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August 2011 Archive

August 31st, 2011

Live, Laugh, Love And Practice

We asked you all to share your Soul Mat stories with us - and we couldn't be happier with what you've shared. Your stories are not only thoughtful and genuine but they are also inspiring - some are even heart wrenching. We are deeply honored that you allow Manduka to accompany you throughout the journey that is your practice.

Keep the stories coming! We love listening to you and learning more about the special relationship you have with your Soul Mat. Submit your story at www.manduka/com/us/mysoulmat and we'll say thanks with a free organic Mat Wash.

Check out just a few of our Soul Mat submissions so far:

From Low Mat Self-Esteem to a Soul Mat for Life
My Manduka Black Mat® PRO found me after a few years of experimentation. I had what I could only call 'low mat self-esteem'. It all started with a smelly old mat from the gym. It was purple, worn, slippery and provided little to no cushion even when placed upon the sweat infused carpet of the Yoga room at my gym (also the cardio boxing room). Then I splurged for a cheap-o nameless mat, and after a slippery start we became buddies. After the mat with no name wore out and left little blue flecks after every practice, I tried an imitation black mat from the internet. It promised to do everything the PRO mat could do at a fraction of the price. We never clicked, and often wondered... is this as good as it gets? It was a while before my practice blossomed, and I realized that we, my practice and I, were worth it, and I splurged for the the Manduka Black Mat® PRO. Spending more that I ever imagined a yoga mat could cost, I eagerly awaited her arrival. The box was huge, and heavy too. I opened it up, and behold! The angels sang. So cushiony, yet firm. My feet held their place firmly, with no slippage at all. And when I lifted my feet, the mat stayed in place! I hate those super sticky mats that just don't know when to let go. We have been close friends since, we travel to the City to visit Dharma Mittra, and we get together every morning for practice. We even do bhakti yoga together, albeit rolled up like a seat. I can't ever imagine wanting or needing another yoga mat, which is good because after years of daily use there isn't even a hint of wear. Thank you Manduka for the best mat ever. I only wish I splurged sooner.

Happily in Love
I've just recently found my Soul Mat. The Manduka PROLite. At first, it was like any other relationship. I was attracted to it's outward qualities the texture the physique. Then I went through a few "dates" where the conversation between me and my mat we're open but still awkward and misunderstood. But now about 3 months into my relationship, my mat (who I call Blossom) and I are happily in love with each other. It's full of give and take. We are one through practices everywhere. Just feeling the mat under my toes I begin my preparation for yoga practice. After nearly 10 years I found my Soul Mat!

My Sanctuary
My Soul Mat has gotten me through some difficult times the past 2 years. It has been my sanctuary, my place of peace. 2 years ago, my dad had a bilateral leg amputation and almost lost his life because of an pneumonia. A year later, my 20 year old brother was killed by a drunk driver. My mat and yoga has been my sanity. The tree of life on it reflects how important the people in my life are and that life is a gift not to take for granted.

Love at First Sight
I researched mine online...but finally met mine in person at Uptown Yoga here in Dallas....aww...it was love at first site... Today we spend 3-5 days a week close...sometimes closer...and i always feel comfort during our times together. I think more than ever...mine means more and more to me as I progress on my journey and mine never has left my site...comfort, color, and always allow me to be me...and reflect on how I can make myself better. That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Growing Old Together
My Soul Mat has been with me since the very beginning & still comes with me every night now that I teach. Growing old together!

August 15th, 2011

Attached To Your Practice Or Just Disciplined?

By Karen Macklin

We practice yoga and meditation for many reasons, one of which is to let go of our attachments to emotions, relationships, and habitual patterns and addictions. But what if we start to develop an attachment to our practice? And how do we know if it’s an attachment—or if it’s discipline?

I got to thinking about this after reading a great comment that was left on my last post. I was asking whether or not it’s a good idea to take a break from one’s yoga practice while on vacation. The commenter said that it was essential to take breaks so as to not form an attachment to practice. I understood what he meant. I have been around people who will absolutely die if they can’t get to their yoga class. It can be an uncomfortable thing to watch, someone racing mindlessly out of work, or cursing while looking for parking, driven by a dire need to get on that yoga mat and decompress, dammit.

And I will admit that I have gone through stages in my life in which I depended on my practice in order to regulate my emotions and energy during times of stress, grief, or physical ailments. That was when I practiced more at studios, and I refused to miss one class with my teacher. I gave up certain professional opportunities, not to mention social plans, because of this determination. But in a sense, that urgency was helpful because it kept me showing up day after day. It felt like discipline.