Why You Need to Add Sandbags to Your Practice
Adding sandbags to your yoga practice, movement routine or weight training can have lots of benefits. Sandbags are much more versatile than your average dumbbell, plus all Love My Mat Sandbags have a much lighter environmental footprint than most dumbbells or weighted products.
What makes our Sandbags sustainable?
• All of our sandbags are 100% made in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada by women.
• We use upcycled and deadstock fabrics for our covers. This means we're not contributing to the wasteful textile industry by having our own custom fabrics made. Instead, we're using unwanted textiles and saving them from landfills.
• Our sandbag covers are doubly recycled. Most of our covers are made from left over scraps from our bolsters & meditation cushions. So we recycle our upcycled textiles!
• We buy our sand locally, dry it in house and fill our bags by hand.
• All sandbags covers are easily removable and machine washable to ensure they last a long, long time.
What makes our Sandbags better?
• We use high quality, rubber coated ripstop fabric for the inner liner. This fabric is waterproof and rip-proof, which is the best for keeping the sand in.
• Our sandbags come pre-filled. So you don't have to do all the work of buying sand, drying sand and filling your bag.
• There's no zipper, which highly reduces sand leaking out. With other sandbags, you're required to add the sand through an opening, then zip it up. But sand grains can be tricky and know how to make their way through zippers. So no zipper = less mess.
• Our sandbags are unique. Because we use unwanted textiles, we make everything in small batches. This means many of our pieces are one-of-a-kind or have very few of the same made.
• Love My Mat Sandbags suit your style and decor. Instead of only have 3 or 4 fabric options per season, we're constantly adding new fabrics, colours and patterns to our collection. So you can find the prettiest to most plain sandbags or the brightest to most neutral designs. There's one that's perfect for use you!
At Love My Mat, we make 3 different sizes of Sandbags.
• 10Lbs Sandbags
• 5Lbs Sandbags
• 2.5Lbs Hand Weights
Each size has its own benefits and best practices. But they are all good for so many uses. To increase strength. To bring awareness to specific body parts. To ground you. To fill spaces. To play and have fun with!
Below I've listed some of my favourite and hopefully less well-known ways to use our Sandbags. May recommendations for beginner yoga or advanced yoga, is to always have fun and use as many props as possible to make your practice as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
Warrior One with 5Lbs Sandbags
• Start in Warrior One stance with sandbags (any weight) in your hands
• Straighten front leg as you lift your arms & weights
• Bend front knee to come to fullest expression of Warrior One for you as you pull the weights towards your hips.
• Inhale to straighten front leg & lift arms
• Exhale to bend front knee & pull weights down
• Repeat as many times as you like
Leg Lifts & Leg Extensions with Added Weight
• Hook the handle of a 5Lbs Sandbag over your right foot
• Stand in Tadasana/Mountain Pose - using a wall for balance if needed
• Extend right leg forward and up, keeping it as straight as possible, without tilting your pelvis
• Slowly lower leg and tap the foot to the floor
• Lift right leg behind you, keeping the up body as upright as possible
• Tap right toe back down beside the planted left foot
• Continue with right leg, then repeat on left
Boat Pose with a Twist & Added Weight
• Start in Boat Pose
• Hold 10Lbs Sandbag in both hands
• Keep heels or feet grounded as you twist the sandbag to your right
• Return to centre, then twist to the left
• Repeat as many times as you can
Bent Over Rows with 10Lbs Sandbags
• Plant feet at hip distance apart and hinge from hips, keeping spine neutral
• Hold a 10Lbs or 5Lbs Sandbag in each hand with straight arms
• Engage the muscles in your back to pull the weight up
• Try to get your hands close to your hips and keep your elbows in line with your shoulders
• Inhale to lower the sandbags
• Exhale to lift the sandbags
• Repeat as many times as you can
• ALTERNATIVE OPTION - kick it up a notch by lifting one leg behind you and doing this exercise while in Warrior Three!
There are tons more creative ways to add weights to your yoga, movement and strength practices. We'd love to hear from you if you have more ideas or questions on how to benefit the most from Sandbags.