The world of yoga is based on ancient wisdom passed down from the seers and sages of the Hindu tradition of India. It is also a global, multi-billion dollar market, hence it attracts innovations just like any other market.
A technological field that has been expanding into all sorts of markets is ‘haptics’. This is the application of vibrations to help recreate the sense of touch for the user when interacting with a given piece of technology.
This technology has moved into the world of yoga in the shape of a pair of leggings that the manufacturers claim correct your yoga poses.
Why do we Need Vibrating Leggings?
For beginners to yoga, classes can initially be intimidating, and it can feel like everyone apart from you knows what they’re doing. Also, with some in-demand yoga classes getting more and more expensive, it can feel like a waste of money to shell out for a lesson where you really only correctly executed half the poses.
One alternative for struggling beginners is to book a 1:1 yoga session in order to get the undivided attention of a teacher, until your poses are good enough to attend a regular class without feeling like you’re floundering out of your depth at the back. Of course, there’s always Youtube tutorials, but for a total beginner, yoga is not an easy skill to master without a teacher.
And into this gap in the market steps the smart yoga leggings.
A large percentage of the global yoga community will throw their hands up in horror. But with technology advancing at an incredible rate, it makes sense to incorporate it into a field of ‘fitness’ that is burgeoning year on year. After all, nearly every runner now has all sorts of downloadable tech to track their every movement made and calorie lost, so why not expand that tech into yoga?
If you’re prepared to spend $179, you can purchase the Nadi X by WearableX – and you’ll have your own built-in teacher inside your yoga leggings!
What You Get for Your Money
You get a well-made, comfortable pair of yoga leggings with a mesh detail in a simple choice of colour-ways – plain black, navy/grey, black/white and black/grey. They fit well and are easy to wash – a must with yoga leggings. You also get a chargeable powerpack called the pulse, which powers the haptic technology and this links to the Nadi X app.
The app allows you to control the level of the vibrations you receive, from barely noticeable to pretty intense. It also comes with 30 poses (with guides as to what level of pose they are), with a step-by-step video and text instructions.
As the app guides you through the poses, the Nadi X works at the same time to sense your posture and responds with corrections at your hips, lower back, knees or ankles.
Does It Really Work?
Learning through touch is a powerful tool, and, for some people, can be 5 – 20 times more effective than visual learning. The haptic feedback technology takes advantage of this fact by giving your sense of touch a helping hand/buzz.
According to reviewers, the Nadi X leggings are around 90% accurate. For example, if you were to select Downward-Facing Dog, the app would instruct you to lift your hips, and the sensors on your hips and back would vibrate. For standing poses, the sensor will vibrate at your ankle to encourage you to rotate the back foot in. If you haven’t adjusted enough, the area will keep vibrating.
For real beginners, you also need to have the phone in front of you to get into the poses, and to begin with the vibrations can feel more like a shove in the right direction. But once the user has adjusted to the technology, it can lead to a greater degree of accuracy in the pose.
However, there is really no substitute for a trained, experienced teacher. A good teacher knows that some students learn better when guided with a gentle touch (sensory learners), where others pick it up more through repeated demonstrations (visual learners) and others through clear instructions while they’re in the pose (auditory learners).
Not to mention the hefty price tag, which is considerably more than even the high-end yoga leggings on the market, such as Sweaty Betty and Lululemon.
However helpful the vibrations are to correct your yoga pose, by relying on a piece of clothing to wake you up, or adjust your body, you’re kind of missing the whole point of yoga – which is to bring the mind into the body – which isn’t easy!