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October 13th, 2014

This Is My Yoga – A Look Back At Week 4

It’s been a month of celebration and reflection— we asked what your yoga means to you when it is most raw and true, and you answered. Thousands of you shared, reconnecting us all to the unfiltered root of this transformational practice. It’s been an honor to witness to your strength, warmth, and wisdom, to reflect + connect as a community. This is what yoga is really about. To see your community in action, have a look at what your fellow yogis are sharing using #ThisIsMyYoga on Instagram, Twitter or at Manduka.com/thisismyyoga. Here’s a brief glimpse into the soul of the fourth week of #thisismyyoga.

Courtney Cronis, @tiny_yogini (who, as a thank you for sharing her story, will receive a suite of gear from our new Fall Collection, plus a gift for the yogi she tagged next, Brandi @omyogasana)

#ThisIsMyYoga My yoga is connection. Finding connection and learning about my own body and my own soul and emotions. Connecting to the earth around me, to nature, to all creatures and being able to now see the life and importance of each and every own of them. Connection and appreciation to all of the people in my life, being able to be kinder and more compassionate not only to them, but to everyone I meet. Connecting to music, to good people, to food, to books and wise words, to truth. Connecting to my own open mind and open heart and being able to live my yoga off of my mat so that I not only have a flexible, strong, and balanced body, but an even more flexible, strong, and balanced soul. Yoga is the way that I discovered how to connect to the entire universe around.

Holly Oldroyd Wielechowski, @yoginiwildandfree

Getting to the edge of everything and then letting go... #thisismyyoga

Justin Wolfer, @justinwolferyogi

The beauty of yoga is that message is simple and universal - Practice and be full aware and unattached to what surfaces. Over time you will discover where you've placed the barriers preventing you from discovering that which you are seeking. Want to find love? Then practice being the most attentive unconditional lover you know how to be. Soon you'll start to see your conditions for love.... So what are you seeking? #ThisIsMyYoga

Cristina Michalski, @cristinamichalskig

Healing from the inside out #thisismyyoga

Herna Mohari, @herrrna

When I am on my mat, I am free to be ME. I feel beautiful; not because I have sexy legs nor a bendy body, but because I am able to create and put into shapes and movements, the beautiful person I feel inside. My movements powered by my breath, full of energy; Prana. When I practice, I feel so strong, joyous and free, capable of doing things I never thought I could. Everyday, somebody tells me I look underweight/skinny/sick/anorexic. In fact, I feel quite the opposite. Yoga does not judge nor hate, it is pure love. #thisismyyoga

Jeanie Hay, @jeaniehay

The photos I usually post are genuine expressions of my open heart and my joyful physical practice, and yet I have been holding back from showering certain parts of my practice with that openhearted love. My ego encourages me to post mostly pictures of poses I am "good at." Those headstands and wild things are beautiful, but I am ready to find and show my shadow sides, the places that I keep hidden because I judge them unworthy. Yoga can be intimidating to many people who have never tried it. It's easy to look at a photo of an experienced Yogini in an advanced pose like handstand and think "I can't do that with my body so yoga must not be for me." As a yoga sharer, I want to spread the idea that yoga meets you right where you are and is accessible to everyone. Start where you are, with what you have, a body. Sit and breathe. Move and breathe. Release your harsh self-judgment about what it looks like. Notice how it feels, stay with the sensation, and see what happens. In service of this idea, I will be posting photos of myself practicing the poses that I find challenging. I will use this waning moon cycle to release my ego's need to look accomplished and I will allow my self to be vulnerable. Here we go! This is my full expression of forward fold - I feel strong sensation in my hamstrings, my low back, my upper back and neck here. Today I cannot fold myself all the way over my legs. Today I can make this version of this shape and I can sit with it and I can breathe with it. This is my yoga.

Kirsten McCormick, @eatfoodlovelife

| C L I M B I N G | my way through fear, boundaries and thoughts of impossibility #thisismyyoga (on a rock) #firstclimb

@Yoganea

I travel to the Swedish mountains to be soothed, healed and to have my senses put back in order. This is the view from my mat right now. The colors of the sky above. The sound of the river below. I am forever grateful for this beauty of nature all around. Thank you. #ThisIsMyYoga

Allyson Pfeifer, @allypfeif

#thisismyyoga :: remembering that i am here to grow, to love, to heal. that i am peace, gratitude, and love. that i have the strength to remind someone else that they are already whole. that i fall and forget, and that makes me unwaveringly human. that i too am strong, resilient, and whole. forgetting and remembering, over and over again.

