Ancient yoga practice on the Ancient Indian subcontinent was originally conducted on deer skin, more luxurious rugs made out of tiger skin, or simply on kusha grass or plain hard earth without any cover. Due to the scarcity of these materials, they are now rarely used even in India.

With the rise of yoga in the West during the 20th Century, demand for a bespoke product on which to practice yoga grew. Many practitioners used towels or cotton mats on wooden floors. Rubber mats were originally used as an intermediate material to prevent the cotton mats to slip on the wooden floors. Slipping of hands and feet was avoided by squirting a mist of water on the mats on the respective places of positions.

In 1982, while teaching yoga in Germany, Angela Farmer found a roll of carpet underlay which she cut down to a towel-like size and used it during umweltfreundliche Yoga bras yoga classes. Returning home to London with it, the material gained attention a popularity in the local yoga scene. Angela's father, Richard Farmer, contacted the German padding manufacturer and became the first retailer of "sticky mats", standard white in color.

The first purpose made yoga mat was manufactured and sold by Hugger Mugger in the 1990s. In 2002 the first 'eco-conscious' mat was manufactured by EcoYoga and sold through Yogamatters in Britain.

With commercial promotion and rise of the yoga industry, yoga mats have now become a basic item of equipment for yogis and yoginis, and standard feature for yoga studios worldwide. For yoga studios, they increasingly fulfill the purpose of reducing risk of injury, and some health insurances require yoga practice to be executed with a non-slip mat to remain eligible for cover.

Yoga vests are quite popular as they provide the freedom and ease of use of the arms for the yoga postures as well as for breathability. For Bikram yoga for example yoga tank tops are incredibly popular as it allows easy movement plus freedom and ease in the hot and sweaty studio. Made with bamboo fabric it allows for breathability and bamboo is naturally anti bacterial so it makes sure that you stay as comfortable as possible by wicking away the moisture next to your body to the outside of the fabric where it can be dried by the air. Yoga halters are also very fashionable, yet easily cross over into leisure wear too.

A trendy halter neck leaves your shoulders free, while still provides firm cover and is easy, stylish and superbly comfortable whether for Yoga, Pilates, fitness or leisure. There is also the fantastic seamless Yoga tank with corset styling, this is ideal for Yoga and Pilates. Close fitting yet flattering these super light vest style tops are super soft and the perfect essential to go with your yoga pants. There are also the more modest yoga tops for mature women that offer soft drape and relaxed body-skimming fit and mid hip length. These Yoga tees provide excellent cover yet comfort for yoga, fitness and leisure.

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