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!

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.