When we’re worn down, we seek solace where we can find it. For many, they find it yoga.
Why does yoga work so well for so many people? It’s a combination of many things, a rare point where science and the spiritual collide in serene ecstasy. But among its many attributes, its meditative focus on proper breathing is perhaps the biggest reason it can calm racing hearts and soothe frayed nerves. Prana Manila, a fledgling, Manila-based company takes this one step further by taking us away from the moment of stress to a moment of wonder. Breathe in the present and breathe out into the world.
Get A Grip
Prana Manila’s yoga mats are soft, plush and maintain a good grip even if you’ve been sweating buckets. But what makes them extra special, especially to a Millennial subset obsessed with #aesthetic, is their look. We say this without the least bit of sarcasm because Prana Manila’s yoga mats are—literally—works of art. They’re the creation of artist and Prana Manila co-owner Lea Valenzuela’s whimsy and imagination. In their current collection, the soft suede texture gives way to dolphins diving into the horizon, a pool ladder that dips into infinity, and a wave that dives into you as you dive into your downward dog. These are just some of the dreamy, surreal landscapes that you can escape into for your practice, whether it’s a quick ten-minute stretch or an hour-long devotion.
Partner In Calm
“The yoga mat is your safe space your partner. It’s important to find a mat that has the comfort and durability you need to support you and your practice,” states Valenzuela as we chat via Instagram. “I never fully understood its value until I started doing home yoga and had several issues with my mat. I struggled with stability in my poses; my elbows and knees got easily bruised and the material easily deteriorated.”
Valenzuela is refreshingly casual, giggly even, for a person who is so very involved in yoga. Too many times first-timers or casual learners are intimidated by the new age jargon, no matter how sincere the source. But Valenzuala speaks without airs, even as she’s explaining how her creations were inspired by our collective desire to travel and to be close to nature. So if you’re interested in a Prana Manila mat because, well, it looks cute—it’s fine. We all start somewhere, and if yours happens to be a pastel-colored rice field that looks good on the ‘Gram, then so be it.
“It was during the isolation period when I rediscovered yoga and meditation as a great way to combat the day-by-day quarantine depression,” explains Valenzuela. “Every time I come to the mat, it allowed me to unload and let go of what no longer served me.” Namaste to that.
Follow Prana Manila on Instagram (@pranamanila)