The yoga mat always existed. Since the beginning of yoga 5000 years ago in India, yoga was practiced on rugs of animals. The first yoga mat created in Western culture was called a “sticky” mat and was invented in the eighties. This new yoga mat had, as a main material, foam which tended to deteriorate quickly and did not allow a good grip during yoga. At the beginning of the 21st century, yogis and engineers thought about creating a new yoga mat with a better grip and materials. In 2013, the first alignment yoga mat as we know it today was born (Liforme). Obviously, the concept of a yoga mat always existed but it changed over time and it adapted to the practice of yoga through the years. The practice of yoga as an exercise started in the 21st century and it is at that time that the commercialization of the yoga mats started to explode (Wikipedia). 

Yoga Mat by virtualtimecapsule on Sketchfab

The Covid 19 crisis was also a major event in the history of yoga. Indeed, during the quarantine, a lot of people coped with their anxiety and stress and improved their mental health thanks to the practice of yoga (Chang et. al., p. 2, 2021). More precisely, a more dynamic sequence of yoga would lower stress and anxiety while a slower breathing yoga shows that it promotes more relaxation and calm (Chang et al., p. 3, 2022). The results that Chang et al. obtained from their research on undergraduate students show that a regular practice of two different types of yoga during the pandemic was effective as a treatment for their mental health (Chang et. al., p. 10, 2022). This research proves that the practice of yoga on a regular basis during the global pandemic helped a lot of college students to reduce their stress and increase their wellbeing. Regular yoga practices prevented them from depression after two weeks and maintained a positive effect after four weeks (Chang et. al., p. 15, 2022). Yoga practice can also influence our relationship with ourselves but also the others (Tiwari, 2016, p. 21). Not only it reduces stress and anxiety but also helps people to have more concentration and encourages positive thoughts and thus, self-acceptance (Tiwari, p. 23, 2022). People that practice yoga also decrease their vulnerability and regulate their mood (Tiwari, p. 24, 2022). It has also been shown that yoga-based therapies boosted positive self-image, self-confidence but also social skills and relationships, better sleep and spirituality (Tiwari, p. 25, 2022). Yoga practices should now be part of the healthcare system as a means to treat psychiatric conditions (Tiwari, p. 27, 2022). 


Name: Yoga Mat

3D Model

Creator: Léa Ritrovato

Date: 27-01-2022

Place: Ressaix, Belgium

Themes: Wellness

Captured with: iPhone 7

Processed with: Agisoft Metashape Professional Software run on MacBook Air (2014)


Physical Object

Size: 170 x 62 x 0.8 cm

Weight: 1 kg

Material: Polyester
Picture of me doing yoga during the first quarantine in 2020 to deal with my chronic anxiety.

Not only did yoga help a lot of people during the pandemic to deal with their mental health but also with their physical health. Indeed, studies conducted during Covid-19 showed that people doing yoga not only decreased their stress and anxiety but reduced their risk to get Covid-19 (Nagarathna et. al., p. 1, 2021). The yogis proved to have better endurance and physical strength during the lockdown and developed better habits than non-yogis (Nagarathna et. al., p. 6, 2021). It was also shown that people practicing yoga have better sleep and eating habits and they decreased their chance to acquire a cold or flu and thus Covid-19 than people that were not practicing yoga (Nagarathna et. al., p.17, 2021). The physical benefits that yoga engenders are numerous and important in these times: it improves energy level, posture, blood pressure, it enhances functioning of the respiratory, and so on (Tiwari, p. 23, 2022). The study of Tiwari showed the same results as the study of Nagarathna et. al., people who did yoga during the global pandemic got better mental and physical results than people who did not. The yogis were reported to have less cardiovascular disease, back pain, migraines (Tiwari, p. 24, 2022). The principle of yoga is to focus on the relationship of the brain, the mind and the body. Its first intent is to use the mind and the brain to affect physical health and promote better health (NCCAM, 2010; cited in Tiwari, p. 22, 2022). 

This video explains how yoga is beneficial for both physical and mental health

Yoga faced another change during the global pandemic: people moved from yoga studios to home to practice yoga during the lockdown. Research was also conducted during the lockdown to see if tele-yoga was as efficient as yoga in person and the results showed that tele-yoga had the same effect as yoga in person (Jasti et. al., p. 2, 2020). The tele-yoga format was said to be the new version of the old traditional way to do some yoga and change the way people practice it (Jasti, p.3, 2020). Because of the closing of yoga studios and other outdoor sports during lockdown, a lot of people turned to home workouts. As a matter of fact, a lot of people turned to online yoga classes during the Covid-19 crisis. Moreover, a lot of new yogis took part in online classes as they found it less stressful to enter an online class than an actual yoga studio (United Nations). Lot of yoga teachers saw an opportunity in this new way of practicing yoga online and they started publishing more yoga videos on YouTube. One of the most famous yoga teachers that went viral during this crisis was Adrienne Mishler. She made yoga accessible to everyone by publishing free videos and programs during the global pandemic which allowed people from all over the world to start or continue practicing yoga. Now, Adrienne has millions of subscribers on YouTube and she is the most famous instructor in the United States (New York Times). 

In this video, Adrienne explains how her videos helped a lot of people from all over the world dealing with isolation

Without any doubt, yoga was a major help during this global pandemic that started in 2019 and which is still going on. The Covid-19 crisis was a major invent in the history of yoga and how we practice it nowadays. Not only the practice of yoga helped a lot of people to keep their physical health and stay active during lockdown but by doing so, they kept a good mental health and they reduced the anxiety and stress related to this type of situation. As mentioned above, a lot of studies were led on the subject and they all affirm that a daily practice of yoga made the difference during these difficult times since it also helped to boost the immune system and it prevented people from getting sick. Covid-19 also made yoga more visible thanks to the emergence of more YouTube videos on yoga but also online classes and yoga apps. While Covid-19 was for a lot of people a difficult period, it became at the same time a true springboard for yoga. 


Chang, T. F. H., Ley, B. L., Ramburn, T. T., Srinivasan, S., Hariri, S., Purandare, P., & Subramaniam, B. (n.d.). Online Isha Upa Yoga for student mental health and well-being during COVID-19: A randomized control trial. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, n/a(n/a).

International Day of Yoga: Yoga’s growing importance to post-COVID-19 wellbeing. (2020, June 18). United Nations Western Europe.

Jasti, N., Bhargav, H., George, S., Varambally, S., & Gangadhar, B. N. (2020). Tele-yoga for stress management: Need of the hour during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond? Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 54, 102334.

Nagarathna, R., Nagendra, H., & Majumdar, V. (2020). A Perspective on Yoga as a Preventive Strategy for Coronavirus Disease 2019. International Journal of Yoga, 13(2), 89–98.

Raghuram, N., Anand, A., Rain, M., Sivapuram, M. S., Kulkarni, R., Ilavarasu, J., Sharma, M. N., Singh, A., & Nagendra, H. R. (2021). Yoga practise is beneficial for maintaining healthy lifestyle and endurance under restrictions and stress imposed by lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 878.

The History of the Yoga Mat: Know Your Facts. (n.d.). Liforme. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from

Tiwari, G. K. (n.d.). Yoga and Mental Health: An Underexplored Relationship. 14.

Yoga mat. (2021). In Wikipedia.
Young, M. (2020, November 25). The Reigning Queen of Pandemic Yoga. The New York Times.