Home / About Gecko Yoga Towels

While the yoga mat might seem like it’s been around forever, the reality is that the concept of practising yoga on a mat only emerged in the mid-1980s. It all began when a yoga teacher named Angela Farmer had the ingenious idea to use a section of carpet underlay that she found in a small shop in Germany. Prior to the advent of the yoga mat, practitioners would simply use a piece of fabric or, in most cases, the bare floor.

The introduction of the yoga mat and the enhanced comfort it provided undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the surge of yoga's popularity during the 1980s and 1990s. However, perhaps the most intriguing and influential aspect of the yoga mat's arrival was its ability to provide a level of traction and grip not experienced before.

With the newfound grip offered by yoga mats, practitioners naturally began to demand more from their practice, which led to a shift in popularity towards stronger and more dynamic styles. However, as yoga evolved to become more physically demanding and yoga studios grew hotter, the rubberized mats that initially offered excellent grip when dry soon began to lose traction as moisture accumulated in the room or on the body.

In an attempt to address the frustrating issue of slipping at the point where the practice would often intensify and moisture began to accumulate, the early 2000s saw the introduction of the first wave of yoga towels. These colorful microfiber towels were designed to be placed on top of a yoga mat as a way to absorb moisture. However, the only problem was that they possessed little to no inherent grip.

Now, I fully understand that most people don't and shouldn't pay much attention to things like this, but as a yoga teacher, product designer, and someone who acutely recognizes what a problem this can be, I confess that an issue like this can very easily turn into an obsession. I found myself wondering, often to my frustration in the middle of my practice, whether there was a way to create a product that could simultaneously offer both the moisture-absorbing advantages of a towel and the exceptional traction provided by a mat.

For months, I stress-tested different fabrics, experimented with various grips, and constantly designed and redesigned numerous patterns, all in pursuit of creating a yoga base that would provide optimal grip regardless of whether the surface was wet or dry. Throughout this process, I couldn't stop thinking about Angela, whom I loved and would study with whenever I had the chance. There was no possible way she could have ever imagined how much her discovery was about to revolutionize yoga.

Achieving the right balance between all the various elements seemed nearly impossible at times, but in the end, I believe we definitively got there. Although we feel we've ushered in a new generation of yoga towels, we also recognize that our contribution may not have the same transformative impact on yoga as the introduction of the yoga mat itself, and I'm absolutely fine with that. At least now, I feel I can return to practicing in peace with one less thing to obsess over. Of course, feeling proud of our achievements, we couldn't resist naming the towel after one of the grippiest animals around - the "Gecko."

The GECKO yoga towels now come in a range of colors over two collections:



Written by agoy’s founder and creative director, Howard Napper