Yantra Mat

Date Thu, January 13 2011

I was immediately curious when I saw the Yantra Mat. The design of this acupressure mat was unlike anything I’d ever seen and who can’t use a little help in relieving stress and pain?

The mat I received is the purple version which, according to the included pamphlet, is a colour that is symbolic for meditation. This matches the meditation symbol on the back/bottom of the mat. I could always use more meditation and I hoped that I would feel relaxed after using the Yantra Mat but, truthfully, I could never get really comfortable or let go of my anxiety when using the mat.

After removing the mat from its cylindrical bag, which has a handle/strap running down the length and is great for travel, I lay it on my bed and tried to position myself so it would lie under my back and shoulders–where I frequently feel tension. However, I quickly found that the plastic flowers that create the pressure were far too pointy for me to be comfortable. The guide suggests lying with a t-shirt or sheet over the mat and I tried that. I have to say that while this was more comfortable, I was constantly afraid of the fabric becoming caught on the plastic flower spikes and ripping. I say this because it would snag a bit when I moved (lying down, getting up or adjusting myself).

Thus, it’s pretty hard for me to believe that anyone could find this comfortable enough to use as a pillow, directly on the head or face. Plus, I can imagine that women would find their hair becoming caught on the mat. This makes me sad because I believe the people at Yantra are on to something. When I lie on the mat, I enjoy the shift is causes in how my body sits. This could be especially beneficial after a long day at work, if you tend to remain in the same position (either sitting or standing, for example).

I just think that the angular, pointy design is not as developed as it should be. To me, the Yantra Mat would be more effective if the contact points met the body at a flat surface, as in my illustration below:

I feel that the high point of the Yanta Mat is that the pressure points change the weigh your weight sits when at rest, not the specific shape, so using a shape that is more comfortable would be beneficial. To me, the mat doesn’t really effectively provide acupressure but perhaps this could be achieved by simply using smaller points (more like needles).

If you are a fan of the Yantra Mat, you the included bag makes it easy to travel with. The guide recommends removing the inner foam (a rectangular pad of about an inch thick) and simply using it on a bed when you are away from home so as to use less space in you luggage. Removing the slip cover–that is similar to a pillowcase and secures via velcro on the open end–also allows you to hand wash the mat with laundry or dish soap. Drip drying is the preferred method of drying.

Although the discomfort of the Yantra Mat does subside, it’s still more noticeable than I’d like even after the original five minutes. I can use it for ten or twenty minutes without problem but cannot imagine falling asleep on it as the guide suggests some people do. I’m sure others will not be as sensitive to the Yantra Mat but I had my roommate try it out, too, and while she also liked the idea, she found it too uncomfortable for use for more than a few minutes.

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