Rikie, @Rikster

little pinch action in front of this awesome wall piece in Wynwood #ThisIsMyYoga

Britta Farr, @brittabearr

Just hanging out with the clouds #ThisIsMyYoga

@freedivegirl

We often hear yoga referred to as a "soul sport", a hobby enjoyed on so deep a level that even the soul becomes dialed into the movement. Each day we bring a new body to the mat, some areas are stiff, some need strengthening, other bits need lengthening. And each day this ratio of tightness to spaciousness changes so we must bring total awareness to all parts of our being and then "dial in" our practice to meet the needs of the body in that moment. Yoga is my soul sport.

@yogaandartjourney

Go to yoga like you mean it! #thisismyyoga

The beauty of this community is that we are here, lifting one another when we are in the midst of regaining our sense of purpose in our practice, and this conversation remains open. We encourage you to keep sharing what your real yoga means on Instagram or Twitter with tag #ThisIsMyYoga.

Practice On,
Manduka

October 6th, 2014

9 Questions With The Ironyogi

Let’s talk about yoga. Do you think of bending and stretching and breathing? Do you think of Indian gurus or suburban Californians? Do you think of NFL Quarterbacks and Olympic medalists?

There are 20 Million Americans who regularly practice yoga – and we think you should be one of them. You read Outside Magazine (and even open its sponsor emails), you value physical wellbeing, you like cool gear.

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We’re Manduka, and we’re honored to be the world’s leading creator of eco-conscious yoga gear. This summer, we debuted LiveON – the first ever 100% recyclable, 100% reclaimable yoga mat. Lightweight, versatile and attainably priced, this mat was especially designed for the ‘yoga curious.’

Recently we had a candid conversation with an unexpected yogi: a former professional Ironman triathlete, two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion and the creator of Vega – the leader in clean, plant-based nutrition.
Brendan Brazier – our IronYogi – offered us a window to his yoga:

M: Your athletic performance record is extremely impressive – where does yoga fit in for you?

B: Well for a long time, I felt okay about my training. Just ok. I didn’t think I was recovering as well as I could have, so I wasn’t training as efficiently as I wanted to be. Short races are all about talent, but these longer events are about how hard and well you work. That’s when I started getting into nutrition and thinking more holistically. Thankfully, I lived in Vancouver, BC – yoga was pretty normal there. I saw it as a way to loosen up my hip flexors and hamstrings, upper back and shoulders.

M: But there are lots of things you can do for hips and hams, why yoga?

B: I’m a curious person. I want to know why I feel a certain way, what it’s connected to and how to feel good consistently for life. Yoga is a great bridge for understanding this. Plus, I lived right across from the first lululemon store in the late 90s, so I was face to face with yoga every time I stepped outside. I could just look at these yoga poses and see how they made sense.

M: Was it what you expected?

B: The class experience was, but how my body felt was unexpected. I was a professional athlete, but yoga was asking my body to do things that were harder than a lot of my training. I could feel the difference right away, even after that first class I knew something was happening, and it was much bigger impact than I thought it would be.

M: Did you feel comfortable being there?

B: No, not at first, because my body was pretty uncomfortable holding these positions it wasn’t used to being in. But I guess that’s part of yoga – learning to breathe through discomfort. Focusing on the breath and what you can control and letting everything else fall away – I think that even helped me with the mental challenges of racing.

M: So is yoga a physical practice for you, or something else?

B: Physical first, for sure. Those are the benefits I needed and noticed the most. I run and I bike, and those for me are like an active meditation. My mind goes places when I do those things. But in yoga, I do feel focused on it. Right on the edge of what my body can do. Yoga sort of shuts off my wandering mind, which is a helpful skill.

M: What did you notice changing after you started yoga?

B: Immediately I felt like I could take higher quality, deeper breaths. A lot of people don’t really appreciate breathing – it’s just this automatic thing. But when you’re in tune with it, you’re getting a lot more oxygen in your lungs. It’s even helped me sleep better. Then there’s the injury prevention – obviously I can’t say what injuries I didn’t get because of yoga. My Achilles tendons have been tight for a long time, and I know they’d be a lot tighter if I wasn’t practicing. Yoga has been part of my training for 15 years, without it I don’t think I would still be doing this, and still improving.

