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August 2012 Archive

August 27th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Sachi

This is Sachi.

Sachi started practicing yoga when she was living in Hawaii. It was at a free community class, deep in the green tropical rainforest, Sachi felt overpowered with the notion that every person and every life on this planet is connected through air, and through breath. This was where liking yoga became loving yoga and being yoga. Now, as a teacher, her focus is to create moments that profoundly connect her students' spirit with nature.

Yoga gave Sachi one of the happiest moments in her life. On a rock climbing trip to British Columbia this summer, she was on a cliff right over Lake Revelstoke – and she paused. It was a crazy place to be: vertical rock, tiny handholds, completely exposed over the water. But Sachi was totally in her world, among nature's stunning elements and with a beautiful friend. An eagle passed by, the wind was calm, and the water was singing. They meditated and chanted, right there while hanging in the air. If the rest of her life can have more moments like this, it will be hard to make Sachi any happier.

Sachi admits that when she first started practicing, her busy life and her attitude made her feel the need to fill every single minute of the day with some sort of task or activity – stillness wasn't an option. Yoga gave her the opportunity to ‘do nothing’ and come back to the purest form of herself.

We loved learning about Sachi. 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

August 20th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Richa

Meet Richa.

Richa started practicing yoga because when you're 3 years old, you do what your Nana says. And Nana told 3-year old Richa to practice right next to her, in padmasana, on the traditional cow-dung floor in their Indian home. Yoga started as a practice of not only discipline, but of love and trust.

When Richa got older, she moved to the West, and rebelled against everything associated with Indian culture. But we can't ignore our roots forever, and they always have an odd way of growing back. She came to re-embrace her culture and religion, which in turn came to inform her calling in life. When she came back to yoga, she felt like she came back home.

Yoga has taught Richa to be fearless, or at least brave, and has inspired her to look over the edge. Her rediscovered practice has helped her branch way outside her comfort zone, trying new things like kite boarding and rip skating (photo evidence below!). She feels happy and alive — and people call her that all the time. And Richa knows that the best is yet to come.

We loved getting to know Richa, and we'd love to meet 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

August 13th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Jenn


Meet Jenn.

Jenn has no idea why she started practicing yoga so many years ago.

One day, she wandered into a yoga class at her university’s gym, and admits that at first she didn’t really like it: “All the things the teacher was asking me to do seemed entirely out of reach. Still my mind? Twist like what? Stand on my arm and head? What the? But for some reason I kept going back, and I kept unfolding and growing and after awhile I stopped doing yoga and yoga started doing me.”

These days, Jenn’s yoga practice is a "luscious love." She is heavily involved in Africa Yoga Project, an organization bringing jobs, improved health and leadership training to Africa's urban slums. What was supposed to be one teacher assistant opportunity at a Baptiste teacher training in Kenya in 2009 revealed her passions and new purpose. At a recent fundraising event in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Jenn helped raise over $50,000 for Africa Yoga Project and Children’s Hospital, someone told her it was the most inspiring day of their life. That moment brought everything into a new light.

Her practice has given her patience, deeper relationships, unexpected lessons everyday and maybe most surprisingly, a job! We loved getting to know Jenn, and we'd love to meet 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

August 8th, 2012

Karson Mcginley - Founder Of Happy-U




A Manduka Mat? Yeah, I have one of those. It actually saved my life.


I was riding my bike home from a yoga class two years ago, and had my Manduka Pro strapped on my back across my chest. When the car hit me, my body hit the windshield, my mat unstrapped, swung around, and slid perfectly under my head as I landed in the middle of the street.
I landed like this:


Okay, not really, but in my mind I did.


Although I had broken my back, my head was perfectly protected on my mat/pillow, and considering I hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I knew my angels had been looking out for me that day.


I eventually healed my back through my yoga practice, denying the suggested surgeries from the docs at the hospital. And ever since then, I’ve had a pretty serious love-affair with my mat. Not just the mat itself (although you couldn’t pay a bagillion dollars to take it from me), but everything it represents. That I was flexible & strong enough to land gracefully (I mean, did you SEE that picture??) and not shatter every bone in my body; that I was capable of healing MYSELF, through the practice of yoga, meditation, and good ol’ faith & optimism; that I was so divinely protected by the universe that I get on my mat every morning and smile at the majesty of it all.


So thank you, Manduka, for saving my life, with the help of the little angels who carried the mat to its perfect position. My head is grateful, my heart is full, and I am totally enthralled and grateful for it all.




Sincerely,


Karson McGinley
Yoga Instructor, San Diego, CA
Founder of HAPPY-U: A Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga
www.happy-u.org

August 6th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Lara

This is Lara.

When she taught yoga in Rwanda for the first time, the class moved their sewing machines aside and rolled out their mats onto a dusty workroom floor. Lara had been practicing a few phrases in the local language, but the moment she opened her mouth, her students started laughing hysterically. Lara's poor pronunciation set the stage for 3 amazing months of what she called 'Laughing Yoga.'

For Lara, yoga is a means to provide support and encouragement to others. She is able to adapt her yoga teachings to any situation — from Manhattan to Mysore. Everyone is beautiful, everyone is unique, everyone is both a student and a teacher. And for Lara, every yoga practice is an opportunity to rewire ourselves and see our choices as a bigger picture of causes and effects. This perspective has empowered her to stand up against human trafficking in India.

Lara says that we all carry our life experience in our bodies and the opportunity to watch those experiences being released through yoga is very powerful. "It never stops amazing me how breath can open a heart and heal a soul."

Here at Manduka, we are also consistently amazed at the opportunity we have to read and share your stories! Tell us your story on our You Series page:Manduka.com/You

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

Practice On.

--Manduka