Yoga Mat Storage Reflection – Sara Espinosa, Amelia Fisher, & Sophie Penniman

At the Make-o-Rama this past Friday (April 24th, 2015), we presented our fully completed yoga mat storage unit. Due to our lack of available access to space we were unable to attach the storage unit to the walls of the small gym (necessary for our original design).

Our 3-D model designed on Google Sketch-Up
Our 3-D model designed on Google Sketch-Up

However, we were able to present our Power Point presenting an overview of our entire project (including the process, the budget, and our plans for the future). We also brought out three of our completed planks along with a couple yoga mats to show the overall concept of our design, and also to give our audience members a real idea of not only how the final product would look, but also how it would feel when held up flat against a cement wall.

One of our fully laid out planks with the pegs wood glued into the plank.
One of our fully laid out planks with the pegs wood glued into the plank.

Some of our audience was curious about not only our final design but also our process in making it. Inside our Power Point and also in our general speaking presentation, we described to those who were curious, all of the processes we used to create the final product that we did. This included speaking about our design/brainstorming process at the beginning, the creation of our budget and proposal for funding from the school, as well as our use of tools (i.e. the drill press, power sanders, and the band saw).

Sara Espinosa drilling holes into one of our planks.
Sara Espinosa drilling holes into one of our planks.

People generally were very excited and enthusiastic about our project. We had a lot of people stop by to ask us questions, and the feedback was generally positive. We started off thinking we would create a mechanized conveyor belt-style rotating contraption, so our simple but elegant wooden racks are a lot different from our original design. However, if we had stuck with our first design, we would have not been able to achieve our goals and would have ended up frustrated and unfulfilled. Some advice I would give to future students starting a similar project would be to take it day by day and not stress over how overwhelming it might seem as a whole. Focus on smaller tasks that will in the end come together to create an incredible product. It is important to not lose motivation, which is why I would also advise students to take on a project that truly spikes their interest. The more interesting your project is to you, the more involved you’ll be and the better it will turn out. In the end, our product came together nicely and exactly how we imagined it to. Although we were not able to complete all of the racks we had planned due to time constraints and limited materials, we do plan on finishing the rest of our racks before the end of the school year. One major problem we have run into recently is the condition of the small gym. Now that it is closed off, we will not be able to personally install our yoga mat racks. We have decided to leave it here for the next generation of Ann Richards young women leaders to tackle. After talking to Mrs. Jo about the situation, she has assured us that students next year will easily be able to take on this project and install our yoga mat racks, so they will be put to good use. Knowing that our final product will be completely functionable and benefit our school for many years to come is satisfying. Our project is a gift to the school to give back and show our appreciation for all of the knowledge, opportunities and experiences we have received in our seven years of growing here. Our project evolved and changed a lot over this semester. Like a lot of the other groups, we had problems acquiring the necessary materials on time, and we had a high workload for the amount of class time we had. However, although we didn’t completely finish our project, we completed pretty much everything we could given what materials we had. We did have to deal with a few road bumps in our project. Due to mismeasuring, the pegs on some of our planks ended up not matching pegs on other planks. In addition, three pegs were broken off due to our project falling over. Despite that, our project still looked nice, professional, and complete. Except for a few minor exceptions, we spent all our work time in class working hard, and we did a good job of dividing up work equally. Because of all these factors, we give ourselves a grade of 95. This could have been higher if we had had more time, but given our restraints we think we accomplished a lot. Overall, we are proud of our project and can’t wait for it to hopefully be installed next year.

11 thoughts on “Yoga Mat Storage Reflection – Sara Espinosa, Amelia Fisher, & Sophie Penniman

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  1. I’m highly impressed by how good your product turned out. I know I left your group earlier on and honestly you exceeded my expectations. It’s cool because future grade levels will actually be able to make use of your product and it’s a much better system than just throwing the mats into a cart like we do now, and it’s much more sanitary. It’s too bad you can’t set them up in the gym now because it’s got some issues but hopefully they will be resolved by next year!

