Mukta Being is inspired by real life, by human connection and a deep desire to lift humanity and make the world a little sweeter. It came as a response to the questions I’d been asking, the all too familiar “What do I do during my short time here?”.
I’d already worn so many hats in my short life as an International Community Development Worker, an Artist, Social Justice Activist, a Student, Yoga Instructor, a Healer, a Wanderer… and beyond.
Mukta is a fusion of the foundations of my life. It has opened a space and provided a new channel to weave together the various fabrics that have shaped me; travel, heritage, environmental awareness, social, responsibility, movement, mindfulness, meditation, service to people & planet, imagination, collaboration, artistry and craft. Mukta has given my skills, knowledge, creativity, connections and history a more profound purpose. Without a wicked strong network of superhero support I would not be able to make these dreams of mine come true.
Growing up, I spent every summer from the age of 3 with my grandparents in a small town in Northern Portugal. It was in these summer months that I explored the dynamic dimensions of my imagination and learnt that with time and effort my hands were capable of creating beautiful things. There, I also met a best friend who would inspire the spark of passion that birthed Mukta Being almost 24 years later.
It was a beautiful opportunity growing up with the grandparents I had. There was a romance in the way they lived, in the ways they grew their own vegetables, bottled their own wine, repaired things when they broke, and collected fresh water from streams and village fountains. They showed me a different world and a different way of being; a touch of antiquity and old European culture. Through them I caught a glimpse into a different time – when food could be trusted, where people enjoyed more of each other and themselves, and when things were made with care and crafted to last.
I’d found myself in Portugal, wandering the streets of Lisbon with a sense of nostalgia in my heart. I walked through the cobble-stone pathway of Mouraria and noticed all the shops selling the usual Portuguese-inspired artisan crafts and knick-knacks for tourists. There was an abundance of hand-painted roosters, walls lined with painted tiles, and cork everywhere.
There was something about cork I was drawn to – its colour, its texture, its resemblance to skin – it gave me a sense of intimacy, a growing need to touch it and play with it. The artist in me came alive – ideas, designs, vision – I was inspired. I met my childhood friend for dinner that night and shared my new love, one thing led to another, and before we knew it we had thought up the prototype for our first Cork Yoga Mat – the Mukta Mat.
I went to the hardware store in Lisboa and with my dad’s help made our idea a reality. I began practicing on it immediately. I fell in love with it’s beautiful texture and the fact that it was created using a renewable material so closely connected to my roots. More importantly, Cork provided a solution to the lack of grip I struggled with in every single hot-yoga class.
You know the feeling of being in Downward Dog and having to use your towel to clean off the mat …gripping with all your might as your toes and fingers slip towards the edges of the mat?
I found that with water Cork’s grip increased. I was amazed.
I poured water on the mat to test grip thresholds, I tore at it, left it out in the winter cold to freeze, warmed it up and kept practicing. It still worked. This was the beginning of something very special.
The more I learned about Cork the more remarkable it became: renewable resource naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and grippy. Suddenly things began happening through me that somehow seemed out of my control – new inspiration, designs, plans. I had created my ultimate yoga mat – effortless, eco- friendly, efficiently made, socially responsible and durable – and I knew I needed to share it… and then find creative ways to give back to this world I love so much. Because everything comes and goes full circle, here we are.
Welcome to Mukta Being. I made this because I wanted to create beautiful, useful and strong goods to be with you, to inspire you, to support you wherever you choose to journey.
This is you for you; for people, for planet and beyond.
I hope you enjoy our goods as much as I do.
We look forward to growing with you.