M: 15 years in, what is your practice like now?

B: A little something every day or every other day. Even just a few minutes of twists and hip opening sequences I’ve been using since my first classes. I travel a lot, so my yoga studio is usually in a hotel room or a friend’s place. I think of myself as a work in progress, the yoga is a way to keep progressing.

M: Why do you think more runners and athletes don’t take up yoga?

B: I’ve heard some people say time. Or not knowing where to start. I think also there might be doubt that it will actually do anything. But I’ve seen it help – with reducing the risk of injury, with speedy recovery, with lengthening my career. You know, a lot of professional athletes are trying hard to squeeze another year or two out of their careers – this should be part of anything you do to be good at a sport.

M: How would you describe yoga to someone who’s never heard of it?

B: That’s a tough question. It’s easier to describe the outcome than the process. Maybe yoga is a process of becoming more aware, able to move more fluently, and think more clearly.

M: Namaste to that.

October 6th, 2014

#Thisismyyoga—Reflecting On Week 3

The movement continues – this collective pause to reflect and connect from the heart, as a community, about what our yoga practice really means. #Thisismyyoga is all about your yoga, beyond the mat and towel, the green tea and leggings. You shared that your yoga is family, service, integrity, being present to ourselves and each other on the mat, on the road, in the kitchen or in a giant pile of autumn leaves. Explore what yoga is to real yogis on Instagram, Twitter or at Manduka.com/thisismyyoga. Here are some of the brave, beautiful portraits of how yoga is happening:

Jess Braccia, @jessbraccia (who, as a thank you for sharing her story, will receive a suite of gear from our new Fall Collection, plus a gift for the yogi she tagged next, Rebecca Schneider @itsbeccc)

This is my yoga. Yoga is knowing upon waking that the day will only be as good as I make it, so I better make it a great one. Yoga is knowing upon waking that there is a reason, a purpose, for having one more day on this earth. Yoga is knowing that it gets better. Yoga teaches me to bend so that I don't break. Yoga has given me a second chance to share the wealth. My yoga is healing; my yoga is self-love; my yoga is teaching others to know their yoga.

Sophia Bush, @sophiabush

…as of late, yoga has meant giving myself a gift. Something just for me. For my health. My wellness. My soul. Learning to listen to my body, and to give it what it needs. Because I'm learning that I'm worth it. I deserve to sweat, strengthen, meditate, and breathe. I deserve to love myself now, in this moment. Not when I become/achieve/do "that thing." Now. #THISisMyYoga

Jenny Reitz, @jenny_reitz

#thisismyyoga Watching the rain storm with my grandpa. This is our yoga today.

Carolyn, @wateryogini

My yoga is simple. Sometimes it is strong, sometimes it is soft. Sometimes it is physical but now I am learning that often times it is mindful. My yoga brings me back down to the ground with the sun on my shoulders and the earth between my toes. It releases everything else swirling on around me and brings me back to my center. I'm learning how to use my yoga like a mirror to reflect upon my inner self without judgment. My yoga is my journey.

Sadiya Marie, @Sadiyamarie

#thisismyyoga Trusting everything that life throws at me is for my own benefit. In the end, it all works out exactly how it was supposed to.

Tim Seutter, @yogafirenz

Yoga had opened a whole new world for me and given me FREEDOM! Freedom to be myself, my true self. Yoga helped me gain the confidence to live life for each moment and to take my family and move around the world. My old self would have never dreamt of leaving a stable, well paying job, a nice house and vehicles, a cabin on a lake and leave on a whim to New Zealand. I still don't know why I ended up in NZ but one day the answer will come. Yoga taught me to be ok with the unknown, ok with being myself and ok with giving up all I have known to start a journey of self-discovery and many unknowns. The people I have met, the inspiration that other yogi/yoginis give me every day has been such a blessing. Showing a person that a posture is attainable not through strength alone but belief in oneself has been such a treasure to watch. Thanks to everyone on my yogic journey who have impacted me so much. That is the most memorable part of this all. #ThisIsMyYoga.