    -Oceane Maher

  2. I personally am not a fan of yoga but I am a fan of this project! I hate when everyone is trying to get the mats and they’re all over the place. Once your racks are installed I think the yoga process will be so much better!! I’m sure that’s what you planned to do, and you did. I don’t like how we won’t be able to see all your hard work in action but after it is completed all of the grades below it will be amazed and love it. I’m glad y’all were able to work efficiently and get as much done as you could. I think your appreciation for this school really shows in your product. Great job!

    – Alexys Garza

  3. Hi there. I watched you struggle. Good job overall, with the tediousness of drilling the holes for all the peg legs and such. Also, kudos for not dying death by miter saw. The end product looks good and clean and useful. Though I do worry about their safety in being stored for a long period of time- they seemed to get knocked over a lot. –Zane T.

  4. I really liked your idea, because it was something that was done for the good of everyone in the school community. It’s sad that you weren’t able to have access to the small gym, but you all did a good job of working around that and completing your project anyway. I can’t imagine how much focus and concentration you had to bring with you to the school everyday (since each measurement had to be precise, every time) and it speaks as a testament to your character that you persevered through all the hardships that comes with producing a product like this. On top of crafting each and every one of these items by hand, you also had a system more extensive than other commercial designs such as this one:

    I also love how your project will be “passed down” to the “next generation” when you are gone next year. It’s cool to hear about a project that will be bringing people together over time.

    -R. Howard

  5. When walking around the Make-o-Rama, your project was one of the few that really caught my attention. I was definitely intrigued! I remember approaching your group and asking a TON of questions, you all showed to be very professional and overall you all blew my expectations. I hope that your project indeed gets installed in the gym next year because it’s genius! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about y’alls experience and seeing the final product, I completely fell in love and if I was a customer looking for yoga mat racks I would definitely buy your project.

    -S. Abad Cruz

  6. I feel like we could use this BADLY. We usually (based on my observations) just throw them in the baskets, it doesn’t LOOK good and it’s a mess. I feel like this would provide organization so it looks better and its neater and cleaner.

  7. I think this is a very good product overall/ I don’t quite remember seeing you at the fair but from what I’ve read this is a very helpful product. It’s much better than all of us throwing our mats in the baskets then having the following people fix everything. With your design the process will be much easier and not messy at all. Hopefully throughout he year we will see the yoga racks up because they will be very useful for all grade levels especially new people at ARS. I believ your product could be useful for other yoga places around Austin and not just ARS. I’m sure it will help many places be more organized and sanitary.

  8. I remember seeing these yoga mat storage, I though it was a great idea because I know in yoga we struggle all the time keeping all the mats nice and organized after we use them and now with this innovation it will make our lives easier. I’m glad you guys though of this, it a great way to organize them and not taking so much space up and a great way to give back to our school. I cant wait to see them up in the small gym.

  9. This is a really cool idea. I have never seen anything like it, but I have seen the frustration of the teachers when we just throw the mats into the cart. The yoga mats aren’t treated very well, and I think this is a great solution. By the looks of it, it looks like a very well thought out plan and I am highly impressed. It’s a shame I never saw this at the Maker Fair, because if I did I would have blown away! You came up with such a creative and helpful idea! I really hope something lik this is possible for the school, because this is a great way to care for the mats, and handle the mats and store the mats. You gave solid and good advice to future students, and it was nice to resad about your setbacks and your ideas. Nice job ladies!

  10. Honestly, I love how you came up with this idea because I remember how last year everyone was bunched up and trying to get their mats which takes time but with these racks, I think will help with consuming time which is good! I was pretty impressed by your idea because WE DO need racks to keep us organized while in yoga. Anyways good thinking and great design! (:

  11. I thought this was a great idea! The way we store mats compared to now is a complete difference. This design was very efficient and very out of the box. I like the design and how it helpful it could be to our community.

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