May 11th, 2011

#Practice 365 Golden Yogi Winner: Carrie Griffiths

I’m really trying to learn to listen to my body. In light of my ongoing hip issues, I forced myself to take a break. Two weeks later, the rest of me became restless and so I thought, maybe I just need to make some changes. At the suggestion of one of my teachers, I decided to take a restorative class. I’ll admit I was hesitant; certain that it would be too easy and I would be bored. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t and I wasn’t. In fact, I found it to be rather blissful. The pain in my hip actually made a couple poses somewhat challenging and a bit uncomfortable, and I had to pull back even more. But once I was settled into a pose, I sort of just drifted away. It was as though I’d been transported to a far away land and everything around me disappeared. It was great. I could have stayed there forever. And these feelings stayed with me as I subtly shifted from pose to pose, a slight smile glued to my face.
What a nice balance this is for my practice. In my regular vinyasa practice, I will often resolve to breathe in the moment and relax a little, only to find myself pushing harder and getting lost in the details of a challenging pose. It’s really difficult for me to take it easy, even when I know I need to. I know that there is more to yoga than a vigorous practice. I never thought that discovering the other facets of it all would start with a new class. I’ve begun going to restorative regularly, and I’m happy to say it’s now an important part of my yoga practice.

May 9th, 2011

My Soul Mat

9 years.
Some days I drip my insecurity all over it, and it doesn't mind. No judgment. No eye rolling. No pull yourself together looks..

My Soul Mat: My Black Mat PRO.

Have you found yours?

These yogis have found their Soul Mat, and we couldn't be happier:

Stela Balaban
"My friend and yoga teacher has had her Manduka for 7 years. When I tried it for the first time I knew I had to have one."

Melissa Baker Gentile
"I opened this link in my blog reader: ... the description sounded perfect for me! I'm an exclusively-at-home yoga practitioner due to mobility issues and was looking for shock absorption. I bought the Black Mat Pro in Black Beauty - a gift from my husband for Valentine's day. His, "Please honey, buy it" was the best V-Day gift ever. He showed me how much my yoga practice mattered to him ♥ He also encouraged me to buy the color version rather than the black ... sometimes I have to struggle through pain and fatigue to make the choice to practice and he knew that the color would make me smile!"

Kim Puente
"It was SO not love at first sight. I had heard how much everyone loved the Manduka Pro, so I decided I would "try one out" to help me advance my practice. Rolled it out, and we had a "lunch date". Short and sweet. Too slippery. Read what I needed to do. So next was a "spa date" or a rub down with sea salt, lots of sea salt. Our love/hate relationship kept up about a week. I knew if I got to know my Manduka I would eventually fall in love. Which of course I did! One magical day all of the quirks worked out and I have seen my practice soar. Now instead of dreading our "dates" I count the time until the next one!"

May 3rd, 2011

#Practice Being Who You Are

I was blessed with the opportunity to see H.H the Dalai Lama in a lecture series this week. He is such a joyful, loving and truthful spirit! Regardless of the energy of the surrounding environment, there was never not a time where he was acting inauthentically or not speaking from his heart, mind and soul.

There wasn't any smoke or mirrors, or words minced. H.H wasn't afraid for others to see who He is, even when situations weren't going smoothly.

When we are willing to show ourselves fully and completely, we not only create a space for others to let down their guards and open their hearts, but we are also able to see ourselves in each other.

We're able to truly see that we are not really that different after all.. Separation lessens, and true fellowship is created.

I am #practicing being myself(warts and all). What does your Manduka help you practice?

Here's how others are #practicing authentically:

Ami Spencer
"Consistency. Finding a way to spend time going inside. Every. Single. Day."

From @MandukaYoga
"Bloom! Shedding the winter layers and finding the color underneath."

From @MandukaYoga
"You help me practice remembrance of my strength and the still space within!"

