I have (somewhat) recently taken up yoga again. Of all the mat-based exercises, I've tended to favor Pilates over the years. At some point, I got bored with it – or at least didn't want to continue paying for the classes on top of the exorbitant fees I already pay to go to the gym.
Earlier this year, I discovered my gym hires actual yoga instructors to teach the yoga classes. Better yet, I found two that make each of their classes different and interesting! So, I finally decided that perhaps I will buy my own mat.
There is a ‘hot yoga’ studio right behind the building where I work, and I remembered that they had thick mats - and suspected they sold them as well. Easy peasy, right? As a practical, ‘type-A’ accountant dealing with…people who are not, here’s how that went:
The studio only has someone at the desk just before/after classes. Fortunately, when I arrived, there were only a couple of people signing in for class.
Me: Hi, I’d like to buy a yoga mat.
Guru: Sure –we have three styles. The beginner mats are behind you, the next level up is along the wall, and [checks someone in] we have new ones coming in soon! [Runs to office, grabs mat to show me.] This one is $125.
Me: …. (blinks)
Guru: The ones along the wall are $85. [Runs off to check someone in.]
Me: What is the difference between the $85 mats and the beginner mats ($28)?
Guru: Well, you get what you pay for, aye? [Checks someone in.]
Me: [Compares mats.] Ok…the thickness and length don’t seem different.
Guru: No. [Checking more people in. Seriously, no one else is around to help.]
Me: … So, the difference is..?
Guru: Well, the quality is different, isn’t it? You really get what you pay for. Heaps of people buy the beginner mats – it’s ok.
Me: … So…the higher-end mat is less slippery…? I’m trying to figure out what makes it better.
Guru: [Checks people in.] If you are worried about the mat being slippery, I’d recommend getting the beginner mat and a yoga mat towel.
Me: [Checks out the towels…$75!! Line to sign in is now 6 people deep.]