Valerie: My journey with yoga began when I was a young girl. My father would wake me up in the mornings and we would do Steve Ross Yoga together. It was a special time that allowed me to connect with my Dad, my body, and my mind before the day started. As I worked on my strength and flexibility this way, it helped me feel more together and collected in other areas of my life.
In college, I decided to do a 200-hour yoga teacher training and quickly discovered that the more connected we can get with our bodies, the more connected we are to others around us and our environments. I had decided to do this course because I wanted to dive deeper into anatomy, yoga philosophy, and meditation. It was a busy time in my life with college classes, a job, a husband, and a full-time yoga training but I had never felt more calm and confident that I would be able to juggle the various aspects of life.
Ryan: This is when I jumped into this whole yoga world. Valerie was getting up each morning at 5:40 am to go practice her own yoga and to teach others. She would then teach again in the evenings on certain days of the week, so naturally, she wanted someone to be her student as she prepared various flows for her classes. I began doing a lot more yoga all of the sudden!
I had done yoga once or twice before and considered it a sub-par workout, mostly because I couldn’t do many of the poses and wasn't at a gym with barbells in my hands. However, once I really started to be intentional with my practice and began giving yoga a chance both physically and mentally, I really fell in love with it. I began experiencing the benefits of meditation, stretching, balance, and strength.
Valerie: Upon completing my training, I wanted to share what I had learned with the community. I began teaching classes from an empty storefront that my father in law owned. The space was unfinished but large and allowed me to begin sharing my love of yoga with others.
After consistent daily use of my old yoga mat, it began showing signs of wear and tear, I began searching for the best yoga mat I could find. I wanted to find a mat that would allow me to practice my best yoga and feel connected to the Earth throughout my flows.
For this same purpose, we created the AuraMat, the world's first color changing yoga mat. This mat allows you to feel more connected to your movements and your body because you can see the marks you leave on the mat.
Ryan: When I touched our very first prototype, it dawned on my that not only was this going to be an awesome product which would bring a lot of magic to people's practice, but it would be helpful—almost like having your own yoga instructor with you each time you practice. Valerie has told me countless times to make sure the pressure is in my fingers and not my wrist in down dog; with the AuraMat, I can actually tell where the pressure is! She has reminded me again and again to keep the pressure on the outside of my back foot in warrior II; with this mat I am reminded each time I see my previous position.
Valerie & Ryan: We are excited to share the AuraMat with you! Thank you for backing this project. We plan on using the money to pay for our first shipment of mats and to expand our reach to the world. We are going to try to move as quickly as we can to get into retail stores, to get new color variations, new mat textures, and more. It all begins right here.
Your funding is going towards an amazing product but also towards us as a team. We have partnered with a world-class manufacturing team who has launched successful Kickstart products previously and has extensive experience in building quality products. With our team in place, we are confident that AuraMats will be a great product for you and will be a great business for future products.
When we first thought of the AuraMat we figured "how hard could it be?" but little did we know at the time that yoga mats are no simple product. The science and engineering that goes into making these mats is incredible.
We have spent the last year and a half testing, experimenting and combining hundreds of different combinations of foam and thermochromic pigments in order to to achieve the amazing results we are pleased to present today.
It turns out there are dozens of common types of foam materials used in yoga mats today and the range of quality amongst them is drastic. We were only willing to use the best and most materials and not all of them would bond with the pigment. It took months of testing and several trips to China before we found the right factories to make what the AuraMat required!
Risks and challenges
We have been working on the technology that drives the AuraMat™ for over a year and a half now. We have refined the design and prototypes and have selected a world-class yoga mat manufacturer. However, every project carries with it certain risks. The most common risks are potential delays in obtaining raw materials, packaging, and shipping. While we feel like we have reduced these variables as much as possible, they can never be completely eliminated. That being said, we are not afraid to work long and hard in order to overcome any obstacles that may come our way. Namaste.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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