Lululemon spent two years designing the new rug. It partnered with the Canadian Sports Institute in Calgary, Alberta, to study how people used their yoga mats. The team developed a kind of “heat map” of use zones by monitoring which places people touched the most during the exercise. These data, combined with analysis of the worn areas on used yoga mats, gave the design team a clear picture of where ripples should be placed and where upholstery should be prioritized.
Most of Lululemon’s previous yoga mats are made with a rubber base that is topped with a surface layer of grippy polyurethane. According to Morris, the usual method of making a three-dimensional surface such as ripples in the Take Form mat would be through embossing ̵
The solution was to develop a foam concentration that would harden and keep its shape. The foam strip is then inserted between the rubber rail and the polyurethane surface. Lululemon will not describe exactly how this foaming process works, referring to its proprietary nature, but Morris compares it to baking a cake.
“Foam begins as a liquid, and as a cure, they foam,” he says.
The Take Form mat costs between $ 118 and $ 128, depending on the version, and will be available worldwide on March 23.
The market for new yoga mats – whether they are adorned with 3D ripples or not – is much different now than it was back when Lululemon started developing Take Form. Tracked by the isolation of the pandemic, the demand for home fitness equipment exploded in 2020. But even as vaccines become more available and the world empties towards a certain sheen of normality, the trend will be that people prefer to sweat at home instead of at gyms. and yoga studios may not go away.
Adjustment mats can be especially helpful if you do not have a yoga instructor hovering over you and actively monitoring your form.
Equipment that offers that kind of self-guidance fits into Lululemon’s strategy of fully embracing exercise at home. While the company lost sales from its stores early in the pandemic, online sales rose. In June last year, Lululemon also bought the home fitness company Mirror for $ 500 million. Pairing an adjustment mat with personal lessons beamed right into your home through the Mirror becomes quite close to the experience of personal yoga instruction. Now if the company wants to jump on the next obvious yoga trend, it just needs to start selling some goats.
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