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April 2014 Archive

April 16th, 2014

The Heart Of The Matter

This is the year we focus on #WhatMatters, and a dear, dear member of our Facebook community felt inspired to share her story. Thank you, Leah, This is what matters:

Dear Reader,

This is a story that starts and ends with love. “HOLY COW,” I hear a girly voice squeal. I’m tucked tightly in a shipping box, ready and waiting to meet my new person. So far my mat life has been a series of hello and goodbyes from those who made me. I know careful consideration was put into weaving life into my long lean sides and colorful, cheery outer appearance. I was made for someone who needed a little extra comfort, I was made to support, love and hug my person. So here I am and excitement boils up inside my soft fibers. A friendly looking man pulls me out of my shipping box and says, “Surprise my love! I hope you like it.” Then I get a good look at my new best friend, the one I know I will spend countless hours getting to know. She unrolls me onto the carpet and carefully taps her big toe on me, unsure if she wants to jump on with wild excitement. “Well mat. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with you. Let’s wait until tomorrow and find out.” With that I am rolled back up and set on the coffee table. I know she’s still admiring my beauty and strangeness.

The next day we’re off to our first yoga class. Here the room is filled with people and other mats that look similar to me. Soon her long legs are grounded across the cushion of my fibers. The breathing begins, inhale and exhale. I’m here to remind her to breathe and she does. She tucks herself in close to me and I can feel her heart beating fast. I think she might be nervous. But no worries, that’s what I’m here for, to support and comfort. For 75min I can hear her breathe, feeling her muscles shaking and finally relaxing. Her sweaty palms stay in place thanks to the way my Makers made me. I knew right from the start, from the minute I saw her that we were meant to be. And after this class so did she. She softly whispers thanks to me and safely puts me back into my snug carrier.


Over the years I have seen her grow. I have been there to collect the tears she shed. I gave her energy and encouragement on the days she felt defeated by life. I was there to support her on the scary things in class like crow and headstands. I heard her laugh out loud and maybe heard a few ‘barking spiders’ over the years. I have seen my person grow, turning into someone with more ease, laughter and gain a calmness about her. As a best friend I have heard all her secrets, her deepest fears that were hidden within her muscles and bones. I have seen her zigzag her way to finding herself, that authentic part that is instilled in her with every savasana, she now carries it with her all the time. I have embraced the perfections and imperfections about her when she could not. I witnessed the raw emotions that she worked through to gain the self confidence I always knew she had. Today we are one, I am just as much a part of her as she is me. She is my beloved and I am hers, when she breathes I breath. And in the morning I am ready to cheer her on and whisper the ‘I can” in her thoughts. So do me a favor right now and thank your yoga mat because when I am thanked I shine even brighter.

With kind affection,
Manduka PRO- Black Beauty
(aka Captain Happy Mat)

As told to Leah Pepion

April 1st, 2014

Thank You Rise!

It's nice to get fan mail for supporting the work we think is truly important in the world. Thank you, RISE, San Francisco Public Schools and the awesome teen yogis at Mills High School.