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May 2011 Archive

May 23rd, 2011

Tuning Our Response - Ability

By Kia Miller

Are we so caught up in to-do lists that we have lost the ability to respond to life with spontaneity and presence? I teach yoga and talk to people all day long about taking pauses and time out of time. However, this remains one of the most elusive things in our culture, which is addicted to HAVING and DOING. In fact we value Having and Doing more than simply Being. When was the last time you congratulated your friend for doing nothing? Or took some time with absolutely no agenda? If you did take time, how kind was your thinking process, did you judge yourself and feel lazy?

It is easy to get caught in the cycle of acting from our sense of responsibility rather than purely responding to what the moment brings. Our lives become a laundry list of things to do, to the point where we move onto automatic pilot. Life gets juicy and exciting when we realize that being responsible is not some task to perform or an obligation to be met. To me the ability to respond is to be free to love and serve in each situation, and therefore each moment is different and unique and wonderful.

On this day I encourage you to take a pause. Pause before speaking, before acting, or even pausing between your inhale and exhale. Do not take a moment for granted. Show up and meet the moment in the spirit of being of service with love.

May 17th, 2011

#Practice Clarity

I recently took a break from my Manduka. It didn't do anything wrong. It didn't treat me badly, or not take me to expensive dinners. I was feeling burnt out, and found it very hard to be on my mat or in a yoga studio.

I remember being in relationships where my partner suggested we take a break. I would kick and scream, hearing that cliche "the break comes before the breakup" resonating in my ear.

Reluctantly, I took a couple of days off of my asana practice(the longest I had been off my mat in years.) I ate pizza, watched movies, and spent time with my loved ones. What I realized was that in several ways I was hiding from myself and my life off my black mat. I was resting in what had always felt comfortable for me, doing what was easy, not taking a risks. But just like in an asana, growth comes from stepping out of our comfort zone and moving towards our edge.

I am happily now back on my Manduka. We didn't break up, we just needed some space. Our time apart enabled me to embrace my life and practice with newfound passion and vision. I am more present in my life, and my practice is deeper than it was before. Taking a break isn't necessarily the end, but can be a new beginning. In the space, in those pauses in between, we can see more clearly and move forward powerfully.

My Manduka helps me #practice clarity. What does your Manduka help you #practice?

Here's how some others are powerfully #practicing:

Teamstretchyoga
"I #practice perseverance. I #practice moment to moment. I #practice service. I #practice Love. I #practice on my Manduka!"

Eunice_cu
"@MandukaYoga helps me practice stillness........"

Pinmoneygirl
"I make it a point to #practice poses that scare me."

Lisa Boise
"I laugh on it. I cry on it. I sweat on it. (Boy! Do I sweat on it!) I find peace on it. I work through anger and frustrations on it. On occasions I ignore it. I stretch on it. I pray on it. I jump on it. I use it and abuse it. And every time I step on it, I feel a welcoming energy from it. My soul can be free on my mat."

Stela Balaban
"The space created each time I unfold my Manduka becomes a safe place, a quiet place, a peaceful place, where there's no judgement and no expectations. And then the fun can begin."

EmilySaurette
"Dear Soul Mat, thank you for being so steady when I felt like breaking -you are my bestfriend."

May 13th, 2011

Featured Retailer: Bandera Organic

Bandera Organic
- Promoting yoga and mindfullness in Norway

Bandera Organic was founded in 2006 by Rita M. Jensen as a balanced alternative to a career in an advertising agency. She was more and more attracted to making green business and practising yoga, and established her company as an organic webshop, providing brands with a green, concious profile. Bandera Organic has distributed Manduka yoga mats through www.bandera.no, trade fairs and events since 2008, and by 2011 Manduka is the major brand in the company.

