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November 12, 2014 AT 10:00 am

Musical Yoga Mat #WearableWednesday

Tahnee Pantig used velostat, conductive fabric, and the Adafruit Audio FX Board to wire up this musical yoga mat in my class at SVA:

The idea for a musical yoga mat came about when I thought about my own yoga practice and how difficult it is to sync movement with yoga. In LA, teachers are known for their playlist and yoga classes with music often draw lots of students.

I wanted the switch to activate based on pressure sensitivity. Pushing your palm into the mat would activate the switch, but lightly touching your fingers would not. The switches are placed by the hands and feet. This placement is versatile for a number of yoga poses but I specifically placed them there for the sun salutation series, a common series in the yoga tradition. The switches consist of velostat sandwiched between two pieces of conductive fabric which are not in contact with each other. The most interesting thing for me is that the velostat acts as a resistor and registers the amount of pressure.

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