Flamingo Yoga e-Boutique

Let us connect back with nature

Our Story

In the beginning of my yoga journey, buying a mat did not pose any glitches. Only two things mattered  then – the  cost and the colour of the mat; and the decision was easy. But as my practice deepened, the need to connect directly to earth, without  an artificial barrier in between became important.

In addition, knowing that PVC mats becomes a burden to the environment, it was difficult to be happy with the mat I was using.  I felt the need to work in tune with nature and not against it.

Seated prayers in India never involve artificial materials. We use wooden planks, Dharbha grass or special mats made of natural materials specially designed for the purpose.

To me, Yoga is a sacred and  spiritual practice through which we become one with  nature. So how can we use artificial mats for the practice? 

Thus began my search for a natural yoga mat. I felt this urge to bring back that connection to nature without having to worry about the consequences of  yoga practice.

Seeing how difficult it was to get natural yoga accessories, it became my next purpose – to introduce sustainable and handmade yoga accessories to the UAE market, build awareness and encourage responsible yoga practice. 

 

  The decision itself is easy, but the actualization is tough. Two years of research  later, and with tremendous support from my husband, friends and well wishers, Flamingo Yoga & Wellness is now  is committed to bring forth 100%  natural yoga  accessories to the UAE and slowly to the GCC countries.

 

Hema Laxman, Owner

Child Pose

What is special about our yoga products?

Plastic free products and packaging

We do not use plastic in our products or packaging. Our packaging is made of ecofriednly materials which can be reused or recycled

No phthalates, PVC or harmful chemicals in our products

Free from harmful chemicals

Our products are free of PVC, Phthalates and harmful chemicals. We use "Azo free dyes" for colouring

Ecofriendly & biodegradable

All products are long lasting, reusable and environmentally friendly

Handwoven / handmade

Our mats and blankets are handwoven by rural artisans in India. All products are sourced from small businesses and are all handmade

We support our weaving community

We give back to the weavers

`AED 5/ from every purchase made is set aside for the benefit of weaving community

With this venture, we hope to build awareness and encourage the use of ecofriendly and sustainable yoga products. In addition, we will strive to support the weaving community in India who bring us these beautiful yoga accessories

you can practice yoga, knowing that every purchase you make is contributing to a good cause

Materials we use in our products

Cotton branch

Natural Cotton

 Cotton is  breathable, hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable natural fibre. Our mats, straps and the inner and outer covers of our bolsters are made entirely of 100% natural cotton making them the perfect accessory for your yoga needs.

Natural Cork

Our blocks are made from 100% cork which is sustainably sourced. They are a natural product taken from the bark of the tree and no trees are cut down in the process. Cork is light, antimicrobial, provides excellent support and are firmer than foam blocks.

Flax seeds and Lavender

Flax seeds being another natural product is our choice for filling our eye pillows. The eye pillow shuts out the light, and the gentle pressure  it provides on the eyes along with the scent of lavender helps to relieve tension and stress.

Kapok Fibres

Also known as Silk cotton, it is taken from the pod of a tropical tree. Its soft and plush fibers are air dried and used extensively in filling of cushions. Kapoks is 8 times lighter than cotton making our bolsters super light, yet firm.

Buckwheat Hulls

Our choice of filling the Zafu cushions. It conforms to the shape of the body, and provide good support. It allows air circulation and does not retain or emit heat, making them suitable for use in all climates. Prior to filling, buckwheat hulls are heat treated with Neem leaves (without chemicals) .

“We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” ― Howard Zinn​

With your support, we can all be part of that change in making Earth a better place

Our visit to the weavers in India

We have a community of 48 weavers and they are the creators of our unique, eco-friendly and handwoven yoga mats and blankets. Each weaver spends half a day to a full day to complete the weaving of a mat/blanket. The entire process is labour intensive as they use manual looms driven by constant movement of hands or feet. No power is used in the  process. Weaving is the only work they know and consequently their only source of income.

There are two different sets of yarns:  ‘warp’ which is stretched in place in the loom and the weft which is the moving component, threaded through the warp during the weaving process. 

We underestimate the amount of work that goes into the making of these blankets and yoga mats. 

All the props that we sell through our website comes through these artisans. Nothing is automated. Each bolster, meditation cushion and eye pillow are filled by hand and stitched to bring us ease and comfort during yoga.

Through the images below, let me try to take you through the  process from dyeing of cotton to the end result which is the blanket and yoga mats. These images were clicked during our visit to the weavers.

Water recycling at the Dyeing Centre

There is a mini-water treatment plant is within the facility where the yarns are dyed. After the dyeing process is complete, water is treated here to be reused and recycled within the facility – Hence, no  harm to the environment.

Dyeing process for the cotton yarns

 AZO FREE dyes are used for coloring . You can see the large steel rods holding the yarns inside. The dye is then applied in the right quantity to get the desired colors. The image does not do justice to the beauty of these dyed cotton yarns. You can see me in front of the machines, all smiles about the beauty and simplicity of it all. 

The dyed yarns ready to be dried in the machines

My husband in the background admiring the colors. The steel rods that you see along with the yarns, came out of the dyeing process and now is ready to be moved into the drier.

These are the wefts

These little cotton wefts move from side to side in the manual loom. They are inserted over and under the warps to form the final weave. The wefts are  manually made using little hand made wooden Charkas.

Bringing the threads together to make the warp

The threads that you see here go through the wooden frames and is then rolled together  to make the warp. The next image is a continuation from here.

All these threads are wound together here to make the warp

The Smiling gentleman here manually rotates this wooden frame to get the threads stronger and longer for the warps. Warp is  stretched in place in the loom.

Here is a bundle of beautiful warps ready to be loomed

You can see how these warps form the lengthwise aspect of the loom in the next image. The warps are much stronger than the wefts. 

The warp in the loom ready to be woven

This was a stationary loom, the person in charge was away for a break. But I loved the colours and decided to take the picture anyway.

Blanket weaving in progress

This is the cotton blanket weaving. There is continuous movement of the hands and  feet and there is no use of electricity at all. You can see the long threads or the warps clearly. Blanket weaving takes a day and is slightly easier than the mats.

Trying a hand at weaving

Weaving is a lot of hard work and requires practice and precision.  The artisans work hard day and night to bring forth the beautiful masterpiece which we see and love to own.

With the weavers

That is me with the weavers. They were all very happy to click photos with us in spite of being busy at their work. Their smiles and authenticity is genuine. 

Stitching of the bolster covers

This is within the unit of bolster production, The bolsters and cushions  are manually filled. Here we see the stitching of the Bolster covers which are done with precision by these youngsters.

Our 100% Cotton Yoga mat in the making

You can see that the machinery used for the  mats are different when compared to the  blankets pictured above. The mats take longer to finish – anywhere between two to three days of work without electricity. 

Product Gallery

Yoga mat carry strap from Flamingo yoga Boutique
Mat Carry Strap
Simple and easy to use cotton carry strap for your mats. Can be used for any mats. Use it on a rolled mat, looping the…
25.00د.إ
all three thin with packaging
Travel Yoga Mat – Cotton
Each mat is handwoven in India with 100% cotton yarn, making them completely eco-friendly and biodegradable. Mat Carry straps are sold separately. Don't forget to…
150.00د.إ