Title:
Anti-slip multi-layer yoga mat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An anti-slip, multi-layer exercise mat is provided having an upper fabric layer, a lower pliable foam layer, and an intermediate adhesive such that during use the mat provides the athlete with safety and comfort and during transport or storage the rolled mat provides convenience.



Inventors:
Vasishth, Vishal (Ojai, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/855231
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
05/25/2004
Assignee:
VASISHTH VISHAL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/420
International Classes:
A47G27/02; A63B23/02; A45F3/02; (IPC1-7): A47G9/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MAYO-PINNOCK, TARA LEIGH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul D. Chancellor (Simi Valley, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An improved yoga mat comprising: a first fabric layer having an upward facing surface for engaging the athlete; a second pliable foam layer having a second downward facing surface for engaging a support structure; and, an adhesive layer between said first and said second layers for joining said first and said second layers.

2. The yoga mat of claim 1 wherein the fabric layer is non-woven.

3. The yoga mat of claim 1 wherein the fabric layer is woven.

4. The yoga mat of claim 1 wherein the fabric layer is knitted.

5. The yoga mat of claim 1 wherein the fabric layer has a patterned three-dimensional upward facing surface.

6. The yoga mat of claim 5 wherein the upward facing surface of the foam layer has channels for collecting, dispersing, and rapidly evaporating moisture from the fabric layer.

7. The yoga mat of claim 6 wherein the fabric layer has a variable density increasing by about 5 to 40 percent from the upward facing surface of the fabric to the first downward facing surface of the fabric.

8. The yoga mat of claim 7 wherein the fabric layer is treated with a hydrophilic agent to promote wicking of moisture.

9. An improved yoga mat comprising: a first fabric layer having a first upward facing surface for engaging the athlete; a second pliable foam layer having a second downward facing grooved surface for engaging a support structure; and, an adhesive layer between at least a portion of said first and said second layers for joining said first and said second layers.

10. The yoga mat of claim 9 wherein channels are formed in a second upward facing surface of the foam layer for collecting, dispersing, and rapidly evaporating moisture from the fabric layer.

11. The yoga mat of claim 10 wherein a sticky polymer is applied to at least a portion of the fabric layer to resist slippage between the athlete and the mat.

12. The yoga mat of claim 11 wherein the sticky polymer is applied a first downward facing surface of the fabric layer and extruded through pores in the first upward facing surface of the fabric.

13. The yoga mat of claim 12 wherein the sticky polymer is applied using a printing process.

14. The yoga mat of claim 11 wherein the sticky polymer is applied to the first upward facing surface of the fabric layer.

15. The yoga mat of claim 14 wherein the sticky polymer is applied using a printing process.

16. The yoga mat of claim 15 wherein the fabric layer extends in its longest dimension beyond the foam layer to provide a fabric flap fitted with means for fastening the flap to a mating fastener at the opposite end of the mat.

17. The yoga mat of claim 15 wherein an edge of said mat has a plurality of holes through which pass endless elastic bands that can be pulled over the ends of the rolled mat to secure it.

18. A method of constructing an exercise mat comprising the steps of: preparing a foam layer by forming channels in its upward facing surface and forming grooves in its lower surface; preparing a fabric layer by applying a pattern of sticky polymer to at least a portion of its upward facing surface using a printing process; applying an adhesive to the raised portions of the upward facing foam surface; and, adhering the fabric layer to the upper foam surface;

19. The mat construction method of claim 14 wherein the sticky polymer is selectively applied for enhancing particular types of exercise.

20. The mat construction method of claim 15 wherein the sticky polymer pattern is chosen to optimize moisture transport from the fabric layer to the channels formed in the foam layer.

