You are here

The Yoga Mat That's About to Change the Way You Practice


Tera mat, you officially have competition.

Meet SmartMat: your yoga class, yoga mat and yoga instructor packaged together in one really exciting product. First, there's the rechargeable mat, which uses pressure sensors to determine how you're posing, moving and balancing. Then there's the app, which has yoga classes for the newbie, the pro, and everyone in between. Put 'em together and you've got some seriously convenient at-home yoga classes.

"We're really hoping to open up yoga and really make it acceptable to a wider market," says founder Neyma Jahan. "There are a lot of people who want to practice yoga, but they're just not into going to a daily yoga class."

While you stretch and bend with the class, the mat will detect how you're doing, and the app—using audio and graphics—tells you how to improve. Because it rolls up like a regular mat, you can turn the audio off and bring it where you need it—including your favorite studio, if you still plan on going to those (we won't judge). And no need to worry about accuracy: Before you begin oming with the app, there's a calibration process, which allows SmartMat to really learn your body's shape and dimensions.

"The vision is that we're creating an inclusive yoga platform where people can practice on their own with electronics or they can practice with a teacher assist using SmartMat," says Jahan.

Add it to your wish list yet? While the mat won't be available until July of next year, you can pre-order it now for $297. It may sound like a lot up front, but think about how quickly you'll pose your way through the price—in New York City, that's the equivalent of about nine classes.

And even if you're a major studio junkie, don't worry, we're not shaming you. "I don't think this means the end of yoga teachers," says Jahan. "I think that there are things a yoga teacher can add to a person's practice that are just impossible with machinery and software. But there are also things the software can recognize that a teacher couldn't. I think the future of yoga going forward is a balance."

Figuratively and literally. Namaste.