As a yoga instructor, I see firsthand the common mistakes in one’s practice. This is a yoga instructors biggest challenge, because not only are you trying to guide your class with dialog you are also attempting to give corrections, so no one gets hurt! Weight distribution in a yoga pose is essential. With the simple adjustment of your weight, many other corrections can fall in line, like a domino effect. So for my project I wanted to create a yoga mat that does just that, detects how where your weight is being placed on the mat.
For my project, I first made mini demos see if this could happen on a larger scale. I started off with an Arduino and a force resistive sensor. My first goal was to detect if the weight on either side of the mat can communicate to the user if the weight is off balance. This Worked!!!!
So my next steps were to see how to make this on a larger scale. However, even though the force restive sensor was smaller than a penny. To buy the sensor on a larger scale would be putting my budget into the hundreds. That is when I came across some DIY posts on how to make a force sensor, with simple materials like conductive foam, copper, and wire.This gave my project to opportunity, to have a life size yoga mat that can detect where your weight is.
There were multiple tutorials, online. So before I implemented the 6×2 conductive foam, I tested out different tutorials to make sure everything would work. After testing which sensor I would use, I made another mini mock up (6in x 2 in) with the conductive foam and the Arduino
After that had worked out, I was ready to create the original 6×2 matt.
However, when I moved the large scale, I ran out of copper tape which is essential for detecting the force. I did get some values, but they were below five which was minuscule. Because of this, the life-size version was not successful. However, that does not mean it is not possible.
For my next steps, I plan to add more material to get larger force values, so the communication from yogi to yoga mat can be successful.