Slipping on a sweaty yoga mat can be a nuisance, but would you pay $1,000 to avoid this aggravation? Cedric Yau is banking on it. His company, BallerYoga, has a developed a mat made from the same leather as footballs to provide what it touts as the perfect grip.
The target audience figures to be the smaller but growing segment of the yoga community that is more interested in the workout aspects than the metaphysical vibes, what with "Baller" as part of its corporate name and football laces accessorizing the mat.
"To Yau, all he's really doing is taking an item 'out of the yoga realm' and putting it into 'the premium-goods realm,' with the commensurate price increase," Des Bieler wrote in the Washington Post. "And if that seems unbearably crass to yoga practitioners who put a premium on a more spiritual experience, well, the BallerYoga mat is simply not for them."
BallerYoga is also making the rich smell of the leather as a selling point. Consider this line from its website:
"Cherish every child's pose and be brought back to the days of Pop Warner."
Admittedly we've done no scientific research, but we're pretty confident in saying the vast majority of yoga practitioners did not compete in Pop Warner football, which speaks to the company's niche clientele.