Vlada-Diana, @Vladayogini

My practice is 2.5 years old and I started yoga to ease my back pain, since I have severe scoliosis. Back then I couldn't have even imagined how yoga would change me. Yoga is much more than exercise. It has 8 limbs, but no boundaries. There is a yoga style for everyone. No matter how flexible and bendy and strong you are - there is yoga for you. No matter if you are man or woman - there is yoga for you. Now I realize that I am here to serve. I love and embrace my nature of a woman and I am eager to share it with you. Here I am bringing quotes and photos for you, encouraging you, inspiring you. But, always assume, all that I do, here and there, I do with love. I love you

Kim Stetz, @kimstetz

#ThisIsMyYoga I teach meditation at Rikers prison to women inmates and COs weekly. My yoga is daily and just this breath. [At my studio #savasanastation] I do not charge for mat use - starting in Nov I will ask for $1 donations for mat use so at our year anniversary in April I can donate our gently used mats to the prison program and buy new ones at the studio.

Briohny & Dice Iida-Klein, @BryceYoga

#thisismyyoga ... I am serious about my Yoga practice but my practice doesn't have to be serious. I practice when I can and welcome my kids (and dogs) to join in whenever. If I had it my way, I would practice at home all of the time (I hate being away from my kiddos). But my mom told me that when I'm away, if she tells #babysyd that I'm doing Yoga, he's cool with it.

Rosie Acosta, @rosieacosta

I'm always fascinated by the incredible beauty of Nature. I always say that I find it most powerful & nourishing to be outdoors surrounded by a lush green landscape or close to a body of water. To repeatedly return back to the source of our being and to be able enjoy every magical moment of this planet one breathe at a time. Connecting to nature helps me find the courage to trust the wisdom within my heart…my teacher. #thisismyyoga what's yours?

Melissa Lee, @pocketdwarf

"While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about" I am completely blown away by how much my mini has learnt just be watching what I do. I never would have guessed she would start walking her feet up a wall at the age of Two after watching me do this. My heart is full. It brings me so much joy watching her do yoga and seeing how happy she is when she shows me what she can do. "Look mommy, I do yoga." #thisIsMyYoga ~ sharing my mat with my mini and being totally amazed by her every day. She inspires me to get on my mat everyday.

Jacki Carr, @jackicarr

Hiking in Banff National Park today, I recognized the neon green moss and decided to go ahead and just lay down on it. #thisismyyoga in nature for a beautiful pause to watch the breeze through the trees as the clouds pass and truly allow my body to be held by Earth. And obviously, I call it, moss-vasana. Highly recommended.

Join us! Share your real yoga on Instagram or Twitter with tag #ThisIsMyYoga. Show your community what your practice is really about, and tag another person to share theirs and keep the conversation going. Next week (our last week) we’ll select one yogi to receive a suite of Manduka gear from the new Fall Collection, plus gifts for the yogi who tagged them and the yogi they tagged next.

Practice on, 

Manduka

September 29th, 2014

#Thisismyyoga – A Look At Week 2

Over 1,800 of you have shared your yoga so far. You have opened your hearts, thought deeply and gotten extremely creative. Just have a look at this hashtag in your Instagram or Twitter feed or see what people are sharing at Manduka.com/thisismyyoga to see the range of ideas, energies and especially joys.

Keep going, because this is our time to talk. We’re flowing from asana to rawsana: real honest conversation about what yoga is and how it can help us create the beautiful world we want to live in. This is less about digging into our hamstrings and more about digging into our heartstrings.

Here are some of the things you shared last week:

@livinglifeupsidedown (Kelli Davis, who, as a thank you for sharing her story, will receive a suite of gear from our new Fall Collection, plus a gift for @marlakasilag who tagged Kelli, and @pauladhy and @lizlovelaugh, who she tagged next.):

My yoga... I was searching for the perfect words...there is no such thing in yoga. My yoga is not perfect but it doesn't have to be. Yoga to me is love, kindness, non-judgemental, happiness, authentically caring, and learning to let.it.goooo. Let all the shit go. For me personally, I love the strength that come with the asana (pose) practice part. I wouldn't be on this yoga journey if I didn't step into that one yoga class that taught me my first arm balance. My yoga is changing. I am learning to breathe, to be still, to love, to meditate, all these wonderful things beyond the asana and it's pretty freaking amazing.

