I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to traveling with my yoga mat; we’re not the best travel buddies.
I’ve spent money on fancy gear to address this issue.
I purchased a bag first; eventually it started to smell like stale sweat, so I washed it—and the warped mess I pulled out of the washing machine was never quite the same.
I also tried a sling. Slings work wonderfully while you wear them, but slip to the floor when you tip the mat upright for storage.
The result? A lazy pile of mat, unraveling itself ever so slowly. Pathetic.
I gave up, opting to invest in another mat instead. My primary mat stayed at the studio and my home mat stood wedged tightly between the wall and the refrigerator, staying erect and cooperative whether it liked it or not.
Recently, I was given The Yoga Mat Tie to take for a test run. The package arrived from Boulder in an envelope no bigger than my hand—inside was a looped piece of bungee cord with a large wooden bead, stamped with an image of a perfect Warrior II, at one end.
Really? I thought. That’s it?
Included with the tie was a company business card that boasted, “The most ridiculously easy way to tame your yoga mat!” Under that proclamation was Brian Saeger’s (the creator of this little gadget) contact information.
Alright, Brian. I’ll be the judge of that.
This product, which Brian makes with his own two hands, surprised me. Not only was the design no-nonsense, it was just as simple to use. The durable bungee cord wraps around your rolled yoga mat, hooking over the bead. That’s the only step that separates you from a securely rolled mat that you can take anywhere.
The tie is small enough to toss in a coat pocket when your mat is unrolled, so you never have to worry about leaving it behind. There is no loosening or tightening of straps required. When secured, the tie doesn’t move from where you bind it—no slipping to the floor.
Perhaps best of all, the tie has a simple construction: a cord and a bead, which requires zero maintenance. This isn’t a piece of equipment that will stink-up and require washing or warp and weaken over time.
The Yoga Mat Tie comes in two sizes: standard and large.
The standard is (you guessed it) pretty standard and I imagine will fit most, if not all, mats nicely. I was sent a large, which could easily bind two mats together; or, if you’re like me and frequent a hot yoga studio, the tie accommodates a mat and a towel.
The Yoga Mat Tie website provides the buyer-to-be with an array of cord and bead colors to choose from, and every color combination is available in both the standard and the large sizes.
I may be a sucker for gear, but I lose interest quickly if the product isn’t quality. That being said, I doubt I would ever need replace this piece of equipment—the product, as “ridiculously” simple as the design may be, has been made to last.
I found a picture of Brian working in front of a drill press with a bucket of beads beside him in the “about me” section of the site, and I take comfort in knowing this tie, my tie, passed through his hands with care and intention.
My relationship with my yoga mat has been restored, we will once again travel in harmony.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise