“The central circle is a reference point,” says Lululemon senior designer Stephen Morris. “The ripples will touch your hands in certain ways when you're in different poses that over time will become cues that you're symmetrical, that you're in the right pose.”
While most other alignment mats have indicators that are purely visual, the Take Form mat’s ripples are slightly raised so that users can feel them during their practice. (Lululemon calls this “3-D zoned cushioning”) The company sent me a mat to try out. While there’s more padding in the center of the circle, the difference is barely noticeable. Each ripple is subtle, like a soft raised bump.
“Most people are using these visual cues, whether that's looking at the teacher or looking around at different students in the class or maybe looking at yourself in a mirror,” says Chantelle Murnaghan, director of Lululemon’s research department, Whitespace Labs. The idea behind the ripples, she says, is that users can feel their way around the mat during their practice, without needing to look down or even open their eyes.
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