An old favourite – Yoga Mats and Other Potentially Life-Threatening Items

Warning: Highly dangerous if not used correctly.

(This is a reposting – and slight reworking – of an old post, first posted in Jan 2011, when almost all my readers were the imaginary sort – and a lovely bunch they were, and still are.)


Right, so – back to the yoga mat. Yes, that dangerous product I mentioned in my last post. I bought it so flippantly, not realising what a minefield of potentially fatal injuries it could lead to! I was taken aback at all the warnings on the box for this seemingly benign item. Here are some (but not all) of them. *Note that, unusually, the over-use of exclamation marks are NOTa display of my love of the exclamation mark, but are a direct quote from the original warnings on the yoga mat box and instructions. Yes, instructions. For using a yoga mat.

Warning! Important! Remember to read the instructions below before using the product!

Until now, I just assumed that some products, e.g, a pair of pants, a book, or a yoga mat, didn’t require instruction manuals, because people buy them already knowing what to do with them, through the wisdom handed down from generation to generation. (Eg, parents show their children how to put their legs through their pants and pull them up, teachers teach kids how to read, and, well, what is there to know about how to use a yoga mat?)

Of course, normally I abhore all instruction manuals – they are boring and usually confusing – but this warning struck me as so completely  ridiculous that I continued reading to find out what warnings could possibly come with a yoga mat!

A Yoga mat, apparently, according to a Wikimedia search. This one looks a little bit more dangerous than the one above.

Do not use if pregnant.

You know, when I was pregnant, I was cautious about products that were known to be unsafe to take during pregnancy, such as alcohol, cigarettes, soft cheeses, salamis, and anything with the artificial sweetener Aspartyme in it. Of course, I also avoided other things that would be considered dangerous to do during pregnancy – such as tightrope walking, speed skating, or climbing up a ladder to fix the roofing, but I tend to avoid those kinds of activities even when not pregnant.  As I am naturally clumsy, I am usually in danger of injury from items most people consider fairly harmless, such as wine glasses and doorways, so there is no need for me to test fate by balancing along the guttering when 8 months pregnant. But, to get back to the yoga mat –  even I felt pretty safe using one of these things! If warnings like this are now being put on yoga mats, it is obviously a tokenistic gesture meant to cover the manufacturer against any risk of litigation in the case that a pregnant woman should go into labour during a yoga session and then try to sue the manufacturer of her yoga mat???

I mean, what is the worst a yoga mat could do to a pregnant woman? Cause her to lie down and become so relaxed that she can’t lift her heavily pregnant body back up off it again? So what?? Have a snooze!!!! You’ll need all the rest you can get!

Always work out in a safe environment wearing appropriate training gear.

Well this is really smart.  I guess that if I put on high heels and a tight fitting dress, take my yoga mat under my arm and prance on down to the Grand Prix track, place the mat on the track and start to do a downward dog as the cars come around the bend, and then end up being injured, and with a rip in my dress, as a result – I can’t sue the makers of the mat for being negligent.

Damn that warning. It had seemed like a flawless plan.

Stop your exercise immediately if feeling faint or dizzy.

Very wise. Stop your exercise. Eat a Mars Bar to raise your blood sugar level and undo all the good work you’ve just done. If still feeling faint, have a lie down – but not on the yoga mat!!!! Are you mad??? That could be construed as recklessly endangering your life!

(Truth be known, in any situation, regardless of faintness, dizziness or just plain boredom, my advice would probably just be, Stop your exercise. Even better – Don’t Start Your Exercise.)

Before use, check for wear or damage to the product. Do not use if your product is worn or damaged. 

Under this warning is a phone number to call if your product looks worn or damaged!

I doubt that even atom bombs come with as many warnings, instructions and phone numbers for back up service in the case of being faulty as this yoga mat does!

What could go wrong if there is a hole in my yoga mat?  Perhaps my finger might get stuck it when I’m doing the plough pose, and next thing I know I’ll be tangled up in the mat, doing the straightjacket pose.

Help! I didn’t read the instructions, and now look at me!!

This is not a toy. Keep out of reach of children.

Wow, this warning was well placed, as otherwise I would have offered the yoga mat to my 11 year old daughter to play with. I suspect that in reply she would have looked at me with the condescending contempt that such an offer would rightly deserve. Umm…does it play songs from Glee? No? Does it come from Smiggle with a matching stapler and pencil case? No? Can you download the Angry Bird app onto it? No? Boring. This child is in no danger of playing with a yoga mat.

Exercises should be done in a SLOW and CONTROLLED manner.

Don’t worry, that’s the only way I do them. I’m not into exerting myself. Now where’s that bottle of wine?

Leave a comment


  1. I’m glad that I can now have the luxury of making out I’m ‘edgy’ by not reading my Yoga mat instructions. Can cancel that bungee jump now…..


    • Absolutely. If you haven’t read your yoga mat instructions, you are living recklessly. Bungee jumping would probably be a safer option than risking strangulation by yoga mat if/when there is a hole in it!


  2. Rofl 😀 I’m literally rolling on the floor and laughing..dunno if I am allowed do this on a yoga mat?! 😉 Completely fallen for your hilarious writing. I’m sure I’ll enjoy following your blog =)


    • Thank you! You are a daredevil! I only hope that you are still alive, and in one piece, after rolling on your yoga mat laughing! I feel certain that instruction was meant to be on the box too: Never roll with laughter on the mat, as this could lead to injury or a horrible death.


      • Yes, by a stroke of luck the daredevil is still breathing and alive. I wonder if I can sue the yoga mat people for putting me in such a dangerous situation?! 😀


  3. Priceless!
    I bought a pack of origami paper at the Japanese $2 shop. It came with a range of safety warnings, including don’t give to children because they might eat the paper and choke. But my favourite warning was to be careful of paper cuts!


    • Ha ha, that is even more over the top than warnings on a yoga mat. And too right with the warnings for those pesky “children”, nothing is safe from their indiscriminating mouths. If it wasn’t for products warnings they would be gobbling down yoga mats and origami papers left right and centre. But never underestimate the pain of a paper cut. When I was about to have my wisdom tooth out I said to the dental surgeon, “will it hurt?” and he said “it’s all relative – does a paper cut hurt?” I said “Yes, it does. A lot.” He was visibly annoyed that I deliberately missed his point.

      It’s only a matter of time before all packets of paper, ranging from A4 copy paper, to cigarette papers, will come with a warning about paper cuts. The Japanese just thought of it first! 😉



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