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October 2012 Archive

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 23rd, 2012

#Practice Mindbodyconnection

Have you ever literally felt the weight of the world on your shoulders, or that lump in your throat when you are upset, or the pang in your heart center when you are sad or embarrassed? The chart below, courtesy of elephantjournal.com, shows exactly where emotions are stored in the body. Learning where emotions are stored might help reveal what your body is trying to tell you – a chronic pain or ache could be your body trying to send you a message:

October 22nd, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Camille

Meet Camille.

Doctors told her she would have back pain for the rest of her life. That she would need to attend regular physical therapy sessions and wear a bulky, uncomfortable back brace for always. That's how it was supposed to go.

Camille attended many therapy sessions for her scoliosis, but shortly after each session the pain always came back. She wanted another solution and thought back to the few yoga classes she had tried years before and how they made her feel — relaxed, recharged. She decided to go back to yoga, more seriously now, with more intention. After developing a daily practice, her back and neck spasms completely went away.

While yoga gave Camille relief from her pain, it also taught her how to relax as her most authentic self. Yoga helps her feel the most like who she truly is — and breaks down the walls she puts up around herself keeping her from who she's supposed to be. To do that, Camille says they key is to relax.

“I can’t tell you how much I resisted “final relaxation” when I first started yoga. You have never seen anyone fidget about so much! I was attached to the idea that only action was worthwhile. In the end it finallyclicked that my Type A personality really, really needed to learn to switch off and relax. That relaxing is not 'doing nothing,' it’s actively doing a thing, a very valid thing that our body needs as much as food or water, and that is resting and recharging."

Camille is proud to be a young, African American female in the yoga world and looks forward to welcoming more yogis into an increasingly diverse community. We are all already connected, and this practice reveals and belongs to everyone.

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

To learn more about Camille, check out her blog: www.cammieyogaom.blogspot.com

October 15th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Amber

Meet Amber.

She's on a mission to make yoga work for everybody and every body. All shapes, all creaky joints, and especially people who don't think of themselves as belonging in a yoga studio. Yoga started as a way for her to get out of her body and out of her head, now it's her tool to show "the misfits" how perfect their "fit" already is.

Helping others find their practice is important because of all that yoga has done for Amber. She's increased her range of motion – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Amber says: “My yoga practice has grounded me and stabilized me enough in my own identity that I could start to explore the parts of myself I don’t think align with my authentic self, and start to work on those. The yogic system has gotten me to this place through a journey of awareness, curiosity, and finally acceptance and love.”

Before yoga, Amber equated her accomplishments (or what felt like a lack thereof) with her self-worth. She felt that if she could just work the longest, have the cleanest house, have the best resume, or always buy the most expensive gifts, that she would be worthy and loved. Eventually she realized that instead of feeling fulfilled and loved, she felt resentful and tired. Since starting yoga, Amber now puts more trust into herself and has begun to believe that she is enough, just as she is. We think she's perfect. Learn more about Amber at bodypositiveyoga.com.

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

October 11th, 2012

#Practice Prosperity

Today we #practice prosperity – it's not from gadgets and paychecks. It's from grace on the path. Abundance comes from expanding the heart, so let's be cardiocentric in our work. What does Manduka help you #practice?

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