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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Adventurer Vincent Brown: Owner of 2nd Wind Health Premium Yoga Mats

by Wendy Fachon

What got you into yoga and the yoga mat business?

I broke my arm snowboarding. Once out of the cast I had lost some mobility and my wrist was weak. PTs suggested surgery; Mom suggested yoga. I always listen to Mom. Only problem, I didn’t see a mat that spoke to me and delivered on performance, so I made one. I started with the cork mat in the elephant design. The mat provides unparalleled support for the joints and is a rock star in heated classes, gripping better as you sweat.

What is innovative about 2nd Wind’s products?

Snowboarders and surfers all use different boards for different situations. Sometimes it is about the technical details, other times it is about the look and feel. I think people like the feeling of unrolling their mat and turning a few heads, so we do limited print runs on each design.

Technically speaking we offer three very different mat types, each with its own specialization: sticky for non-heated, cork for heated, and towel-infused for a blend.

More than a mat, it’s an experience. I take my cork mat to the beach and hose it off later. It lived in the bed of the truck with the surfboard all summer. I even took it out in the rain a few times. In the end, yoga is a practice of self-discovery; everyone is at different places and each person will have a preference as to what mat is the best.

What came after the cork mat?

Have you ever seen someone buy a $60 mat and then a $40 towel to throw over it? It made no sense to me, plus the towel gets crunched and shifts, distracting the user from their practice. I solved that by making a mat with the towel baked into a natural rubber base. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, and our most versatile mat.

Late this year, I brought in the sticky mat, to meet the demand of the consumer for that ultra-sticky option. Although this mat is eco-friendly, it is made of polyurethane, which is not recommended to men or women who are trying for a child, nor to pregnant or nursing women. Other manufacturers don’t disclose that; I do. Designs are laser engraved and the mat is slightly larger and thicker than a standard mat.

What else do you want our readers to know about 2nd Wind?

I like products that are built to last. All our products have been over-engineered, so you are getting a quality product that is made to go the distance. Cheaper mats will wear out, cause slipping and could be toxic. You don’t worry about that on our mat.

We believe in paying things forward. We donated mats to special Olympics Rhode Island and gym bags to students our first year. As the company grows, we are excited to give back in a bigger way.

Do you have any special promotions happening during the holiday shopping season?

We are offering gift packages which include a mat and two blocks steeply discounted. For every three gift packages sold we will donate one mat to a local school in need. Additionally, there will be discounts site-wide and at the studios that carry our product. We are starting to retire some of our designs, so if there is something people like, they should act quickly. The mats are an amazing and unique gift idea, and we’re a local company.

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