Although lots of people have cut back on luxury item purchases recently, apparently luxury yoga mat sales have never been stronger. A Time magazine article reports that Manduka, the undisputed Porsche/Ferrari/Cadillac/[insert your favorite luxury car] of yoga mats, has seen its sales rise 55% in the first quarter of 2009. A slightly odd trend when apparently moola is in short supply.
So, how do you explain the numbers? One smart sounding marketing professor explained, “With hedonic consumption, at some point you’re going to feel quite a bit of guilt,” but “[i]f the luxury item has some kind of functional value, you’re not going to feel that guilt.” I certainly can’t disagree with that assessment, especially when yoga makes you feel so good. I also think the rise in sales simply has to do with the ever-growing number of people trying out yoga, wearing out their first yoga mat, and then deciding to upgrade. Honestly, is there ever a bad time to buy a yoga mat?
I definitely love my Black Mat Pro (I mean everyone’s buying one so I had to get one too). I just wish it wasn’t so heavy or I would have lugged it out to the lovely desert. Currently I’m searching for anything that resembles a mat, luxury or otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t mind the Manduka Prolite, but I have to draw the luxury line somewhere, so basically I’m considering using an old pink blanket a previous occupant left in my room as a yoga mat. You do what you have to do.
And if you really want to splurge, why not just get the package deal?