Description:

[0001] This application claims priority to provisional application 60/477,847 filed Jun. 11, 2003.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to athletic mats. More particularly, it relates to a mat used for yoga exercises.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Typical yoga mats have a single layer construction often made from foam. The safety and comfort of these mats is reduced when the athlete's perspiration wets the upper surface of the mat. The moisture acts as a lubricant, reducing the coefficient of friction between the athlete and the mat. This increases the likelihood the athlete will slip on the slippery upper surface of the mat. Moisture build-up also reduces the free circulation of air were the athlete touches the mat; this causes the athlete to experience an uncomfortable, sticky, wet sensation. What is needed is a yoga mat that provides the athlete with safety and comfort during different asanas even when the mat's upper surface is wetted by the athlete's perspiration.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention provides a multi-layer yoga mat able to be rolled for storage. A first fabric layer is laminated to a second foam layer by an intermediate adhesive. The fabric layer presents a comfortable, slip resistant surface for the athlete to rest on. The slip resistance of the fabric layer may be enhanced by application of a tacky polymer. A second foam layer provides a cushioning foundation and has an increased coefficient of friction with the floor for resisting slippage at this interface.

[0005] BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES

[0006] The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying figures. In the figures, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most digit or digits of a reference number identify the figure in which the reference number first appears. The accompanying figures, which are incorporated herein and form part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the invention.

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of the yoga mat constructed in accordance with the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of a surface pattern of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of an extended fabric layer of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of elastic bands of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of side straps of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

[0013] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of shoulder straps of the yoga mat of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] Introduction

[0015] The present invention provides a slip resistant, absorbent athletic mat suitable for use as a yoga exercise mat. Advantages of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0016] Detailed Description

[0017] FIG. 1 shows a mat having a first layer 102, an intermediate layer 104, and a second layer 106. First layer 102 is a fabric with a three-dimensional, patterned upper surface 108 and a substantially smooth lower surface 110. The first layer may be double layered knitted fabric. The first layer 102 may be made from a synthetic material like polyester or from a natural material like cotton. When the fabric layer is made from synthetic material, it may be treated with hydrophilic chemicals to promote moisture wicking action and dispersion of moisture. The density of the fabric layer may increase from fabric surface upper surface 108 to fabric layer lower surface 110. Increasing density by 5 to 40 percentage points promotes moisture transport and evaporation from the fabric layer upper surface.

[0018] The slip resistance of the fabric first layer 102 may be enhanced by the application of a tacky polymer 118. The tacky polymer may be applied to a portion of the fabric layer lower surface 110 and extruded through fabric layer upper surface pores 120. Alternatively, the tacky polymer may be applied to a portion of the fabric layer upper surface 108. The sticky polymer may be selectively applied to enhance particular types of exercise including yoga. In addition, sticky polymer may be applied in a pattern chosen to enhance moisture transport from the fabric layer to the foam layer upper surface channels 122. The tacky polymer may be applied by printing, rolling, brushing, or by another appropriate application process.

[0019] Referring still to FIG. 1, the second layer 106 is a pliable closed cell foam. The thickness of this layer may be in the range of 0.0625 inches to 0.5000 inches. The upper surface of the foam layer 106 may be substantially smooth or in another embodiment it may have channels 122 formed in a diamond pattern 302 (See FIG. 3) or in another pattern. Channels in the foam layer upper surface 112 provide receptacles adjacent to the fabric layer 102 for collecting and removing moisture. The lower surface of the foam layer 106 may be smooth or in another embodiment it have grooves 124 formed in a diamond pattern 302 or in another pattern. Grooves in the foam layer lower surface 114 provide pincers adjacent to the floor or support structure 126 that the mat rests on. These pincers flex and grip the floor as the athlete moves on the mat. This pincer action enhances the slip resistance of the mat at its interface with the floor. The foam layer may be a closed cell foam and may be made of polyester foam, polyurethane foam, or another suitable foam.

[0020] Referring still to FIG. 1, the intermediate layer 104 is an adhesive joining the first fabric layer and the second foam layer. The adhesive layer may be a heat activated film adhesive. Alternatively, another appropriate adhesive may be sprayed, brushed, rolled, or otherwise applied onto either the fabric layer lower surface 110 or the foam layer upper surface 112 or to both surfaces.

