November 9th, 2010

Each One, Teach One...

By Garth Hewitt

In the beginning of October, I recently started co-leading a 200hr Teacher Training program for Pure Yoga Studio with another Los Angeles based Yoga Teacher, Ashley Turner. The Pure Yoga Teacher Training program was created by Alanna Kaivalya.

Pure Yoga is a large studio that originated in Asia. It has now expanded to America with two locations in New York and plans to expand Nationwide. Pure Yoga has partnered with Equinox Fitness Club and this Teacher Training program is being hosted at Equinox Fitness Club in Century City and South Bay, California, as well as in several other regions around the country.

We are 4 weeks into the 10 week program, and it has been an incredible journey so far. We meet with the 17 Trainees on Friday evenings and most of Saturday and Sunday. We have a really amazing group. We have a few Teachers who are assisting us in the program and we've brought in guest Teacher Trainers from New York as well.

This past weekend our Anatomy Module was led by Maura Barclay from fellow Manduka Ambassador, Jill Miller's, Yoga Tune Up program. It was a pretty great weekend! I've been in a lot of Anatomy Training's in
the past and this was one of the best I've ever seen. So far the Training has been very intense. This is my first time leading a Teacher Training program and it definitely requires more of you than leading public classes or working with private clients. The time and energy commitments are huge, but well worth it.

On Sunday nights, after the Training is finished I am usually pretty exhausted, but it's so inspiring though. The work is very fulfilling and I like the challenge. I like being pushed out of my circle of comfort. It's been wonderful to see the students in the program grow and to work with them at such a deep level has been great.

They are having breakthroughs that probably wouldn't be happening if they were just attending regular public classes. The program is designed to really push them and challenge them. They are really being forced to move out of their own comfort zones and we are doing our best to hold the space for them. They are learning so much about themselves and this experience will probably change their lives, whether they go on to become yoga teachers or not. That's the amazing thing about yoga. It has an impact on every area of your life. It's not just what you are doing on your yoga mat. Maybe it starts out that way for a lot of people but eventually the practice really starts to transform who you are, or who you thought you were.

This is a really well-rounded Training program. Pure Yoga's intention is to honor all different styles of yoga. This 200hr program draws mainly from the Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions but is all about inclusion instead of exclusion. One of the things that attracted me to the program is the amount of teaching the Trainees actually get to do. It's incredible. We have them teaching to each other right from the first day of the program and that's exciting. Pretty much everything they learn from us we then ask them to teach to each other.

This is to prepare them to stand in front of a class and connect with their students, especially if they decide to go on to become teachers. We(the trainers) had all been involved in other Teacher Training Programs in the past that we felt didn't offer the students many opportunities to teach, and this was something we wanted to do differently with this program. After four weeks of training with them teaching something new every day, I'm convinced this is essential to a program of this kind.

In order to teach something you really have to understand it. You have to know what you are talking about to effectively communicate to your students. There's no better way for us to help our Trainees see their blindspots than to have them get on their feet and teach what they have just learned and then to receive feedback from each other. I think it's been an incredible journey for Ashley and I as well as for the Trainees. I
think we are being challenged as much as they are to dig a little deeper into our own practice and into our own ability to communicate what we know. It's been a pretty incredible experience, and I'm looking forward to the next 6 weeks of the program. After that, I will probably be looking forward to a week off!

September 2nd, 2010

Featured Retailer: Yo Yo Yogi

Manduka is proud to announce Yo Yo Yogi in Portland, Oregon as this month’s featured retailer!

Imagine visiting 100 studios in just 100 days. Say what?! That’s the adventure Alex and Terri from
Yo Yo Yogi did Summer 2009. Starting in Seattle, they ventured south to San Diego with their Manduka mats in tow and coined the journey "have yoga mat will travel..." Now a bit more settled, Alex and Terri have recently opened the doors to their dream studio with a “come one come all”, playful and happy spirit.

“Slingin’ our ‘never leave home without it’, Black Mat PRO, and armed with the schoolin’ that yoga was a hell of a lot more than just a good sweat... we returned to our chosen land of Portland, Oregon to open our flagship studio. Here, our ‘most excellent adventure’ comes to LIFE!” says Alex.

Yo Yo Yogi...mind-bendin’, body stretchin’, peace-providin’ YOGA!

August 23rd, 2010

Free Wallpaper Downloads

We don’t just practice yoga on the mat, it’s part of our world. Our practice is there where we learn and play and grow. Keep Manduka with you in the background. Download free #practice wallpapers for your desktop and iPhone right here.

August 15th, 2010

We Are Family

By Eka Ekong

In the Spring of 2010, eighteen amazing yoga teachers dedicated their time, their energies and their hearts to show not only their love of yoga, but also their love of Manduka. I was lucky enough to be a fly on the wall (or on a yoga mat). James Wvinner was the photographer, and to see the world through his eyes was truly a delight. Kasey Luber recorded the day’s activities with humor and honesty.

In the morning, Charlie Samos, Susan Sterlace, and Melanie Lora Meltzer were the first to appear. We chatted about new products. They warmed up their bodies in the cold studio, and then and got on some eKo lites. I was lucky enough to watch them playfully practice on their mats, and share in the happiness and ease they had with each other. Throughout the day, more Ambassadors arrived and gleefully jumped on the Manduka Mats: Caleb Asch, Travis Eliot, Kishan Shah, Brock and Krista Cahill, Kia Miller, Annmarie Solo, Jill Miller, Simon Park, Sara Ivanhoe, Ashley Turner, Brynn Rybacek, Jessie Schein, Elise Gulan, and Stella V. Wilkins. Everyone was excited to see each other and they greeted one another like a loved one who had been away from home for too long. Some brought their own Manduka mats, which they spoke about like a badge of honor, and with a level of reverence that shared their gratitude for their mat of choice.

There were lots of hugs, laughter, eating, and we talked about life, love, yoga, and everything in between. It was incredible to be in the company of so many gracious yogis, who are extremely dedicated to their practices, and to the elevation of the human spirit. We may not look the same, talk alike, or see life with the same eyes, but all of our paths have led us to this practice, and to Manduka. We are each connected by yoga, but also by the mat beneath our feet, and it easily felt like I was home, with family…

August 2nd, 2010

Featured Retailer: Smiling Dog Yoga

Manduka is proud to introduce Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo (Manduka's hometown) as a featured retailer!

When Lisa Terranova-Pittelli and her husband considered opening Smiling Dog Yoga in San Luis Obispo, CA a few years back, they were excited at the prospect of a yoga studio in a beautiful rental property, which includes two studios, ample retail space, a treatment room and large courtyard. However, they knew that to see it work financially in these slower economic times, they would need to make the most of their space. Today, Smiling Dog consists of a yoga studio, vegetarian cafe, massage and acupuncture and eco-boutique. In fact, their yoga program, while it's the heart of the business, makes up half of the total revenue. The other limbs of Smiling Dog are an integral part, not only of its success, but of the overall client experience. Its set them apart in the community. Lisa says, "One of the unexpected pleasures of my job is managing our retail boutique and working with like-minded companies such as Manduka who are putting eco-responsible business practice to work."