blog

April 6th, 2015

Now Is A Practice Of Courage And Kindness

#NowStartsNow by Talia Sutra

The way we perceive time is a direct reflection of the state of our mind-body-heart.

Imagine, for instance, being told you have just one more year to live– your relationship to yourself and to time would surely change.

Many of us grow up to become desensitized to our physical, emotional and mental bodies. However ‘sleeping through life’ usually leads to some sort of alarming wake up call. Sometimes it takes a monumental hardship to finally get us to wake up and realize that our time here in our bodies - on this earth and with the people we love - is deeply precious (and in this body, limited).

Yoga teaches us that there is a constant, a oneness threading together our fleeting sensations, countless thoughts and passing moments; that we are in fact here to come together, to love one another.

Practicing yoga cultivates tremendous awareness - the ability to see the constant, to hear all sacred sounds, and to feel an overwhelming gratitude for life. Gratitude sheds light on the beauty and perfection that resides within each being. In order to experience this level of consciousness, one has to be aware of the constant, and this union with the constant is NOWNESS.

We can make nowness practical by starting a practice of simple self-observation: our thoughts, tendencies, and patterns. With time, our observation and understanding deepens, and judgment of ourselves and others will detach and fade.

Mindfulness, compassion, meditation and yoga will remove all illusions– all that is not NOW.

Developing a more compassionate lifestyle will also sharpen your awareness abilities. Know the affects of your food on yourself and on the earth. Commit to a yoga practice or a meditation practice. It will require some discipline in the early stages. Surround yourself with kind, supportive people and watch out for judgment or expectations (usually a sign of holding on to the past).

Let now be a practice of courage and kindness.

Love yourself unconditionally and see how this love shifts your relationship to the earth and all its manifestations. See how it moves your body; see how it enlightens your mind. Let now be the joy of being with the people you love. Let it be realization that you and they and we are enough.

Let now start now.

Talia Sutra is a New York City based yoga teacher and curious citizen of the world. She believes that with a joyful heart and an open mind, anything and everything is possible. Find her at TaliaSutraYoga.com or on her fascinating Instagram account, @Talia_Sutra.

We want to hear about your now – how you are living this moment as your bold, beautiful, wild and true self. Explore off the mat, start something new, put your self out there and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging #NowStartsNow and @MandukaYoga. You might receive a custom gift of Manduka gear from the new spring collection as our thank you! Learn more here.

February 13th, 2015

Adventures With Little Hippies

Started by two friends who decided to put their heart & soul into a company designed to encourage healthy development in kids and provide a supportive & fun community for families, Little Hippies inspires kids and parents every day. For every yoga class purchased, we provide a FREE yoga class to a child in need.

Last summer, they took Manduka on the road and headed to Wanderlust with the LiveON kids mat. Read about their adventures

February 13th, 2015

#Nowstartsnow

Start living in the now. Check out our new Sping Lookbook Touch here.

January 2nd, 2015

Featured Retailer: Touch The Toes Singapore

Touch The Toes, Singapore:

Touch The Toes! Can you do it?
'Nooo... Too stiff!' 'Too old' 'Maybe I'll try tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow' 'Errr I could break something!'... Isn't it funny how everyone almost always assumes it's bending over straight-legged & reaching for the toes?

TTT is all about changing perceptions. Eco-friendly is affordable. Small can be big. Yoga is for everyone. Customers can be friends. And you can always touch the toes!

Our lovely shop sits right in the heart of an enclave of creativity. In squeaky clean Singapore, a country where graffiti is illegal, we are surrounded by funky murals, beautiful neighbors, bohemian coffee joints.

Climb up to our 2nd floor space and you're in a little h(e)aven. Where our customers pop in for a Manduka eKo Mat & sometimes stay the entire afternoon trying new clothes & catching up with us for the latest yoga news.

We are so proud to be the only yoga retail store for apparel & accessories in Singapore. But we were blown away when we found out we are the only eco-friendly store in Asia!

TTT are 3 people: Eliza (creative), Kelly (logical), Wuen (quirky). All unique & wonderful. If you are ever in Singapore, do drop in to say hi!

Ohmsome Beginnings.
Never Endings.



December 9th, 2014

Greetings From Infinite Amazement (New Zealand)

By Peter Sterios, founder of Manduka

Day 1 (actually day 7)
After 6 days of travel by plane, boat, car and bus, we have finally arrived to Aro-Ha, a magical retreat center near Queenstown on the South Island of NZ. And today was my first yoga practice since we left... and so sweet it was, in this special room surrounded by a nature so pristine, raw, and powerful, that profoundly reminded me of what a small existence I live in .

My inner "nature" was so intimately connected to the larger, outer nature found in this breath-giving place. Can we find this connection every time we step onto our mats? It feels so available and accessible here...

Day 2
This morning was cold, with fresh snow on the hills only a couple hundred feet above the steep rocky path that is my commute to the studio. But I'm appreciating the walk, like a warm-up mentally and physically to prepare myself for my morning practice. I have also begun to notice, after just two days, the effects of the detoxifying diet that is part of the health program at Aro-Ha. My mind feels clearer, my emotions subdued, and my physical body light (no bloated belly after meals) and strong. I'm pleasantly surprised how quickly the effects of being here have come to my attention. Can we live in a "retreat" state of mind as a householder or city dweller, as a parent or partner, as an employee or business owner? Maybe... Or at least we can keep trying, keep returning to that state, even it means going to retreats ‘for practice.’

Day 3
What has become so very clear here at this unique place in this special country, is when we step out of the routine of our lives, ie work, exercise (or lack thereof), diet, even the communities we live in, we gain a little broader perspective of who we are and what we do with our time. It opens the door for growth and positive change in our lives - physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Day 4
Seeing and experiencing the natural environment here, one of the obvious changes was the passing clouds. This display of natural beauty would communicate in a way the wonder and mystery of this world, and suggested everything will be ok... that there are forces in this world that operate at a much bigger perspective than our limited understanding, and all is well. This is also appropriate for our yoga practice - finding wonder and mystery in our practice reminds us that all is well on the deepest of levels .

Day 5
Our last day at this spectacular resort, full of gratitude for Aro-Ha's powerful reminder of the overwhelming beauty found in nature and the earth's infinite ability to amaze. I come away from this retreat feeling a renewed connection to my own inner nature, and the wonder of the body and mind I've been given. I have once again experienced the surprise of how powerful these two aspects of myself are when working together - when I am able to connect deep places in my physical body with the subtle sensations of my breath and the subtle influence of my intuitive or creative mind to produce an opening of sorts, either somatically or neurologically, that gives insight into my existence in a surprising way. It is a joyful experience and one that, as a teacher, and I am called deeply to share...

Thanks to all of the students who showed up to learn (especially Tisha Bremner, above on the left, winner of Manduka’s giveaway trip to this magical place), and to co-founder Damian Chaparro and all the staff at Aro-Ha who have created this magical place and who creatively support their guest's personal transformations in such a powerful way!

---

Connect with @aroharetreats on Instagram, and Peter Sterios on Facebook.