@blackbearsongwn (Jolene Rachelle)

My yoga is tuning into the eternal rhythms of life that move my breath, my body, the seasons, the planets, the universe. It's showing up on my mat to release the fears and inadequacies that hold me back from showing up in my daily life with love in my heart and light in my eyes. It's being broken open over and over and over again and accepting with grace what I find in those broken places. It's learning that physical and emotional strength and flexibility cannot be separated and that the deeper I move into the asanas, the deeper I move into myself, and the deeper I move into myself the deeper i move into love. And I think at the core of it all that's my yoga; the practice of love, and the realization that in the end that's all there is. We dance with the light and we dance with the dark and in the end it all just goes back to love.

@nerguita (Laura G)

For me yoga is not a pose, it's a journey with my body, it's not a perfect asana, it's the daily lesson of learning how to read, listen and understand my mind, my thoughts, my emotions, my balance in the physical, and the subtle energy of my soul... It means accepting the gift I receive in my mat, accepting what happens inside myself and specially accepting what goes on the outside.. Yoga means patience, energy, quietness and abstraction, it means concentration and focus, it means I can control my mental screen, what goes in and what I need to remove, it means let go, it means inhale and exhale, it means a smile and a mouth shut, it means being humble, it means health in my mind, my body and my soul .. It means so much in the mat and way too much out of the mat.

@mango_twee (Thuy Dockendorf)

Yoga to me is gratitude. Its the practice of kindess, patience, love, compassion, and understanding. It is the candle that lights up the darkness within me. It is a service to be better toward myself and toward others. It is the mouse that clicks the close button on all the tabs I have open in my brain. I used to be lost and incredibly insecure till I started my practice. I was afraid to be vulnerable and now I am no longer afraid to be broken open. Yoga for me is choosing love over fear and knowing to trust myself and my abilities. I am incredibly grateful I found my practice and my passion.

@rosieacosta (Manduka Ambassador Rosie Acosta)


#lifeoutdoors #thisismyyoga

@pamesantillana


1. El amor existe. 2. Amo mi carrera 3. Amo construir el amor 4. Amo estos chocolates #thisismyyoga
(translation: 1. Love exists. 2. I love my work. 3. Love begets love. 4. I love these chocolates. #thisismyyoga)

@mollyoneillyoga

My favorite practices take place at home, moving my body wherever it wants to go, stopping to appreciate the love around me. And my yoga is letting go of perfection, not freaking out if my arm looks fat or my back isn't straight or my hair is messy. It's being in the moment, feeling what I feel and rolling with whatever comes up.

@cherylmyoga (Cheryl Maslar)

Yoga helps to keep me grounded and focused. Yoga challenges me to keep growing both on and off of the mat. Yoga helps me to not be so hard on myself and to realize that I am a work in progress. Yoga makes me feel strong, calm, playful, balanced and humble ( among many other things). Yoga gives me the opportunity to help others.

@yogi_in_the_pines (Hilary Andrews)

#thisismyyoga | 6 months ago I was struggling to figure out who I was and what I really wanted out of life. I was facing big decisions without any hope or confidence in myself. I knew I had to change something. I had always wanted to try yoga but never could find the time. I stumbled across a documentary on Netflix called "Yoga Is" and started following the beautiful @laurasykora and @kathrynbudig on IG and realized I needed to MAKE the time. So for a month I took a beginners foundation course at @hotasana in Southern Pines, NC and began my awakening. Yoga is more to me than flexibility and burning calories (although I love those things too). It's about surrender. My yoga is accepting my flaws, accepting the things I can't control, and finding peace with it. My yoga is for my daughter: building MY confidence and self-love so that SHE grows up to love herself for everything she is. My yoga has brought me strength, courage, and, most importantly, my path. I am so grateful and happy I have found an amazing community to share my passion with!

@michmcm (Michelle McManus)

Turning frowns upside down since the beginning of time. I always remember this moment when life gets cray and things get wack.

@sarahtvrussell (Sarah TV Russell)

Sharing the passion for outdoor adventure and instilling the urge in my daughter to #strikeapose anywhere #thisismyyoga

@jmeltz (Jessica Meltzer)

Yoga is my home away from home. Brings me the comfort and calmness that little else can. I'm a (may-juh) work in progress, but aren't we all?

Join us! Share your real yoga on Instagram or Twitter with tag #ThisIsMyYoga. Show your community what your practice is really about, and tag another person to share theirs and keep the conversation going.
We’ll continue to select one yogi every week to receive a suite of Manduka gear from the new Fall Collection, plus gifts for the yogi who tagged them and the yogi they tagged next.

