IKEHIKO Japanese Tatami Yoga Mats | The Scent of Japan
Tatami: Why You Need It For Your Home
It’s All Natural
Tatami is a mat made from “igusa” (rush). The process of making tatami takes quite a bit of skill, and the tatami on the market varies greatly in quality. At IKEHIKO, the brand behind these amazing tatami yoga mats, all of the igusa used is grown right in front of their facility. This ensures a consistent quality that is unbeatable on the market.
It Has a Unique Scent
One of the characteristics of tatami is its unique aroma. The aroma of tatami comes from phytoncides (essential oils) that occur naturally in the rush. These essential oils can be found in a variety of plants and trees and are believed to be the cause of the relaxing and immunity-boosting effect of spending time in the forest, called forest bathing or “shinrinyoku” in Japanese.
It Has Deodorizing Properties
One of the amazing properties of tatami is its ability to deodorize. Igusa is a naturally antibacterial material that can kill the bacteria that causes foot and body odor. A whole room full of tatami can even deodorize the air, helping get rid of unpleasant odors while maintaining a fresh, natural scent.
It Is a Part of Japanese Culture and Tradition
Tatami is an integral part of a traditional Japanese living space. There’s something special about the feeling of walking barefoot across a tatami floor and smelling the unique fragrance that it gives off. It is a connection with the past that remains a source of comfort to people in the present.
Why Turn Tatami Into Yoga Mats?
Tatami Complements the Fundamentals of Yoga
The fresh scent and natural texture of tatami foster a connection with the natural world and help create a soothing environment. As it is meant to be walked on with bare feet, tatami is ideal for a practice like yoga. In addition, tatami is quite durable, and is also resistant to dirt and odors, making it ideal for repeated, everyday use.
It Is Versatile
Although it is designed to be used while practicing yoga, the craftsmanship and finishing on these tatami yoga mats make them beautiful enough to be left out as a mat in the living room or a runner in the hallway. They are comfortable to sit or stand on, regardless of the activity you are doing.
Features of IKEHIKO Japanese Tatami Yoga Mats
What Else Makes These Yoga Mats Special?
Although making yoga mats out of tatami are a new idea, IKEHIKO has more than a hundred years of experience weaving traditional tatami mats, and the traditional weaving techniques used have proven to be durable and long-lasting. Igusa is also a naturally durable material.
Crafted with expertise built up over 100 years, these tatami yoga mats are premium in quality. They are firm yet comfortable, ideal for maintaining solid footing while holding a yoga pose or lying down comfortably.
A Design for Everyone
The tatami yoga mats come in a variety of simple designs that are stylish while respecting the tradition of tatami. With designs ranging from plain, uncolored tatami to carefully woven images of Mount Fuji, the tatami yoga mats feature natural colors that evoke a sense of harmony with nature. (More design options below!)
How IKEHIKO Tatami Yoga Mats Are Made
IKEHIKO, the brand behind these innovative yoga mats, has been making traditional tatami mats since 1886.Learn more about IKEHIKO
Just as with other traditional Japanese crafts, making tatami is a multi-step process that involves multiple “shokunin” (craftsmen) who specialize in just one aspect of the creation process. This ensures a level of quality that could not be matched by a single individual working alone. From the growers to the dye specialists to the weaving specialists, each tatami yoga mat is crafted by the combined expert work of several shokunin.
The entire process of making a tatami yoga mat can be said to take almost two years. Igusa takes about 10 months to grow, after which it must dry out for one full year. Next, as many of the tatami yoga mats involve colorful designs, the dried igusa is dyed in various colors in a process that takes about 3 days. At this point, the igusa is sorted by length and quality in a process that takes another day. Finally, the yoga mat itself is woven, sewn, attached to the non-slip bottom, and finished.
The final product is a labor of love that is meant to be enjoyed for a long time. We hope that you will consider purchasing, owning, and using this piece of Japanese culture that holds such a dear place in the hearts of many Japanese people.