Healthy Living

Meet the Makers:  Affirmats + 5 Health Benefits of Yoga

Meet the Makers: Affirmats + 5 Health Benefits of Yoga

Today on the blog, we return to our Meet the Makers series at Modern Kids Design where we spotlight indie makers that are doing good work in the world. This week we are trying something new where we introduce you to the indie brand and write about the healthy living practice that it lovingly advocates through its work and products.

Meet Affirmats, a Los Angeles based company founded by Jason Graham. If you haven't guessed it already, Affirmats makes yoga mats. There are many things to love about this company starting with their mission. They combine form and function to create beautiful, Eco-friendly yoga mats that remind us of the importance of love and gratitude in our daily life. The company aims to uplift yogis everywhere with affirmations and they help you to maintain your yoga practice in an Eco-friendly fashion.

Their jute and ECO-per mats are biodegradable, non-toxic, and latex free, which means they don’t have that familiar smell that so many mats have these days. Here is something else that is also important… The mats don’t slip as you transition from pose to pose. And they come in two different sizes which make them great for men, women and kids (yes kiddos use them too) and yogis of all heights.

One of the many things that we appreciate about this indie maker is that the mats are infused with positivity. As we mentioned, each yoga mat has an affirmation. Each are embroidered with an uplifting statement to help you set an intention and maintain a positive focus during your practice.

We love yoga at MKD and believe that it plays an important role on the journey towards healthy living. And, yes, we believe healthy living is a journey and not a destination but maybe we should write about that in another post. :-)  Anyway, a regular yoga practice can be a sanctuary in an otherwise hectic life. And while peacefulness and calmness of mind are often touted as a benefit of yoga, there are additional physical benefits that may surprise and inspire you to roll out a mat if you’re not doing so already. :-)

Health Benefits of Yoga

Did you know that a yoga practice could help increase your circulation? And that’s only one of the benefits of regular practice! Here are some other health benefits that may surprise you.

Flexibility

Flexibility is generally top of mind when someone decides to try yoga. As an important factor of overall fitness, flexibility can help decrease those morning aches and pains and help you maintain an active lifestyle for decades to come. Yoga can also help increase your balance.

Muscle Strength

Yes, yoga can help make you stronger too! Certain asanas require you to hold your own body weight or to apply pressure to only a part of your body. This helps strengthen the muscles supporting you throughout the movement. Plank pose has become extremely popular in almost all fitness circles because it requires numerous muscles to work together to hold the pose. It doesn’t just “strengthen your core,” as you’ll hear people say, it helps strengthen every muscle used during the exercise from your arms, down to your back, abs, glutes, and quads. As you progress with your yoga practice, you’ll be able to hold poses longer as you gain more endurance and modify poses to make them more difficult as you continue to gain strength.

Better Sleep

We could all use a few more hours in the day and many of us would use those hours for more sleep. Yoga has been found to increase the quality of sleep, which, let’s be honest, is something all busy parents need. Sleep is so important for our health and we often neglect it.

Increase in the quality of sleep may be due to yoga’s stress busting power, which can also help reduce stress-related health problems such as IBS and hypertension. Wow!

Reduces Pain

If you have chronic pain, a regular yoga practice may ease those aches associated with fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, arthritis, and other more. It can help some people reduce their pain meds and better manage their pain as they gain flexibility.

Increased Focus

Parenthood often means juggling multiple tasks while trying to keep everyone’s different schedules in mind. At different stages of parenting, loss of focus isn't just a symptom, it’s practically a way of life for many parents. lol  So, a regular yoga practice can help you focus so you can accomplish those goals you’ve set for yourself and keep your various tasks in mind. This ability to curb distractions can help you find some extra time in your day that you can use for, what else, yoga!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more health benefits to yoga, including mental and spiritual benefits. Like meditation, which we wrote about recently, it can help with clarity of mind. Yoga can be a spot of calm in our otherwise turbulent lives. It can also help us better connect with ourselves and our community.

This last tip probably goes without saying. If you’re ready to start a yoga practice, it’s helpful to find a yoga teacher you connect with in your area. Doing yoga with a trained teacher can help you get off to a good start and ensure you learn the postures properly and reduce the possibility of injury. We know not everyone can do this, however, so for you busy parents trying to squeeze in asanas between naptimes and school pickup, if you just want to get started, go easy on yourself and take it a step at at a time. Finding a DVD you connect with can also be helpful.

Okay, that’s it for now. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to reach out and let us know what you’d like to read about on the blog and,  of course, what you’d like us to carry in the store. We’re happy to carry Affirmats now at Modern Kids Design and you can find them in the store for men and women. Go and check out the lovely colors and let us know what you think. Cheers!