Practice on,
Manduka

September 22nd, 2014

#Thisismyyoga – A Look At Week 1

It’s time to talk – and the conversation has begun. All week you’ve been sharing what YOUR yoga really means. You cracked the surface, dug in, reflected and connected to something amazing.

This is what happens when we peel back the layers and put our practice into practice. Thousands of us came together to bring #ThisIsMyYoga to life. When we break through the noise that distracts us from what really matters, on and off the mat, this is what it looks like…


Marissa, @learningtobalance

“This is where I come to clear the chaos in my mind. This is where I find my patience as a mother when it just isn't coming naturally. This is where I come to laugh at myself, honor my body, lay down emotion, and shed my tears. It is here that I accept the things I cannot change. This is where I have learned and continue to learn to speak less, listen more, and consider other viewpoints. This is where I learn to breathe. This is where I find my strength AND my weaknesses, and try to find balance between them. This is where I have learned to look at myself in the mirror and feel happiness. This is the coal to my fire. I am a trailblazer in the heavy brush that is life. This may not be a traditional path, or practice, but it is my own. Therefore, this is perfect. This is my yoga.”


Melanie, @melzors

“For me, yoga isn't just a way to see what the body is physically capable of doing on the mat. It's also about taking what I've learned mentally through practice and applying it to everyday life. The heart feels more full yet open, the mind is more aware and accepting and the feelings of gratitude and love are constantly overflowing both to and from others.”


DJ Townsel (from the NFL!), @dade2shelby

"Yoga is a way to tap into a spiritual, physical, and mental deposit that I didn't think was accessible when playing football or weightlifting. Yoga allows me to unify my mind, body, and soul. Mentally focusing on becoming a better person, physically focusing on becoming a moving work of art, and spiritually focusing on becoming a contagious inspirational force of energy that can positively impact the lives of others. A feat that I just knew wasn't possible 2 years ago, I have proven myself and others wrong by breaking the so-called "limitations" of what a man with my background, race, and physical stature is capable of. Yes, a black man from the hood that plays football and lifts weights daily is capable of being a force of spiritual energy that can twist and bend his body with the best of them. It is possible for me, and YES, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU! Just believe in yourself. The body achieves what the mind believes!!!!"


Dee, @deedoby

“Love isn't something you do, it is something you are. Because love is a way of being. It is a way of showing up in each and every moment of your life, present and grateful for being apart of something much bigger than yourself. When you are love, you attract love.”


Nicole, @nsteward_yoga

"I was trying to think of a fancy inversion pose to post, but when I really think about what yoga means to me, it's not a fancy asana. I came to yoga as a way of quieting the vicarious trauma of my work as a social worker & rape crisis counselor. Being on the mat and focusing on my breath allowed my body & brain to heal. The more I moved physically on my mat, the more I learned about myself and how we can transform trauma into energy for the fight against injustice and oppression. This led me to yoga teacher training which has led me back, full circle, to trauma work. Yoga is healing. Yoga is empowerment. Yoga is a radical way of making us whole again; quieting the outside world so we can dive inward, making space for us to connect with our true selves and our community. While I love me a fancy inversion pose, my yoga spans beyond the mat, into the real world to help heal others."


Jesse Roberts @jesseroberts108

“Did you know about 40% of our Navajo Indians on the reservation live without tap or toilet in their homes? The water they do have easy access to is loaded with Uranium. You don't just ignore things to make them go away, you help make people's lives better. I am helping bring easy access to clean water to our Native American Indians. #thisismyyoga @mandukayoga @digdeepwater”


Jessica Biel, @jessicabiel

“To me Yoga means finding balance between taking yourself seriously and not seriously at all!”


Judy Greer, @missjudygreer

“#thisismyyoga hanging with this beast makes me so calm, happy and relaxed. Even when he farts.”


Christy Turlington, @cturlington

“I love asanas & mudras like the ones in this photo by #irvingpenn for #Vogue but to me yoga is about so much more than the physical. Yoga is union with all things, Self, All Other Beings and Nature.”