[0021] Referring now to FIG. 2, the cross-sectional view of the laminated structure is illustrated. The athlete comes into contact with the fabric layer upper surface 108. The foam layer 106 provides cushioning. The foam layer lower surface 114 contacts the floor or support surface 126.

[0022] Referring now to FIG. 4, the first fasteners 406 may be located on an upper surface 108 near a shorter edge of the mat 404. Mating second fasteners 408 may be located on the foam layer lower surface 114 near the midsection of the mat's longest dimension. When the mat is rolled, starting from the end opposite that of the first fasteners, one or more fasteners 406 are positioned adjacent to the mating second fasteners 408 and may be engaged to secure the roll for transport and storage. A Velcro fastening system may be used to form a continuous or semi-continuous (as shown in FIG. 4) closure. Other fasteners like buttons, snaps, and zippers may also be used. Fasteners may be sewn, glued, or mechanically attached to the mat.

[0023] Referring now to FIG. 5, in another embodiment the mat 202 may be secured by endless elastic bands 506 when rolled. The mat may have a plurality of through holes 508 near a shorter edge of the mat 504. The endless elastic bands pass through the holes 508. When the mat is rolled, the elastic bands may be pulled over the ends of the roll to secure the mat for transport and storage.

[0024] Referring now to FIG. 6, mat 202 may have two opposing tabs 604 located on the long edges 606 and near one end 404 of the mat. The tab projections 608 provide third fasteners 604 where the shoulder straps 706, 718 (See FIG. 7) with their mating fourth fasteners 704 may be attached (only one fastener 704 is shown). The third and fourth fasteners may include rotatable mechanical couplings providing for rotation between tabs and shoulder straps. Rotable fasteners are self-aligning, improving shoulder strap alignment and comfort while transporting the mat using the shoulder straps. Alternatively, fasteners may be Velcro, magnetic, or another suitable fastener.

[0025] Referring now to FIG. 7, the mat assembly 700 is shown including the rolled mat 202 with the shoulder straps 706 and 718 attached. The first shoulder strap 706 has a buckle or similar fastener 710 at one end, a fastener 704 at the opposite end, and a slidably engaged (as shown) or sewn-on pouch 708 between the ends. The second shoulder strap 718 has a mating buckle or similar fastener 712 at one end, a fastener 704 (not shown) at the opposite end, and a sidably engaged collar with rectangular cross-section 714 between the ends. To provide adjustable strap length, the second shoulder strap 718 is looped through the buckle 712 and has a free end 716. The free end 716 is secured by a sidable collar 714.

[0026] During Operation

[0027] When the mat 202 is in use, the athlete is cushioned and supported by the mat. The fabric layer upper surface 108 presents a cushioned and absorbent interface where the athlete encounters the mat. Forces exerted on the mat by the athlete are transferred through the intermediate adhesive layer 104 into the foam layer 106. Because perspiration that wets the fabric layer 102 is wicked away from the fabric layer upper surface by capillary action of the fabric layer, the athlete experiences a comfortable slip-resistant resting place.

[0028] The foam layer 106 provides cushioning and a slip resistant interface with the floor 126 that can be enhanced by the use of foam layer underside grooves 114. Foam layer upper surface channels 122 may also be used to collect and disperse moisture from the fabric layer 102. Both the wicking action and the channel dispersion spread the moisture over a larger surface area of the mat 202 and promote evaporation and drying of the mat.

[0029] The mat is designed for ease of use, care, and eventual disposal. Mat materials and construction allow for easy rolling and storage. Mat materials and construction also allow for washing in a conventional washing machine and drying flat in ambient air. In the case that only recyclable materials are used, the mat may be recycled when its useful life has ended.

CONCLUSION

[0030] While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.