Title:
Yoga force exercise mat with built in carry straps and wallet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise mat includes two side edges having the same length, a top edge having a first length and a bottom edge having a second length, wherein the first length of the top edge is greater than the second length of the bottom edge, such that the exercise mat is shaped to correspond to a natural shape of a user, wherein the user's head and torso are supported near the top edge of the exercise mat and the user's legs and feet are supported near the bottom edge.



Inventors:
Appleby, Anne Eileen (Burlingame, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/408852
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
08/11/2003
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/32; A63B69/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PINNACLE PATENT LAW GROUP (1280 28TH AVENUE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 94122, US)
Claims:
1. 1-7. (canceled)

8. An exercise mat comprising: (a) two side edges having the same length, each of the two side edges having a top end and an opposing bottom end; (b) a top edge having a first length, wherein the top edge is connected to the top ends of the two side edges; and (c) a bottom edge having a second length, wherein the bottom edge is connected to the bottom ends of the two side edges, wherein the first length of the top edge is greater than the second length of the bottom edge, such that the exercise mat is shaped to correspond to a natural shape of a user, wherein the user's head and torso are supported near the top edge of the exercise mat and the user's legs and feet are supported near the bottom edge.

9. An exercise mat according to claim 8 further comprising a top surface and a bottom surface, wherein the user contacts the top surface and the bottom surface contacts a floor.

10. An exercise mat according to claim 9 wherein the top surface comprises a plurality of alignment stripes, wherein one of the plurality of alignment stripes is a vertical stripe that bisects the top surface of the exercise mat into two equal portions.

11. An exercise mat according to claim 10 where at least one of the plurality of alignment stripes is a horizontal stripe.

12. An exercise mat according to claim 8 further comprising an integrated carrying harness for transporting or storing the exercise mat when the mat is in a contracted position.

13. An exercise mat according to claim 12 wherein the carrying harness comprises at least one carrying strap coupled to the exercise mat at either the top edge or the bottom edge.

14. An exercise mat according to claim 12 wherein the carrying harness comprises at least one securing lace coupled to the exercise mat at either the top edge or the bottom edge for holding the exercise mat in a contracted position when the mat is not in use.

15. An exercise mat according to claim 14 wherein the at least one securing lace comprises a velcro strip

16. An exerciser mat according to claim 12 wherein the carrying harness further comprises a removable container for storing the user's personal items.

17. An exercise mat comprising: (a) two side edges having the same length, each of the two side edges having a top end and an opposing bottom end; (b) a top edge having a first length, wherein the top edge is connected to the top ends of the two side edges; and (c) a bottom edge having a second length, wherein the bottom edge is connected to the bottom ends of the two side edges, wherein the first length of the top edge is greater than the second length of the bottom edge; and (d) an integrated carrying harness for transporting or storing the exercise mat when the mat is in a contracted position, the carrying harness comprising at least one carrying strap coupled to the exercise mat at either the top edge or the bottom edge, at least one securing lace for holding the exercise mat in the contracted position when the mat is not in use, and a removable container for storing the user's personal items.

18. An exercise mat according to claim 17 wherein the at least one securing lace is a Velcro strip.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Embodiments of the present invention relate to an exercise mat, and more particularly to an exercise mat that is ergonomically configured to optimize a user's position and form.

Exercise mats are generally placed on a floor to cushion a user's body from the hardness of the floor's surface. Such mats are commonly used by those who practice yoga, Pilates and other body strength building exercises performed on a flat, hard surface, e.g., the floor.

Typically, an exercise mat, e.g., a yoga mat, its designed to be used by a single user. Accordingly, the mat's size is designed to accommodate a user's shape and size without taking up too much floor space. The conventional yoga mat is rectangular in shape, where the length of the long sides correspond approximately to an average person's height and the length of the short sides correspond approximately to an average person's shoulder width. The mat is also thin so that it can be rolled up and carried by the user.

The conventional yoga mat is deficient in several aspects. First, the shape and size of the mat is highly inefficient and does not take into consideration the user's body shape or the purpose for which the user is using the mat. Furthermore, when rolled up, the mat is cumbersome to carry unless the user provides an additional carrying apparatus, such as a tote bag or carrying case, that is large enough to enclose the rolled up mat.

Accordingly, it is desirable to have an exercise mat that accommodates the user's shape and size, while minimizing the mat's footprint. In addition, it is desirable for an exercise mat to be easily transportable without extra bags and/or accessories.