Laura Sykora @laurasykora

"At first yoga was strictly a physical practice or "way to exercise" for me... Also, I'd be lying if I didn't say, it was a way to learn some really cool stuff. As I've moved forward in my yoga practice off the mat, it has also given me strength and confidence that I never knew existed within me. I've developed FAITH in myself where there once was not a lot. Yoga has taken me out of my comfort zone and has molded me into the person I am today... A better person, wife, mother, friend, teacher... It has taught me to let go of a lot of bull that I've held onto over these years. It has taught me to BE ME... And to BE ME PROUDLY! Yoga makes me feel like a super hero everyday... One who can tackle anything in life and come out on top with a smile. #ThisIsMYYoga"


Jessica Glines, @jessicaglinesyoga

"25 years ago today, my sister passed away in an auto-bike accident. The following spring, the middle school we attended planted this tree in her honor. Thanks to a daily yoga and meditation practice this past year, I re-opened parts of my heart that had been closed since that day. I uncovered anger, sadness and grief that had been hidden in those dark corners of my heart. I realized that I had spent most of my life living in a state of fear. It hurt like hell to open my heart and I've felt the physical pain of scar tissue receiving breaths fresh air. I've shed more tears on my mat than I can count. Clearing out those cobwebs made space... I have felt more love and joy than I can remember. I am grateful. For healing. For love. For joy. For my heart. My dear friends, be grateful for your heart. Honor every single emotion you feel. Each one has its purpose."


Rocky Heron, @yogawithrocky

“#thisismyyoga: THE WILLINGNESS TO MAKE THAT WHICH SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE... AND HELP OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. This dear woman attended my presentation at the a Mega Event in Japan and seemed in complete disbelief of her ability to practice handstand when I presented the possibility. I came down into the crowd to show her it was possible, and the joy she experienced and the celebration that ensued amongst her community of fellow participants was incredible to witness. This truly is my yoga. I have also dreamed of traveling the world for some time now and finding ways to share and connect with cultures outside of my own, but this too has seemed somewhat impossible without knowing just where to begin and even if I was capable. This year has shown me that this dream is a possibility and that I do have what it takes to be of value to people around the world, and that despite language and cultural differences, the gift of yoga is one that can impact and benefit everyone.”


Bogie T. Bulldog @bogiethebulldog

“@ninitta walked in on me mid #downdog and was like, ‘what are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘dude, Mom, #thisismyyoga.’”


Camacha, @camacha_rees

"#thisismyyoga …When I arrived in Saratoga, the first thing that I did was walk into a yoga studio and it quickly became my temple. I started to breathe my way through my constant anxiety; I started to strengthen parts of my body that had become weak over the years; repair my organs. I started to clear the constant chatter in my head and I started to feel like a whole person again. The practice, the philosophy, and the gift of yoga slowly started to take over my life as I started to replace all my bad habits and negative thinking patterns with new, healthy ones. I started to enjoy taking care of myself and my relationships with others strengthened."


Michelle, @_nahaga_

"Yoga is healing. Through difficult situations I have been able to maintain balance around the center of the emotional spectrum instead of dropping into the extremes because of yoga. By incorporating the practice into my life through asana, breath work, meditation and the idea that yogic principles can be weaved into all aspects of my life, on and off the mat, my head, heart and soul have healed. With asana I find stability, strength and grace that I do not find elsewhere in my life. With pranayama and meditation I find balance, energy and peace that I can incorporate into all aspects of my life. In taking my practice off the mat I find connectedness, love, patience and compassion that have changed me in ways that I never imagined. #thisismyyoga @mandukayoga Thank you, Heidi, for asking me to participate @heidiyogi. Kellie, please share your yoga @doodledog."


Elizabeth, @twingirlsyoga

"#thisismyyoga"


Lauren, @blueyedyogi

"#thisismyyoga – a fun way to work out. "

(and IN, we always say!)

Mchelle, we were so moved by your story that we’d love to gift you with a suite of Manduka gear, as well as send gifts over to Heidi, who tagged you and Kellie, who you tagged next.

Join us! Share your real yoga on Instagram or Twitter with tag #ThisIsMyYoga. Show your community what your practice is really about, and tag one other person to share theirs and keep it going. Let’s open our awareness together and dust off those values we may have forgotten beneath all the tangible and intangible Stuff.

As a thank you for taking this conversation forward, we’ll continue to select one yogi every week to receive a suite of Manduka gear from the new Fall Collection, plus gifts for the yogi who tagged them and the yogi they tagged next. Read more about #thisismyyoga on our last blog.

You can follow the #ThisIsMyYoga thread on our Instagram. Feel free to tag us at @mandukayoga when you share – we’re looking forward to joining you for another week of reflection. Let’s get back to the root, together.

With love,
Manduka