Kia Ora, I'm Danny, the Founder of Valka Yoga
Five years go, I found myself in a rather uncomfortable place - face-down on a yoga mat. It wasn't child's pose that was the cause of my discomfort. It was my smelly yoga mat. I had done my due diligence and bought what was supposed to be the best yoga mat in the market. I was not impressed. It slipped whenever I started to sweat, making it unsuitable for intense yoga sessions. It smelled like petrol the first few weeks and a pair of old shoes a few weeks later. Upon further research, I found that most yoga mats are made from cheap plastics that are made to imitate rubber. To cut costs, these synthetic yoga mats are often dyed and printed with heavy metal laced inks. These yoga mats are never recycled. Instead, after a few years of use, they end up in a landfill where they will take centuries to breakdown. Whether I liked it or not, I was practising yoga on a ticking, environmental time bomb.
With a background in consulting and a passion for yoga, I did what many millennials dream of doing. I quit my job to start a yoga mat brand. As they say - When life gives you Lululemons, make a better yoga mat!