Utopiat is infinitely proud and honored to present lotus: an eco-conscious yoga mat + towel collection celebrating the multimedia artwork of bahman farzad
We first stumbled upon Bahman’s artwork on Tumblr in 2014 when Jasmine was doing research for our yoga line. Bahman’s breathtaking multimedia artwork of the lotus flower captivated us all, and she reached out to Bahman to express her interest in incorporating his art work into our yoga mat and towel collection. When Bahman said “yes” to our proposal we were overjoyed. We immediately began investigating some of the eco-friendliest ways of producing such products while honoring the beauty of Bahman’s work in the printing process.
It took us nearly 2 years to successfully navigate the industry to find what we believe to be the best solution in creating an ecologically sustainable, highly functional and uniquely beautiful product. After working with over half a dozen manufactures, testing out innovative printing technologies, researching the most sustainable production options and working to select images from Bahmans’ extensive artwork portfolio (consisting of some 2000 lotus flower images), we have finally developed a collection we are truly happy with.For our mats, we are using a plush and absorbent microfiber top layer bonded to a natural tree rubber base that provides the anti-slip grip of a towel and the cushion of a yoga mat. The eco-friendly, biodegradable, recyclable 100% natural tree rubber, water based inks, dyes are free of heavy metals. They are free from latex, silicone, toxic glue, and phthalates, and ideal for yoga, Bikram, hot yoga, sweaty practice, pilates, and general exercise. No more slipping when wet. The mat grips better the more you sweat! Zero odor. No toxic smell like those cheap yoga mats.
For our yoga towels, we used a 40% recycled plastic and 60% new microfiber made of 85% polyester and 15% nylon. Designed to be lightweight, insanely absorbent and non-slip, the yoga towels are great for both regular and hot yoga. They are top-quality, plush, microfiber with extra-strength whipstitching for maximum lifespan, and quickly dries in minutes with non-fade, eco-friendly, water based print.
All our yoga towels and mats are printed using water based inks, dyes are free of heavy metals.
There are many reasons why we love using the lotus flower as the design essence of this collection, for it is our spiritual flower. Here is a good breakdown of the endless spiritual symbolism surrounding the sacred flower:
Spiritual and Religious Lotus Flower Symbolism
Aside from the contemporary symbolism of the Lotus, there is a wealth of historical ties between these flowers and the practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the ancient Egyptian’s religions. The ancient Egyptians used the plant extensively as a symbol in the paintings and carvings left on the walls of temples and tombs. Priests and other religious leaders also brewed the flowers to make a tea with sedative and mild psychotropic effects, which heightened their senses for ritual work. Scholars believe the Egyptians viewed the Lotus as a symbol of rebirth because it appeared to sink at night and rise again in the morning. It is now known that the plant simply loses old blooms and adds new ones on a daily cycle, but it is still a potent symbol for reincarnation and the mysteries of the afterlife.
The Lotus’ meaning in Hinduism is a little different. As ideas were exchanged with Buddhists for thousands of years, Hindu religious leaders began to use the flower as a symbol for peace and eternity. White lotus flowers are usually seen under the feet of deities like Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Saraswati. Brahma, the ultimate creator, emerges from a Lotus as well. This sense of purity arises from the flower’s growing habit of rooting in mud and pushing up through the water to bloom.
The flower’s meaning in Buddhism is similar, but still unique from the other meanings. The Buddhist Lotus represents:
- Direct Spiritual Contact
- Emptiness from Desire
- Victory over Attachments
- Enlightenment and the Bodhi State
- Love and Compassion for All Things
- Faithfulness During Spiritual Development
- Rising Out of Suffering
Another example is the use of the lotus in mandalas, which are spiritual and artistic representations of divine energies and meditation aids in Buddhist traditions. These deep spiritual meanings gave rise to a way of sitting known as the Lotus position. The legs are crossed and tucked in a way that makes the bent knees look like the petals of a lotus. It is an important position in both Buddhist meditation and Hindu yoga practices. The soles of the feet are tucked away, which makes it a respectful position to sit in when visiting a temple where exposing the bottom of your feet is considered rude.
Check out our lotus yoga mat + towel collection look book here.
Bahman Farzad is a Freelance Photographer and a Systems Engineer. He also teaches photography at Birmingham School of Photography in Birmingham Alabama. A graduate of the University of London, he holds two Master's degrees in Engineering and Computer Science. He has won numerous awards in photography and graphic design and has had articles and photographs published in many photographic magazines including American Photo, Popular Photography, Petersen's Photographic, and Darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques.