Fitness Files: Chad Turner Founder of Yoga Design Lab


In 2014, Canadian surfer/yogi, Chad Turner sold all of his belongings and decided to move to Bali, to develop a range of super colorful, luxury yoga mats made from recycled plastic bottles. Since then Yoga Design Lab’s footprint has grown to 40+ countries, and across more than 300 retailers. I personally love the mats largely because they are washable and come in the most amazing designs. 

Described by Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue as 'stunning works of art,’ the young brand has been shaking up the industry with visually stunning yoga products, blending eco-friendly technology and fashion-forward design.

"The mission was to create beautiful, highly-functional products with the smallest eco-footprint possible. Countless yoga mats end up in landfills because they’re made from non-recyclable, hazardous materials. We wanted to help change that." -Turner

NMFIT: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?

Chad Turner (CT): Yes, my father was a big influence growing up. He was a chiropractic and natural bodybuilder. So our family was always very health and fitness oriented. I played ice hockey and soccer every chance I could when I was younger, eventually playing semi-pro hockey in Germany before a knee injury forced me out. Yoga has provided such a transformation in my knee flexibility since starting in 2004 in Montreal. 

NMFIT: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

CT: JERF diet Just Eat Real Food As much raw and natural state foods as possible.

NMFIT: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

CT: Daily morning anapana meditation to focus the mind on simplicity breathe and then visualization of what I'd like to create in my life. 20-30 mins, it's become a must do habit. My day is so noticeably better on a day when I meditate compared to a day that I don't. The choice is easy.

Visualization has been the master key to creating the life I want and the person I aim to be. It has worked so many times and I regularly forget just how powerful it really is.

NMFIT: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites? 

  • Balancing yin and yang. 
  • I love the rush from the physical excursion of sport or weight training. It's the best anti-depressant. The goal is to sweat at least 30 mins a day.
  • Then I use yoga asanas to open and expand. 
  • Too much of either hasn't worked for me. Balance is the word. 

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