blog

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.

July 29th, 2011

Featured Retailer: Body Wellness

Welcome to BodyWellness. Using Mind, Body and Spirit as our underlying
principal, we gather several disciplines under our roof. The newest addition to
the studio is our Yoga program where, as with our other programs, we have
focused on having the very best instructors to form its foundation.

Founded by Natalie Mirsky, BodyWellness provides a haven for individuals to go
on their journey in a supportive, friendly and beautiful environment. By the end
of your Yoga class, our seasoned instructors will have you feeling calm, balanced
and more at peace than when you first arrived.

Bandhu is the stopping or blockage of energy. Pranayama--the breath of life-- a
variety of breathing exercises. At BodyWellness we strive to renew the prana
within you, reduce or eliminate the bandhu and encourage you to develop a
pranayama practice that enables you to live a vital life.

We honor the Spirit within you, which is also the Spirit within us -Namaste.
We are conveniently located at 12304 Santa Monica Blvd., (two blocks west of
Bundy) Suite 200 in West LA adjacent to Santa Monica and Brentwood. We
validate parking for 2 hours and have showers on premises.

July 13th, 2011

# Practice Living

Life is happening all around us, but sometimes we can get caught up in the routine and stuck. Maybe we're afraid of trying something new, or of trusting that we are supported in new possibiliites. Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” This life is a gift, and the more we treat it as such and embrace it, the greater the adventure it becomes.

My Manduka helps me #practice living. What does your Manduka help you #practice?

Here's how our community is #practicing:

@erinpriddy
"Last night on my mat I was inspired to invent my very own secondary internship project. @MandukaYoga is inspiring me to #practice being bold'

@ManadaB
"Falling. Letting go, trusting enough, pushing harder. The balance may not hold long, but the fall means it held. #practice"

ETL yoga
" We moved about a month ago. I feel like my body is settling into a new place, a new energy and finally grounding! My mat stays grounded for me when I don't. ♥"

Andrea Slaby
"My Manduka helps me #practice Grace."

Kim Grybos
"My Manduka helps me #practice listening."

July 13th, 2011

Featured Retailer: Ishta Yoga

The ISHTA mission is to blend the ancient and contemporary yoga teachings of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda into a system that caters to our individual students' needs. Whether you are looking for physical strength or greater peace of mind, we provide you with a tailored practice to enhance your health and well-being. Yoga has many benefits and at ISHTA, you will not miss out on any of them!

The ISHTA Style

ISHTA Yoga is the home of South African Tantric Yoga Master Alan Finger's unique system of yoga. At ISHTA we strive to bring you to the Tantric state of balance. Our style encourages contentment and calm through the melding of breath, flow, strength building, alignment and meditation. We seek to offer every type of student a truly well rounded yet specific practice. Get a total body workout in our Core Flow class; learn to re-center the mind and breath in meditation classes run by Alan himself; or combine both physical and meditative practices in our range of beginner, intermediate, and advanced flow classes. Whatever you choose, you will find yourself feeling better every day.

What is ISHTA?

Our name itself embodies our multi-dimensional approach. ISHTA stands for Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, or a combination of physical, energetic, and healing practices. But ISHTA has a double meaning that stretches back to the very roots of yoga. ISHTA is also a Sanskrit word translating to 'that which resonates with the individual spirit,' emphasizing the personal journey we encourage and guide our students to embrace.

Our Teachers

Alan Finger has trained ISHTA instructors around the world, from Australia to Germany to Africa, but only at ISHTA's headquarter studio in Manhattan can students of all levels work intimately with the Yoga Master himself and some of his most highly trained teachers. Our teachers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to their teachings; through asana, pranayama, and meditation they guide a seamless practice that brings you physical strength and comfort, greater self-awareness, inner and outer equilibrium, and self-transformation. We pride ourselves on the expertise, personal attention and warmth our teachers provide.

How We Work with You

Our goal is to make your yoga practice convenient and accessible to you any time, anywhere. At ISHTA, we offer group classes as well as private lessons at the studio, in student's homes or at their office. We also offer Teacher Trainings to those looking for even greater enrichment. Our goal, no matter where we teach, is to address students' specific needs and imbalances by using asana to stretch, strengthen, balance, and release the physical body; pranayama and visualization to still and quiet the mind; and meditation to expand our awareness to the universal state of bliss.