blog

November 4th, 2011

Karmanica

As the founder and former CEO of Manduka, I have witnessed some remarkable acts of generosity from the yoga community at large. Especially lately, in this challenging time we all live in, seeing how many of you help those less fortunate, with little (or large) acts of kindness, is truly refreshing, and makes me pleased to be part of that community. As a company, we are committed to our part in giving back, and our most current initiative is with karmaNICA, a charitable organization I co-founded with Adrienne Ward of Big World, Small Planet in 2010.

Last year at a yoga retreat at Jicaro Eco Lodge near the historic city of Granada, Nicaragua, I met a sweet group of kids from a neighboring village, after Adrienne asked me if I would teach some of the "locals". After an amazing session of yoga with them, with many demonstrating a genuine interest in the practice, I was graciously invited back to their village so they could show me their school, the only community resource this village had, and which they were very proud of. I could see it lacked so much, including any type of safe play area, and in that visit, the idea was born to help raise money to build them a more adequate facility for their education and their recreation. As part of this effort, there are two upcoming fundraising events, one in Santa Monica "We R All 1" Benefit Concert & Yoga Event with music by Steve Gold and Masood Ali Khan and yoga led by Peter Sterios at Fred Segal on 11.11.11 and one in Miami "U-Night" An Evening of Community Yoga and Live Latin-Inspired Music with music by Capricho and yoga led by Rina Jakubowicz at Villa 221 on 11.10.11.

Come out and enjoy an evening with your yoga community and support a charitable initiative to help these kids get a better education. Hope to see you there!

October 31st, 2011

Featured Retailer: Yoga Form

Yoga Form is an integrative Mind, Body and Spirit studio located in Wilrijk, near Antwerp, Belgium. We offer a variety of mindbody classes 7 days a week and various workshops with local and international teachers. Yoga Form boasts a beautiful studio, set in a tranquil, green, residential area of Wilrijk. Set against the backdrop of a zen garden and housing a reception area, shop, kitchen, a shala, change rooms, a shower, toilet and a fully equipped treatment room, Yoga Form offers you excellence in teaching in a perfect setting that whispers as you enter the promise of peace and tranquillity.

Nicki Forman-Levitan founded Yoga Form to integrate different styles of yoga and mindbody practices from e.g. traditional Hatha Yoga, dynamic Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as well as Yin Yoga, hatha flow and Chakra Dance Meditation. Yoga Form was the first yoga school in Antwerp to offer Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and has in a relatively short period offered through Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa the first Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training offered in the city.

At Yoga Form adherence to all schools and respect for all lineages and teachers is encouraged. In offering these varied teachings, technologies and teacher trainings, Yoga Form students are able to take classes and workshops with different local teachers and incoming international senior teachers, each enriched by their interpretations and styles of teaching as well as having exposure to the many lineages that stem from yogic principle. Offering this variety in teachings and classes enables students to listen to their bodies and to what their varying ebbs and flows in energy might demand.

Together with a team of 15 teachers and staff, Nicki Forman-Levitan is privileged to open the door for aspirants on the path of yoga and is actively engaged in building and supporting the local and international yoga community. Through the establishment of YogAspire, Yoga Form is actively engaged in local and international community service.

September 16th, 2011

Los Angeles Rocks! Operation Shanti

Manduka Ambassador and friend Garth Hewitt has made such amazing strides with his ongoing donation-based yoga classes and events to raise money for Operation Shanti.

Operation Shanti is a small organization that was started a few years ago by an Ashtanga yoga student from San Francisco named Tracy Kunichka. The organization strives to better the lives of exploited, at-risk, and destitute children through an orphanage that provides food, clothing and a home in Mysore, India. After Garth spent time helping and volunteering with Tracy, he learned first hand how the Operation Shanti orphanage was overflowing and in need of another orphanage to help support the growing number of children in need. Garth came home determined to raise money to support Operation Shanti's mission.

Garth's third event, Los Angeles Rocks! Operation Shanti will be held this Saturday, September 17th from 3-5 pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Students are encouraged to pre-register for this event by signing up at garthhewittyoga.com or www.facebook.com/LARocksOperationShanti. Enjoy this amazing 2 hour class with live music that will be team-taught by 10 teachers, 6 of which are Manduka's own Ambassadors: Ashley Albrand, Ally Hamilton, Angela Kukhahn, Jennifer Pastiloff, Ashley Turner, and of course Garth Hewitt! After the class there will be an auction and raffle with over 30 great prizes, as well as a catered party and a DJ spinning live.

We can't wait to see the community support that we know will be present at this event! Spend your Saturday doing something you will absolutely love - practicing yoga with friends and community members that are making a difference in our world. Help support the people of a country that gave us something that brings us all together - the practice of yoga.

August 31st, 2011

Featured Retailer: Yoga Shop

Yogashop.nl is onderdeel van De Yoga Studio, een lichte en warme studio met twee ruime yogazalen vlakbij het centrum van Eindhoven. Janneke Verburg richtte de Yoga Studio op in 2003. Bij de studio werden in het begin een paar matjes aangeboden, gewoon voor studenten die hun eigen matje wilden. Maar al snel werd dit een online winkel met een ruim assortiment yogamatten, -boeken, -props en -kleding. Er werken inmiddels drie gepassioneerde ashtanga yogini's ; Janneke zelf, Barbara en Deborah. De missie van deze meiden is yoga en meditatie zo leuk en toegankelijk mogelijk te maken voor zoveel mogelijk mensen in Nederland, België en Luxemburg. Dit doen ze niet alleen door het aanbieden van yogaproducten van alleen de allerbeste merken - zoals Manduka - maar ook door het organiseren van Ashtanga Yoga workshops en -opleidingen met bekende docenten uit binnen- en buitenland. Zo zijn er de afgelopen tijd workshops geweest met David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff en David Williams, en in maart 2012 gaat opnieuw de Ashtanga Yoga Intensive training van start. Een jaarlijkse opleiding voor docenten, waarvoor De Yoga Studio speciaal gecertificeerd is als RYS200 door Yoga Alliance. Ondertussen reist Janneke regelmatig naar India en ander plaatsen op de wereld om zich te laten bijscholen in Ashtanga yoga, en volgen ook Deborah en Barbara regelmatig workshops in (ashtanga) yoga en mindfullness.

July 12th, 2011

Featured Retailer: Sukha Yoga In The Uk

Whilst trying and failing to find a new yoga mat Nicky Samuel decided to launch Sukha Yoga, a UK based ecommerce site selling the best yoga products she could find. Nicky searched at length for the ideal range of yoga mats; a search which finally lead her to Manduka. Nicky has been committed to Manduka ever since.

Sukha Yoga is currently celebrating its second birthday with a loyal customer base who value Nicky’s knowledge of Manduka’s products.

As Nicky says ‘my customers are the reason I do what I do! I get such fantastic feedback from my customers who love their Manduka products.’

‘ Taking Manduka mats to the Yoga Show in 2010 was the highlight of a very busy year for us. We met so many happy customers who took the time to stop and say hi. Selling a product that I believe in is of the utmost importance to me.’

‘I will not stock a product that I have not tried personally. I took the Manduka Superlite on a yoga holiday to Turkey last year and have just returned from Marrakech where I put the Manduka eKO yoga mat through its paces in hot and dusty conditions.’

Image Dory Walker, yoga teacher, and Nicky Samuel on the roof of Tigmi, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains.