June 12th, 2013
Denise and Eric Antonini are the owners and co-founders of You and the Mat, an independent yoga studio and gallery for yoga inspired fine art, located in Laguna Niguel, CA. Their collective vision is to share the art of yoga with everyone who has ever longed to unwind, unplug, and connect with a deeper, more authentic version of the self. Through You and the Mat they make yoga accessible to students, instructors, and the community through their daily classes, art & music events, "Support Local" and Master Teacher Workshop Series. Honoring yoga as a fusion of art forms, You and the Mat celebrates visual poets, melodymakers, storytellers, soundtrackers of sunsets and creatives who share its vision ~ creating moments of calm, glimpses of now, and flashes of inspiration.
More about Denise:
Denise Antonini ~ Manduka Ambassador
Dynamic, soulful, and empowering, Denise pours inspiration and creativity into her teachings, using her expertise in health psychology to elevate an ancient practice to a state-of-the-art yoga experience. Yoga is her art of movement, mindfulness, her art of attention, and awareness, her art of intention. At Stanford University Denise studied psychology and the mind-body connection graduating with honors. At Chicago Medical School her thesis and doctoral work in clinical psychology focused on maintaining health, improving quality of life and achieving wellness.
As a therapist, consultant and professor she has helped people create the life they want to be living. As a yoga instructor her invigorating, fluid yoga sequences challenge the body helping students to disconnect from the busyness of day-to-day life-- tuning in to their intuition by stabilizing the mind with the breath. Denise effortlessly guides anyone who comes to the mat to a place of meditative calm--finding the perfection of the present moment.
Visit You And The Mat.
May 31st, 2013
By Kee Kee Buckley, creator of the Shama Yoga Rug.
I didn’t set out to become an inventor, it just sorta happened. It happened during a time in my life when I looked around and realized I wasn’t happy. There were a lot of broken parts in my life, and I had grown tired of sludging through the murky undercurrent of stagnant and toxic energy that seemed to infuse every bit of my existence. It was 2003, and yoga was the one thing that seemed to bind all the broken pieces of my life together. It was my lifeline during a time when little else made sense. A six year relationship had just ended, leaving me moving out of the beautiful spacious Venice Beach house owned by my ex-boyfriend into a tiny 300 square foot hobbit hole. I was also working hard to digest the fact that my dream career was really just something that was leaving me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I needed to find a solution and fix my life. Not knowing where else to begin, I turned to yoga.
In fact, I dove head first into yoga and enrolled in yoga teacher training. Then, wanting to take my practice even deeper, I enrolled in the Yoga Philosophy program at LMU and joined a yoga philosophy study group with several well-known LA yoga instructors. As my body and spirit grew stronger through yoga, I began to challenge myself physically with a more advanced asana practice. Yet with more physically demanding asana came more sweat. As much as I would like to say I glow when I work out, I don’t. I sweat. Profusely. My face gets red and puffy and sweat drips from places one would think sweat should never ever drip. On the one hand, sweating felt good – like I was detoxifying all that toxicity in my life. On the other hand, sweating hindered my practice by causing me to slip on my mat. Wanting a non-synthetic solution, I turned to cotton yoga rugs. Unfortunately, although they helped, I still would slip. Yes, I sweat that much.
Although I hadn’t yet found a solution to fix the bigger problems in my life, I was bound and determined to find a solution to fix my problems with sweating on my mat. A conversation with a friend about how I would improve the yoga rugs on the market led to me impulsively getting on the internet and educating myself about the difference between the weft and the warp yarns in weaving. I decided my dream yoga rug would have a raised weft weave, leaving ridges that would not only help with alignment, but would also be big enough to serve as friction points to stop me from slipping at the same time as being small enough that they wouldn’t throw off my balance. In order to accommodate large hands and feet on taller people and smaller hands and feet on shorter people, I wanted these ridges to be spaced further apart towards the ends of the rug and closer together towards the center of the rug. India was the only country I knew of that had commercial handloom companies, so I shot off a few e-mail inquiries to several of them. The most accommodating was a family-owned business in New Delhi, and over the next year they would send me samples, I would make changes and then they would send me new samples. We did this several times until I finally had a production sample of my new yoga rug, which I promptly named the Shama Yoga Rug. Shama in Sanskrit means tranquility and peace, and because I was actively searching for inner-peace in my life, I thought this the most fitting name for my new rug. The next few years involved obtaining a utility patent on my yoga rug, setting up an online store, and eventually finding a home for the Shama Yoga Rug in the Manduka family of products.
