Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, Jean-Baptiste Degez (JB) and Geoffroy Dumesnil (Jeff) set sail to Colombia on an adventure that was about to change their lives.
Greeted by warmth, openness, and a culture bursting of life, the two Frenchmen fell head-over-heels in love with the rich, varied South American landscape of the country and conceptualized a way to preserve its natural beauty: Tayrona.
Tayrona National Park in northern Colombia. Image: David Shankbone
The inspiration behind Tayrona
Also the name of a beautiful Colombian national park, the Tayrona (the English equivalent of the French 'Tayronas') was an ancient, pre-Colombian, Latin American society. Living in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, they were an advanced civilization, building stone structures and pathways in the jungles. This was before the Spanish came and colonized them, leading to their eventual extinction mid-17th century. At that time, many Tairona populations were completely abandoned, their regions engulfed by forests.
Their descendants, the Kogi people, are among the last of Native American cultures to keep to their way of life even until today. However, this does not mean that they are safe. Today agriculture, tourism, and economic development now threaten the Kogi and their land. For them, it is the end of their centuries-old culture, and for us, the death of memory and knowledge.
Purchase a yoga accessory, plant a tree!
Thankfully, not all hope is lost. Here is where Tayrona comes in: for every product purchased, a Guaimaro tree is planted in Colombia! The seeds of these trees are extremely rich in nutrients, producing about 180 kg of nuts every year and thus allowing the Kogi to feed on them. Furthermore, no special maintenance is required once the seeds are in soil, making them the perfect choice in restoring an ancestral landscape for their original owners.
The Tayrona logo. Image: Tayrona
Put simply, it's the perfect way for JB and Jeff to give back to the country from which they have received so much and to celebrate their passion for all things yoga. Tayrona offers everything you can imagine: yoga mats, yoga blocks, yoga straps, yoga towels, yoga bags, meditation cushions... the possibilities are endless!
Eco-friendly, distinctly French products
Not only do Tayrona's products contribute to saving the Kogi and their homeland, they are also imbued with a distinctly French flavor, courtesy of Jeff and JB's French background. All of the products are designed in France, save for the Manduka range, which is designed in California, USA, and produced in Germany.
The Manduka yoga mats - colors all abound! Image: Tayrona
Given how passionate Jeff and JB are about the environment, it's no surprise that Tayrona's products are also eco-friendly. The Manduka yoga mats, for example, are made of Oeko Lite natural rubber, which does not contribute to deforestation. Even more amazing is the PRO yoga mats: their production is guaranteed without carbon dioxide emissions and they are guaranteed for life! This means that you never have to worry about replacing your yoga mat ever again. Just how efficient is that?
Want to go on a yoga retreat in Colombia? Tayrona is a heavenly place where you would absolutely love to do yoga!