Patty Shine
"At my house we had a day of no TV, no video games, no radio. We spent time outside helping a neighbor with their garden.Some play time at the park. We did our best to have a relaxing yoga session though my 6 yr old son cannot "relax" for more than a minute so we called it jumping bean yoga. Though I didn't get my normal relaxed feeling from my yoga, I got that inner glow that only quality time enjoying my children can give."

Youngmee Ahn Hand
"Wash and hang all my laundry outside for the beautiful sun to dry aswell as sanitize my clothes without having to use energy from machines."

Jen Erickson Strating
"Composting all my veggie/fruit scraps, growing as many veggies as I can, biking or walking to do errands, getting my food locally through a wonderful CSA, being mindful and frugal with energy consumption and spending time in nature honoring this beautiful earth!"

April 27th, 2011

#Practice Asana, Sweat And Tears

It is often said that we meet ourselves on our mats. Just like our relationships, our mat can act like a mirror reflecting back to us our light and our shadow. Our practice can show us how far we have come. It can be the momentum pushing us into our higher states of being, if we can get out of our own way and allow it. If the body is our temple, and asana, our prayers, then our sweat could be our offerings, and our tears, our letting go.

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

Here’s what some in our community are #practicing:

“Today was definitely a sunshine absorption day - the UK has been blessed with sun for a few days and we will be practicing gratitude for its’ presence!”

Melissa Baker Gentile
"Faith. Even if I'm in too much pain to practice today, or even tomorrow, yoga will still be there for me when the pain ebbs."

" Today Im #practicing self forgiveness and compassion, not been too well and sometimes we forget to lighten up!"

" I knew my PRO mat would be subject to sweat, but was not expecting the tears. Thanks for helping me #practice with an open heart."

April 14th, 2011

# Practice Get It Going

Woody Allen said that "Ninety percent of life is just showing up". Have you ever had those moments when you didn't want to practice, but once you got to class you were so thankful you peeled yourself off your sofa? A little momentum goes a long way. Sometimes transformation can seem impossible for lethargy or the rigidity can trip us up. Just by taking a few baby steps out of our comfort zone and creating movement in a positive direction, we can begin to see that we don't have to get it right, we just have to get going...

My Manduka helps me #practice showing up. How does your Manduka help you to show up and get it going?

Here's some inspiration on how others show up for themselves and our planet:

Angel Robbins Stambaugh:
" I recycle as much as I can, use reusable bags most of the time, re-use paper and plastic bags that I get, and when the weather is nicer, I plan on taking "garbage pick-up walks" to pick up some of the garbage I see when I walk with my dog."

Jonathan Gerard:
" I've been trying to use the bus system for the past 4 years instead of driving a car. Half the time i don't even make the bus schedule, so i end up walking everywhere hahahhha."

Gailanne Joachim:
" I take public transit to work regularly. I also participate in activities that foster appreciation of nature such as trail running/hiking, cycling, and yoga. I continually strive to keep updated on the news of the world and become aware of how the events of the world affect the environment."

Erin Finegold:
" I recycle like a champ! And, reduce my carbon footprint in several ways, care about water and conserve, purchase reconstituted garments, eat from the gardens, plant trees, compost, live my yoga and meditate; better me, better world."

Robyn Linn Weinstein:
" Running on the beach at least three times a week, I always see garbage... it's terrible when the birds try to eat it, thinking it's food. I always pick up garbage on the beach and hope to inspire others to do so, as well."

Carrie Ng:
" I try to find second uses for everything. Excess water can be used for watering plants rather than pouring it down the drain, coffee grinds can be used in the garden, vegetable peels can be used for veggie stock and treats for my dog. It can get creative to find another purpose(s) for items around the house."

Angeline Mels:
" I would reuse-reused whatever I can. My dad n I use used pet bottles, make holes on the cap, use it to sprinkle our small organic plants. Used cans for pots. We would catch the rainwater for other usage. I bring own grocery bag to shop.Turn off the screensaver on computer. Lately I shop less clothes n remodify old ones for new look, & donate the unused ones. Use the back of printed paper. I try not to use plastic straw or disposable chopstix anymore :) Small easydaily things."