A hazard encounter with a Swedish yogi in Thailand and a spiky mat dramatically changed lifestyles for 2 younger Kiwis.
Jon Heslop and George Lill, both 24, are the guys at the back of Shakti Mats in New Zealand, a foam mat included in lots of sharp plastic spikes which customers lie on, “like the vintage bed of nails”.
“When your body gets through the preliminary length of pretty intense stimulation, you sense comfy,. Physically it helps muscle relaxation, and mentally it promotes simply feeling really refreshed,” Lill stated.
It changed into while Lill traveled around Thailand on a damage from his finance degree at the University of Otago that he noticed a person mendacity on an atypical mat on the seaside.
“It seemed pretty crazy so I had a cross using it myself and, yeah, loved it, and the idea it’d be a terrific component to shop for when I got returned to New Zealand and I determined that I could not,” he stated.
Google led him to an informative article approximately the mats. The fad had taken off in Sweden, in which the producers had been based totally. While a Swedish organization, the mats are made in a charity workshop in the holy Indian town of Varanasi and are based totally on the design of Om Mokshananda, a Swedish yogi based in the Himalayas.
“[The article] said 10 in keeping with a cent of u. S. A. Owned one, in handiest 3 years, and I became like, Woah, maybe I’m now not the loopy one in the end.”
The pair emailed the producer in 2014 and secured the rights to promote the mats in New Zealand. A cargo of 2000 mats arrived and Lill and Heslop sold them at markets, to chiropractors and yoga studios, and even went door-to-door.
“The first few months it was pretty difficult to work. George got chased out of a retirement home at one factor,” Heslop said.
After a yr, they’d enough orders to hire Lill’s aunt and pass the agency from their flat in Dunedin to Christchurch. They relocated to a space in Papanui, then a warehouse in Burnside and eventually a space on Durham St final week, close to The Colombo shopping center.
They stayed tight-lipped on how many mats they were promoting but stated they sold more mats within the week main up to January 19 than in the first years of business.
“We generally do not like to position too many numbers accessible, however, if you could believe, it is 10 people literally ordinary, 8 hours a day, placing mats inside the bags to post out, so you can type of getting the concept,” Heslop stated.
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