Health & Wellness Tuesday: Shakti Mat

I can’t remember how I heard about this thing as I am currently signed up for way too many e-newsletters letting me know about great deals on various items I might want to purchase.  But, I heard about it nonetheless… bought it… let it sit for about 6 months… then finally used it the other day and it’s…. interesting.

What is it?  It’s a Shakti Mat.  It’s a slightly less painful version of an Indian bed of nails (and I use the word “slightly” very deliberately here).  As you can see from the photo above it’s covered with little plastic, sharp-as-hell, discs that once lied upon will help with your circulation and provide a whole host of additional benefits.  It comes with an instruction manual that says 55 minutes of lying on this mat in different positions is equivalent to a yoga class.  And I’m all about deriving the benefits of exercise without having to actually exercise.

I was a little nervous because if you lightly tap one of these white, plastic discs with your finger it feels REALLY sharp.  But I went with it assuming that anything sold to the masses can’t be too malicious.  And I have to say on a scale of 1 to 10… 10 being it penetrates the skin so forget this crap… it was at about an 8 for me.  The manual tells you that “warm, tingly, pulsating sensations will quickly replace the slight discomfort you may feel when you begin using your Shakti Mat.”  SLIGHT discomfort?  Okay, if that’s what you want to call it fine.  I’ll just call George Clooney and tell him that I’m SLIGHTLY interested in meeting him for a drink later.

I tried three different positions and I wasn’t able to complete the full 10 minutes during one position because I just couldn’t take it.  But I’m stubborn so I stuck with it during the remaining two positions because I did feel the warm, pulsating sensation they mentioned and it was invigorating.  But trying to relax while lying on a bed of plastic nails isn’t exactly how I would define “relaxing”.  It was more like a tolerating-because-I-spent-forty-bucks-on-this-thing type of relaxing.

I haven’t given up on this yet because they say you’re of course going to be more sensitive in the beginning.  And I’m intrigued because I did feel very relaxed after it was all over.  Although, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do the position where I place each side of my face on the mat.  Don’t need to mess with the face.  And I don’t see me smiling while I’m lying there like the pretty blond woman is in the manual.

I’m not necessarily recommending this mat but if you’re intrigued you should check out the website link above and read about the many benefits and possibly give it a go!  If you have any recurring pain at all it could be helpful.  Also, one thing I really like is that the mats are made in Varanasi, India and their employees are all women who “enjoy good wages, decent working hours, meals and physician care”.  And they’re planning to establish a foundation which will build new schools and orphanages in the Himalaya Mountain regions.  So that’s always a good company to support.  Whether they’re in the business of selling pain or pleasure.

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