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From The Heart

My Manduka helps me practice anywhere and everywhere, because my travel mat is always in my suitcase wherever I go.

-Barbra Noh
Munich, Germany

Giving Back

Manduka recognizes an organization or individual each month for sharing the gift of yoga with those in need by donating yoga gear to support their cause.

July 15th, 2013

Newark Firefighters

In Newark, New Jersey, the Firefighters have implemented a new yoga initiative to help them learn to stay calm and centered during their very intense missions.

So far the firefighters are really seeing the benefits. One firefighter says: “When you’re doing firefighting, you’re in confined spaces and you have to contort your body and relax your body to go through small spaces, so with this, it teaches you about moving your body.”

By teaming up with Newark Yoga Movement, the Firefighters are sure to receive excellent classes. Debby Kaminsky, the founder of community based Newark Yoga Movement is excited to help these Firefighters learn how to transition between their work life and their home life: "Practicing yoga helps to settle yourself. It helps you to become more present so you can just be focusing on the current moment instead of thinking about the past.”

Read more about the Firefighters in Newark, and Newark Yoga Movement here.

Manduka was happy to donate some sturdy PROlites to help these Firefighters begin a life changing exercise!

We'd like to credit Jimbo, our favorite Firefighter with setting a wonderful and beneficial trend for the Firefighters of New Jersey!

May 14th, 2013

P.S. 119

P.S. 119 in Brooklyn decided that incorporating an after-school yoga program would have a wonderful impact on their students. Having enough mats for each student to have their own sacred space was very important to them. With state testing coming up for the kids, the Principal and a devoted teacher named Laurie Basloe wanted to get this program started to make sure the students had a stress-free environment to practice focusing and breathing - skills that will surely translate well during the tests!

Manduka was happy to donate mats to support the after-school yoga program!

March 15th, 2013

Joint Educational Project - USC

The University of Southern California has implemented a service learning organization called the Joint Educational Project which places university undergraduate students in struggling urban neighborhood schools in central Los Angeles. As part of their curriculum, they feel that the many benefits of yoga should be shared with the young people in the schools.

The Joint Educational Project will now be teaching yoga to 1st through 3rd grade students to help them learn the benefits of yoga breath, asanas and meditation. They are currently serving six after school programs and were in need of mats to help make sure their program could grow. We are happy to support their efforts in the community and have sent yoga mats to help them share yoga with children!

February 15th, 2013

Community HealthCorps

The Community HealthCorps clinic in Gaithersburg, Maryland provides lifestyle change counseling, education, and support for the clinic’s diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. The patients are encouraged to exercise daily, but can not always afford gym memberships or classes, have limited access to outdoor trails and nice places to walk, and often have difficulty taking time for themselves. Stress also plays a large role in their lives, as many of them have families to provide for, legal issues to work out, and, on top of everything, a handful of chronic diseases requiring extensive medications and seemingly unrealistic recommendations from a doctor.

The Community HealthCorps clinic has started to provide exercise classes, including yoga, as a means to relax, stretch, breathe, and exercise. In an effort to provide these classes for free once or twice a week to patients with diabetes, in English and Spanish, Community HealthCorps was in need of some yoga gear.

We were more than happy to support their efforts with plenty of yoga mats, and are so grateful to have them in our community!

January 15th, 2013

Yoga at San Quentin State Prison

We recently donated mats to San Quentin Prison, to help with their rehabilitation efforts. Jasmine, who teaches their yoga classes, has shared her insights on how beneficial yoga can be for the inmates:
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As yogis we can directly addresses our country's systemic social problems with violence, substance abuse, mental illness, and our shockingly high rate of incarceration. Yoga has and will be used to address these issues on a broader scale--I can see it happening before my eyes.

I serve as a clinical mental health social worker as my primary role at San Quentin. In addiction to providing mental health treatment, I started a yoga and stress reduction program within the mental health department. I teach yoga classes to groups of 10-15 inmates twice a week in a small classroom in the basement of the hospital.

These reception inmates in particular are in "protected custody" which means they are separated from the general public for safety reasons. This could mean the inmates fall under any any of the following categories: those with enemy concerns, gang drop outs, gay/transgender inmates, etc. Due to the nature of their safety concerns these inmates tend to be more vulnerable and fearful of their surroundings. Their yoga practice allows them 2 hours of freedom from their incarceration through a dedication of asanas and pranayama. This is their quiet space. Their safe haven. Their small sliver of peace of mind for the entire week.

As you can imagine, the practice has been extremely well-received by the inmates and we are hoping to greatly expand our program to include death row and lifer inmates for which there are some classes but not nearly enough to meet the demand.

We are in dire need of yoga material donations for the inmates. The inmates have nothing and up until now we have solely been practicing in modified chair and standing poses. The inmates would have the opportunity to greatly expand their practice with the use of these materials.
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We really connected with Jasmine's mission and have sent yoga mats for her program. To learn more about Jasmine's efforts, check out her blog.