I had the recent pleasure of discovering Yellow Willow, a Melbourne based brand producing luxury, eco-friendly and high performance yoga mats.
Crafted by yogis, for yogis, each beautifully designed mat brings a new dimension to yoga.
Founders Jess Incledon and Sascha Martin, describe the ethos of the brand as "combining both the principals of traditional yoga with a modern and sensory touch – beauty plus performance".
Created with hot and Bikram yoga in mind, the mats are also eco- friendly and biodegradable. No latex, silicone, toxic glue, PVC or phthalates.
After test driving my "Iris" Yellow Willow mat at hot yoga over the past few weeks, its safe to say I am a serious convert. The print is visually enticing and the non-slip surface enabled my yoga transitions to flow (well, to the best of my ability). The surface also acts as an absorbant towel, which helped eliminate the distraction of toweling off.
After feeling ever so inspired by this wonderful product, I asked Jess and Sascha to share with me the evolution and inspiration behind Yellow Willow.
How did the concept of YW evolve? Yellow Willow evolved with an eagerness to create something functional yet beautiful, colourful and inspiring. We love practising yoga and through our own personal experiences, found it difficult to find a yoga mat that ticked all the boxes – functionality, comfort and aesthetics. They are often too slippery, too heavy, too rough or don’t stand the test of time. We know how important a good mat is to a yoga practice - a yoga mat should be more than just a barrier between you and the ground. They should inspire you to go deeper into your practise and help you be the best yogi you can be.
Yellow Willow, like yoga, is about finding the right balance and that essentially forms the foundation of how our mats were created. They are super soft on top allowing you to glide through your practise, with a grip on them which improves as you begin to warm up and sweat.
It is our love of design, movement and fashion combined with an understanding of what makes a great yoga mat which has helped us bring beauty and performance to the yoga experience.
The patterns of the mats are uniquely beautiful what is the inspiration behind each of the prints?When developing the designs, we had the aspiration of creating a chic and feminine range which wouldn’t take away from the yoga experience. The designs are simple and elegant, using an intricate repeated pattern that is purposely crafted to create a sense of continuity and a feeling of fluidity and stability.
The soft colour range; pink, green, navy and turquoise are timeless colours aimed to withstand the testament of time. Yoga mats are used so frequently, in a way they become your best (or worst) friend so we believe that a positive, fun and inspiring relationship with your mat can strengthen your yoga practise and this is exactly what we believe our unique and beautiful patterns achieve.
We have named our mats after flowers that are we believe evoke a sense of playfulness and beauty, reflecting the personality of each mat.
In terms of performance how can YW assist with hot yoga practice? Created with hot and Bikram yoga in mind, the unique top layer fabric keeps you strong in your poses, with high performance grip texture which increases in performance the warmer you get. Whilst staying in-tune with your body the eco rubber under-layer keeps the mat stable on the ground and the silky soft surface brings smooth fluidity to your practice.
Our super absorbent top layer doubles as a towel, enabling you to remain focussed during your practice - no fuss or distraction from a separate towel needed, helping you stay in the moment. The comfort of the mat allows your stretches to be deep and enduring.
The entire mat is 100% machine washable, so it can be refreshed as often as needed.
The mats are eco friendly and biodegradable what is your personal belief on the importance of sustainable and environmentally friendly products in and out of the yoga studio?
Yoga is a beautiful experience which enhances both mind and body cultivating respect and a sense responsibility for our environment. Choosing sustainable products that have a low impact on our earth is increasingly important in our world today.
Yellow Willow yoga mats are crafted using unique textured fabrics and pure natural rubber. They are eco-friendly and biodegradable (no latex, silicone, toxic glue, PVC or phthalates are used). We feel proud that we have created a product which stays true to these values.
What are you top 3 Melbourne yoga studios? Yoga 213, South Yarra; who wouldn’t want to let their heart sing by practising vinyasa flows to funky hip hop beats. This is modern yoga at its finest.
Power Living, Fitzroy; there is nothing quite like practicing yoga in the urban, edgy suburb of Fitzroy. The feeling of stepping out of this soothing converted warehouse in a into the hustle and bustle after a well-deserved savasana is bliss.
Humming Puppy; Prahran, the studio is beautifully designed. The interior and every detail is so well considered, making practising yoga an even more of a mind and body experience.
AUTHOR: BANNIE WILLIAMS