Bandera Studio of Mindfullness
This year Bandera Organic will take the next step in it´s vision and open a studio of mindfullness and green values near Oslo in Norway. The studio will give yoga instructors a nice location for courses, in a balanced organic atmosphere. The Studio will be a combined showroom, shop and juicebar. A chillout area were you can practice, buy your gear, and discuss green values while you discover the art of juicing.

Promoting through amabassadors
Bandera Organic are communicating Manduka with established yoga instructors and companies at different levels. It is very important for us to implement both Manduka and Bandera Organic as symbols of quality, high service and knowledge. We are very serious about our profile, says Rita M. Jensen.

May 9th, 2011

My Soul Mat

9 years.
Some days I drip my insecurity all over it, and it doesn't mind. No judgment. No eye rolling. No pull yourself together looks..

My Soul Mat: My Black Mat PRO.

Have you found yours?

These yogis have found their Soul Mat, and we couldn't be happier:

Stela Balaban
"My friend and yoga teacher has had her Manduka for 7 years. When I tried it for the first time I knew I had to have one."

Melissa Baker Gentile
"I opened this link in my blog reader: http://www.fitsugar.com/What-Best-Yoga-Mat-13852241?page=0%2C0%2C4#4 ... the description sounded perfect for me! I'm an exclusively-at-home yoga practitioner due to mobility issues and was looking for shock absorption. I bought the Black Mat Pro in Black Beauty - a gift from my husband for Valentine's day. His, "Please honey, buy it" was the best V-Day gift ever. He showed me how much my yoga practice mattered to him ♥ He also encouraged me to buy the color version rather than the black ... sometimes I have to struggle through pain and fatigue to make the choice to practice and he knew that the color would make me smile!"

Kim Puente
"It was SO not love at first sight. I had heard how much everyone loved the Manduka Pro, so I decided I would "try one out" to help me advance my practice. Rolled it out, and we had a "lunch date". Short and sweet. Too slippery. Read what I needed to do. So next was a "spa date" or a rub down with sea salt, lots of sea salt. Our love/hate relationship kept up about a week. I knew if I got to know my Manduka I would eventually fall in love. Which of course I did! One magical day all of the quirks worked out and I have seen my practice soar. Now instead of dreading our "dates" I count the time until the next one!"

May 3rd, 2011

#Practice Being Who You Are

I was blessed with the opportunity to see H.H the Dalai Lama in a lecture series this week. He is such a joyful, loving and truthful spirit! Regardless of the energy of the surrounding environment, there was never not a time where he was acting inauthentically or not speaking from his heart, mind and soul.

There wasn't any smoke or mirrors, or words minced. H.H wasn't afraid for others to see who He is, even when situations weren't going smoothly.

When we are willing to show ourselves fully and completely, we not only create a space for others to let down their guards and open their hearts, but we are also able to see ourselves in each other.

We're able to truly see that we are not really that different after all.. Separation lessens, and true fellowship is created.

I am #practicing being myself(warts and all). What does your Manduka help you practice?

Here's how others are #practicing authentically:

Ami Spencer
"Consistency. Finding a way to spend time going inside. Every. Single. Day."

From @MandukaYoga
"Bloom! Shedding the winter layers and finding the color underneath."

From @MandukaYoga
"You help me practice remembrance of my strength and the still space within!"

Patty Shine
"At my house we had a day of no TV, no video games, no radio. We spent time outside helping a neighbor with their garden.Some play time at the park. We did our best to have a relaxing yoga session though my 6 yr old son cannot "relax" for more than a minute so we called it jumping bean yoga. Though I didn't get my normal relaxed feeling from my yoga, I got that inner glow that only quality time enjoying my children can give."

Youngmee Ahn Hand
"Wash and hang all my laundry outside for the beautiful sun to dry aswell as sanitize my clothes without having to use energy from machines."

Jen Erickson Strating
"Composting all my veggie/fruit scraps, growing as many veggies as I can, biking or walking to do errands, getting my food locally through a wonderful CSA, being mindful and frugal with energy consumption and spending time in nature honoring this beautiful earth!"