Fixing my problem with my sweaty yoga practice taught me a valuable life lesson. When I find there is a problem in my life, then I should buckle down, find a solution, and fix things once and for all. Surprisingly, inventing a patented yoga rug was easier than fixing some of the other broken things in my life. But I’m getting much better at drumming up the necessary courage to create lasting healthy changes. Each time I practice on my Shama Yoga Rug, I’m reminded of the importance of being an active participant in creating a life I love.
Kee Kee Buckley lives and writes in Austin, TX. Visit her blog at www.seekingshama.com and follow her on twitter at @seekingshama.
Learn more about the Shama Yoga Rug.
April 30th, 2013
This is a celebration of space: physical, mental and spiritual.
Space is where the breakthroughs happen, where we give ourselves the freedom and permission to explore. What will we have room for when we choose to make space?
There are places that specifically set us up to unblock. Freeing our bodies, energies and intentions. We’re talking about neighborhood yoga studios - the spaces, and the teachers, who know that our next epiphany might be one Triangle Pose away.
So that Triangle Pose ought to be magical. Manduka developed a new kind of yoga prop, made from recycled materials, and built the way your body is built – way outside the box. We call it unBLOK, and we hope that’s exactly what it helps you do.
To celebrate unBLOK, and the yoga studios that do just that, we’re turning to you. Tell us through Facebook about your favorite studio and why it’s a special place to practice. What is it about this space that brings you clarity during class and in the 22½ hours that follow?
We’ll thank you for sharing with a gift toward your next purchase at Manduka.com, and thank our 5 favorite yoga studios for helping yogis clear their paths with a full-class supply of soulfully engineered Manduka gear – plus an unBLOK Kit (unBLOK, PRO Mat and Strap) for the yogis who nominated them. Later, you can vote for the studio that inspires you too – we’ll throw an unBLOK Party for the studio with the most votes, complete with yoga, music, dancing and Manduka gifts for the whole block.
It’s much easier to see where we’re going when we clear the path. So let’s have an unBLOK Party!
April 26th, 2013
Since 2007, ZUDA Yoga has offered a challenging physical practice that is fun, dynamic and energizing with the profound message of yoga. Studio owners Anne Marie Kramer & Bill Prysock think of yoga as a way to help you get "within" to the place housing the answers to living an amazing life. Their founding principle is to build a sense of community where people can connect with others who are also walking a path of self-exploration and want to live deliberately. ZUDA Yoga has three locations in the Sacramento area.
Visit ZUDA Yoga.
March 14th, 2013
For the last 5 weeks, we've been challenging you to to see the extraordinary in your everyday moments. To allow yourself to be present to the WOW of NOW. Using the lens of yoga, and the lens of your camera, you saw the POP, the PULSE, the SHADE, the GLOW, and most recently the BREEZE hiding beautifully right before your eyes.
You chose to see more in the world around you. And we were moved. Below we have collected a few of our favorite images from last week's Spring giveaway, a challenge to capture the BREEZE.
By @louisetays, who won last week's BREEZE contest and the entire family of Manduka products in BREEZE.
Here are some of our other favorites!
Cindy Lee (@officialcindylee)
Dana Opalinsky (@BloomYoga on Twitter)
Rebecca Griggs (@rebecca0728)
Shelbie Laroche (shelbiel24)
Our deepest, most wide open thank you for allowing us to see what you see. The Now=Wow challenge has opened our eyes to inspiration everywhere, and we can't wait to do it again.
With deep gratitude,
- June 2013
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What does your Manduka help you #practice?
Click Here to share with us