SUMMARY

An exercise mat includes two side edges having the same length, a top edge having a first length and a bottom edge having a second length. The first length of the top edge is greater than the second length of the bottom edge such that the exercise mat is tapered to correspond to a natural shape of a user. During use, the user's head and torso are supported near the top edge of the exercise mat and the user's legs and feet are supported near the bottom edge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, which illustrate examples of the invention. Nevertheless, it is to be understood that each of the features can be used in the invention in general, not merely in the context of the particular drawings, and the invention includes any combination of these features, where:

FIG. 1 is a top view of an exercise mat according to one version of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention relate to an exercise mat, and more particularly to an exercise mat that is ergonomically shaped to optimize a user's position and form. The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements. Various modifications to the preferred embodiment and the generic principles and features described herein will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.

FIG. 1 is a top view of an exercise mat according to one version of the present invention. The exercise mat 10 comprises two longitudinal edges 16 that are equal in length and a top edge 14 and a bottom edge 12. In a preferred embodiment, the top edge 14 is longer in length than the bottom edge 12 such that the mat 10 is a tapered trapozoid. This shape corresponds to a user's natural body shape—i.e., broad at the shoulders/torso and narrow at the feet. By tapering the mat 10 according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a user's head and torso are fully supported near the tip edge 14 of the mat 10 and the user's legs and feet are supported near the bottom edge 12.

Simultaneously, the mat's 10 footprint, i.e., the floor space it occupies, is optimized. The conventional yoga mat is rectangular in shape, having a width of 24 inches. In contrast, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the mat's top edge 14 comprises a length ranging from 28 inches to 32 inches and preferably is 29 inches. The bottom edge 12 comprises a length ranging from 18 inches to 22 inches, and preferably is 21 inches. Because the size and shape of the mat 10 of the present invention is optimized, more practitioners can participate in an exercise session.

In a preferred embodiment, the mat 10 is constructed from a flexible, wear-resistant material. The surface of the mat 10 is treated so that when the mat 10 is placed on a smooth surface, such as an exercise floor, the mat 10 stays in place, i.e., does not slide.

The mat 10 also preferably includes a plurality of alignment stripes 30, 32. The alignment stripes include at least one vertical stripe 32 and at least one horizontal stripe 30 that form an alignment grid on the surface of the mat 10 facing the user. The alignment grid can help the user to achieve proper body alignment during the exercise session, and can also help an instructor explain where to place one's body for a particular Yoga pose or Pilates position or Floor Exercise position.

In a preferred embodiment, the alignment grid comprises one vertical stripe 32 that bisects, i.e., runs down the center of, the mat 10, and three horizontal stripes 30 that intersect the vertical stripe 32 at points equidistance from one another. Accordingly, in this embodiment, the horizontal stripes 30 divide the mat 10 into four (4) sections. This embodiment is particularly well suited for performing Yoga poses and Pilates positions, which require precise balancing and positioning.

In another preferred embodiment, the mat 10 comprises an integrated carrying harness that allows the user to carry the mat 10 more easily when the mat 10 is in a contracted, i.e., rolled up or folded, position. The carrying harness includes at least one carrying strap 18 that is coupled to either the top 14 or bottom 12 edge of the mat 10.

The carrying harness can also include at least one securing lace 22 coupled to the exercise mat 10 at either the top 14 or bottom 12 edge. If the carrying strap 18 and securing lace 22 are used simultaneously, the securing lace 22 is located at the same edge to which the carrying strap 18 is attached. The securing lace 22 holds the mat 10 in the contracted position when the mat 10 is not in use. In one preferred embodiment, the at least one securing lace 22 can be a Velcro strip, while in another preferred embodiment, the at least one securing lace 22 can include a connecting buckle

The carrying harness can also include a removable container 20, e.g., a wallet, for holding the user's personal items, e.g., identification and keys. The removable container 20 can be removeably coupled to the carrying strap 18 via a Velcro strap or some other well known non-permanent attachment assembly, e.g., a button, a snap, etc

The exercise mat 10 of the present invention is shaped to correspond to the natural shape of the human body. In particular, the mat 10 is tapered from its top edge 14 to its bottom edge 12. The tapered shape allows optimal cushioning for the user's body and minimizes the mat's footprint thereby conserving space. The exercise mat 10 also includes an integrated carrying system comprising carrying straps 18, securing laces 22 and a detachable container 20 for holding the user's personal items.

The present invention has been described in accordance with the embodiments shown, and one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that there could be variations to the embodiments, and any variations would be within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, many modifications may be made by one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.





 
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