoga Mat ™ is imprinted with reference lines that are mathematically designed according to the practitioner’s height: (5’2’’ and below fit a size small, 5’3’’-5’6’’ a size medium, and 5’7’’ and above a size large). After years of developing and fine-tuning, Tamayo has determined that yoga students in the above measurements will fit their corresponding mats exactly, with only a few cases needing to adjust themselves by just a few centimeters. Each Atmananda Yoga Mat ™ comes with a reference sheet detailing in a user-friendly way how to use the lines on the mat during a yoga practice. The Atmananda Yoga Mat ™ boosts confidence in the yoga student’s practice, but most importantly, ensures a physically healthy yoga practice that conditions the body to be strong and flexible without strain or injury.
The mat alignment helps open up the body in an optimum way, making the connection between body proportions and alignment obvious. With the guidance of the mat lines, I feel comfortable about my technique and know I am staying safe and taking care of my joints It also allows me to see my progress in a tangible way and focus my practice on breath and awareness. It is very helpful for my clients who are new to yoga and need guidance for basic understanding and alignment. Elena Litvack, RYT 500
The lines didn’t make sense at the beginning for me. Yoga was such wonderful experience that I thought having guide lines will ruin my practice. However after using and sticking to the Atmananda Yoga Mat and alignment method, I’ve seen how effortlessly and quickly my body has opened. The mat also helps the beginner practitioner to build a strong foundation and gives them a better understanding of what they are doing with their physical body. Miguel Mendez
Using the Atmananda Yoga Mat has made it more efficient for me to adjust into various poses within a sequence. The mat basically tells me how to position my body for a pose and as I gain confidence, my movements increase in fluidity without sacrificing alignment or symmetry. There is also a lot less guess-work involved when poses are described or called out by the instructor because the positioning reference points on the mat are universal for all styles of yoga. The mat is designed based on height, which prevents unintentional over-extension or shortened positioning. It’s also plush enough to protect the knees, feet, and other joints from possible pain or injury when in a kneeling, seated or lying position. Overall, its been a good investment, especially since my goal is to continue yoga for as long as possible with minimal injury. Alex Rodriguez