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October 29th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Theresa

Meet Theresa.

Theresa started yoga 11 years ago to help ease the process of quitting smoking. Little did she know that yoga would also eventually lead her to quit her job.

After spending decades as a reporter covering murder trials, Theresa had quite a hardened shell around her. But the consistent yoga practice she developed had started to chip away at the walls she had built up to reveal a softer, more open side of herself. She slowly started to realize that she wanted a major career change – one where she could help people and truly make a difference. After years of practice and training, she is now a Yoga Therapist in her very own studio. Her life now feels light and happy.

Theresa remembers a moment during her Adaptive Yoga for Disabilities training where she watched her instructor align a paralyzed student into Tadasana on her back on the floor, and actually seeing the student experience the pose, even though she couldn’t feel it in the traditional sense. That moment affirmed for Theresa the power of the inner-body experience of yoga. .

We loved learning about Theresa! And we want to learn about you, too.

Tell us about yourself on our You Series page: Manduka.com/You

October 8th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Carla

Meet Carla.

As a high school teacher, Carla says that nothing gains you street cred as the ‘artsy, hipster’ teacher better than walking through the school quad with a yoga mat on your shoulder.

Carla uses yoga to help teach her students about handling anxiety. One of her favorite memories is when she canceled her 12th grade English class for a day and replaced it with yoga. Her students were in the midst of receiving college acceptance letters, as well as deferral and rejection letters. She could feel the tension and stress in the room – but teaching them some poses and watching them let go, be present, and go for it, really eased the anxiety of everyone in the room. She’ll never forget watching them help each other kick into handstand, and laugh as they wobbled in tree pose.

Teachers have their own favorite teachers, and Carla’s is her grandfather. While he didn’t teach her asana, he did teach her a lot about perspective and patience. His guidance combined with her yoga practice has changed the way Carla approaches work, relationships, and future goals. She admits that before yoga she was “Type-A-all-the-way”. Today she feels less brittle, and more giving – and feels comfortable at what she calls “Type B+”.

"Yoga helps me recognize when I'm inspired to give," Carla shared, "whether that's love, advice, comfort or something more concrete – and reminds me that I have the ability to act on that inspiration."

We loved learning about Carla! And we can’t wait to learn more about you. Tell us about yourself on our You Series page: Manduka.com/You.

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, emails and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

October 1st, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Cristina

Meet Cristina.

Sitting behind a desk in a stressful job, Cristina found herself daydreaming about a different life. Her head kept wandering to her yoga practice. Thinking about that sound of sweat hitting the mat got her through those days. Then she saw her uncle lose his battle with cancer, she realized how short this precious life could be, and ultimately found the courage to quit her job and make her daydreams a reality.

Cristina never expected that yoga would inspire her to want to give so much to others. She has lost two aunts and her uncle to cancer, now her mother is currently fighting breast cancer for the second time – this is why Cristina wants to devote her time to running retreats for cancer patients and survivors. She wants to help them heal and realize how strong they are.

Cristina feels lucky that she has been able to have her two favorite companions by her side along the way: Noah and Jack. They come with her on every road trip through Ontario, standing guard during all of her yoga breaks. They are the inspiration behind her downward dog, as Noah and Jack are, in fact, Cristina's dogs.

We LOVED learning about Cristina! And we’d love to learn about you, too. Tell us about yourself on our You Series page: Manduka.com/You.

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, emails and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

September 24th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Sheri

Meet Sheri.

Sheri is a mountain-thrashing, nose-grabbing, 360-spinning snowboarder (metaphorically). But a serious injury to her upper left leg kept this Betty off the slopes and brought her to the yoga mat. Unable to walk without pain and with limited mobility, Sheri focused on her yoga practice. After one dedicated year on the mat, Sheri's pain was gone and her mobility back. That's the power of, as she puts it, "yoga magic."

That's also why Sheri is studying to become a yoga teacher - where the hospital couldn't help her recover, her yoga did. And as an unexpected benefit, she also found a deep sense of community and kindred connection. Sheri travels often and has studied with many yoga teachers, and every single one has left her with something to remember – from a helpful tip for Pigeon to sage wisdom to a happy memory. These are her inspirations.

Yoga has moved Sheri to always make the choice that she knows is truly right. Not easier, not cheaper, not quicker – but the option that brings her to a place where she is happy with the life she is living and the person that she is.

We loved learning about Sheri! And we’d love to learn about you, too. Tell us about yourself on our You Series page: Manduka.com/You.

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, emails and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

September 3rd, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Christa

Meet Christa.

Christa used to manage broadway shows for a living. That's how she found yoga.

A musician working on one of the shows also happened to teach Iyengar yoga, and could sense the stress and pressure that Christa was under. He ended up offering her private instruction for close to 6 months – all he asked in return was that she ‘pay it forward’ to someone else in need.

Christa took that request and ran with it. She has opened a non-profit organization called Compass Yoga, teaching free yoga classes in New York City to people who don't otherwise have the opportunity, or the funds, to begin a yoga practice.

This past spring, Christa went on her first trip to India. It was an experience that broke her down and built her back up completely new, and more powerful. She now refers to her life in two eras: her life before India, and now her life after India. She returned home with a newfound gratitude for all of the opportunities she has available to her, and feels more determined in her purpose to spread the benefits of yoga and meditation to more people.

Yoga has truly been therapeutic for Christa. It has helped her to work through her father’s passing, and to let go of the guilt she still carried from their rocky relationship. Yoga taught her that we don’t have to wait for healing, it is within us and available to us all the time. We have all the answers and all the knowledge we need; we just need to tap into it.

We loved learning about Christa. And we’d love to learn about you, too! Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, emails and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka