In 1986, Hugger Mugger Yoga Products was founded by Sara Chambers in Salt Lake City, Utah. A custom furniture builder, Chambers was a devoted student of Cita Mason and David Riley, local Iyengar Yoga teachers, when she attended her first weekend workshop with the late Mary Dunn.
During the workshop, she observed Dunn searching for an appropriate strap to demonstrate a modification to a pose. One student brought a belt to the workshop, which worked much better than the thrift store neckties everyone else was using. Dunn continued to borrow that belt throughout the weekend, setting off a spark in Chambers’ creative mind.
The following week, Chambers showed up to her class with two newly made yoga props. The first was a 1-1/2-inch-wide cotton D-ring strap based on the belt she saw in the workshop. The second was a pair of maroon velour gym shorts made specifically for yoga practice, finished with thigh-hugging elastic bands that stayed in place during inversions and wide-legged poses. The strap and shorts were immediate hits, and she began taking orders for them that night.
Motivated by her new inventions, Chambers began making Iyengar-inspired yoga props in the basement of her home. She named her company Hugger Mugger, after the shorts that started it all. (Hugger Mugger means “to conceal.”) She consulted with her teachers to come up with sturdy, innovative, and functional products, including handmade yoga blocks set to B. K. S. Iyengar’s specifications.
To add to the collection, Chambers started importing and selling the latest 1980s Iyengar yoga discovery: a makeshift yoga mat cut from European under-carpet padding. After receiving feedback that this material would crumble after a few months, she decided to develop a sturdier, stickier mat. This was when the USA-made Tapas Mat, the first mat ever designed specifically for yoga, was born.
Hugger Mugger moved to a larger space in 1989, as the company began to grow. In 1997, she took on a partner, David Chamberlain, to help her expand the growing business. They both have since retired, but we continue to honor the original vision: to provide innovative, premium-quality products and create a wide circle of yoga friends throughout the world.
We take great pride in our made in USA products, heavy metal and phthalate-free mats, and sustainable, eco-friendly products including biodegradable TPE mats, natural rubber mats, cork and bamboo blocks, and more.