blog

December 5th, 2011

And The Winner Is…Black & Light

You named the next Limited Edition Black Mat PRO. You looked at the color and let it inspire you. And we had a tough time picking just one name. So we're giving our 5 favorite submissions the new Black & Light PRO mat as soon as it comes out in January.

Deep gratitude for being part of this process!

Black Bird (first submitted by Angela Capodanno)
Black Diamond (Julia McSheffrey)
Black Azure (@Mandabeat)
Black Surge (Katie Cordes)
Black & Light (Emily Tharpe)

December 1st, 2011

Featured Retailer: Urbanyoga

urbanyoga is Europe’s newest, coolest, funkiest online yoga store. Set up by long term partners Greg Watson & Rachael Myers less than 12 months ago, it has already established itself as a major player in supplying premium yoga products and brands to customers across the UK & Europe with its fresh modern contemporary take on yoga retailing.

Greg says, "As yogis ourselves, Rachael and I were just getting a bit frustrated and tired with the 'traditional' style yoga websites here in the UK, selling us all sorts of 'stuff' and presenting it in a way that just wasn't very appealing! Yoga is one of the fastest growing forms of exercise in the UK & across Europe and it's practiced by lots of cool, funky, open-minded individuals that in a lot of cases, are used to buying products from, and shopping in, like-minded places. To us there wasn't anywhere like this in the UK yoga market, so we decided to fill the gap and launch urbanyoga! Thankfully our approach has been very well received!"

Apart from its design, urbanyoga was set up with one simple goal in mind: 'find the very best yoga products available from around the world and bring them together in one place'. "We wanted to work with manufacturers that produced outstanding yoga products that performed well, were built to last, looked good, and of course did their bit for the environment too. Was this too much to ask? For some it was! There's lot of poor products out there that just didn't 'cut the mustard'. We tried them! Not only that, but as the yoga market expands there been a whole plethora of copycat / imitation / replica products coming onto the market and compared to the original products they copy, most just fail to deliver.

Manduka however is a company that ticks every one of our boxes. It personifies everything we want in a yoga brand and produces gorgeous yoga products that appeals to every yogi out there. In our view, Manduka is the finest yoga brand in the world right now and their range of products fit perfectly in our funky urbanyoga store!

Looking to the future Greg says "for all of us at urbanyoga, we know this is only the beginning. We’ve had a great start, especially considering the challenging trading conditions we all currently find ourselves in and very positive feedback from our customers which is great, but we know we've got lots more to give and bring to the table. As our unofficial motto says: constantly evolving, never standing still"

urbanyoga has a very active social network of cool yogi's from across Europe, so why not join us on our urbanyoga Facebook page (www.facebook.com/urbanyogalondon) for access to all the top news, first looks at new products and exclusive promotions and discount codes!

November 9th, 2011

Karmanica Events

Talent is inspiring. It's natural that we are drawn to talented people. We all possess an intuitive skill to recognize the excellence found in other people's passions - their music, their movement, their acting, or even abilities not typically considered artistic, such as the ability to speak through one's actions - Mother Teresa being the perfect example. At Manduka, there is a community of passionate people working together, committed to excellence, and being in their presence is inspiring (and contagious!). This Thursday & Friday evenings, Manduka is a proud sponsor for karmaNICA's two fundraising concert & yoga events - the first in Miami (U-night!) on 11.10.11, and the second in Santa Monica we R all 1! on 11.11.11, which will feature three amazing "talents" for the evening's music - Steve Gold and Masood Ali Khan @ weRall1, and Xavier Gonzalez @ U-night. I reached out to each of them this week and posed them this question - "You are obviously inspired by the music that comes out of you. How does your inspiration effect those that hear your music?" Here are their replies:

Steve - "My music is often experienced as a revelation to many listeners. My initial inspiration is to build community through group singing. While performing live I have witnessed community opening their hearts while joined together in song. Their tears of joy and release feeds my inspiration and we all feel more connected as a result."

Masood - "I feel fortunate and grateful to have been introduced to the hang (pronounced "hung"), a unique percussive instrument that carries etheric qualities when played by itself, or accompanied by voice or other instrumentation. As my understanding and relationship to it has become more intimate, the sounds and music it produces through me has profoundly influenced me, as a musician and person. I have seen the same influence it has had on my audiences, where it produces a beautiful bonding of hearts and a true experience of community through sound."

Xavier - "Over the last few years, I have observed in response to our music how people are affected differently. There are those who focus and zone in on our unique technique and instrumentation, where they become introspective and it creates a meditative experience for them, and then there are others who get into the feeling of the music - the rhythm and fiery beat of our music, and it arouses something in them to get up and expressively move their bodies. It has been a beautiful experience to see this influence on audiences."

To get tickets for the events - for MIAMI, click here; for SANTA MONICA, click here.

To learn more about karmaNICA and view their latest video of their initiative in Nicaragua, click here.

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.