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October 3rd, 2013

Yogi Foods For Fall

By Manduka Ambassador Rosie Acosta

I’ve spent the last couple of years writing about food. Something I feel very lucky to be able to do, I write about how to make healthy treats, different ways to transform traditional recipes to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.

I wanted to write this blog about how important it is for us to eat fresh veggies and seasonal fruits during the transitions from summer to Fall and Fall to winter. Instead I felt this forum would be better suited to write about the foods for Fall that tend to fall off the food chain.

I recently relocated from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. I found myself having some serious mal-nourishment and a little over-nourishment {there are way to many great places to eat in Portland…I digress} I felt very overwhelmed and completely ungrounded. My energy was low, I had writers block and I had traded in my sandals for wool socks. Clearly, I was not an image of health. I know that the food we eat is important to how we feel, but there are other food groups that I feel merit a slot on the food pyramid. Here were a few things a yogi should add to the grocery list this fall:

Nourish Your Temple: Fall calls for plenty of root veggies! We can sometimes become severely overwhelmed by the Holiday season approaching, or just life in general. This time of year I notice that some of my students {myself included} become a bit ungrounded. Take this time to stock up on lots of root vegetables like beets, carrots, parsnips and turnips. Eating root vegetables cultivate exactly that…roots. Eat plenty of greens and sprouts and always enjoy foods that come in their most natural state.

Spend Time With You: You are Awesome! In case you didn’t know ☺. It is so important to get some duly deserved “quite-alone-no-social-media-of-any-kind -time”. A friend of mine has a beautiful 2 year old son, when I told her she needed time to herself she rolled her eyes as if I was blind to the little toddler hanging from her neck. She was able to squeeze in some alone time during his newly designated naptime {this has had a 40% success rate, which I think is pretty good}. Giving yourself some alone time to do the things you love is important food for the yogi. Take time for yourself, get cozy and read a book or write in your journal or do 5-10minutes of meditation.

Practice, Breathe, Stretch {Repeat}: Move your body. When seasons begin to change, so do our bodies. What was working for you during the summer, maybe isn’t working so much during the Fall {if it is, carry on}. It is important to stay in motion. This can apply with everything else we do in our lives. I noticed that during the period when I moved I wasn’t practicing yoga, or running or breathing for that matter. It was very easy for me to fall into a rut when I wasn’t tuning into what my body was saying {practice, breathe, stretch and repeat}.

Go There: Go on an Adventure! Go on that camping trip or a road trip you’ve always wanted to go on. Chose a long weekend, or a day and do something out of the norm. A day trip to your local wild life reserve, park, or beach. Its important for us to see and FEEL other environments, this can help inspire and cultivate motion in our lives and get us in touch with Mother Earth.

I Can See The Future: Practice positive thinking. Let negative thoughts and negative people in your life take a back seat. I would say in terms of food, this would definitely be a Super Food. Let yourself think big, and visualize the things/people that make you happy. {Insert Positive Thought}

A yogi knows that practice brings magic. This applies to the food we eat {practicing healthy eating habits} relationships in our lives {having positive people in your life}, our career {doing what you love}. The most important vessel to feed is you, love and nourish your temple, you only get one.

Love, Rosie

October 1st, 2013

It's Good To Share

By Patti Carr Cocciolo

Most of the time, our practice is very private, and very personal. Even in the most crowded classes at your local studio or gym, our teachers ask us to leave the outside world, come onto our mats, into our bodies and to focus on the breath. All of those cues help us to zero in on what should be a very internal event: our own yoga practice.

But sometimes, the practice moves outward. To a very public place, like Center Field.
This weekend, my family and I were part of Yoga Day at AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco, CA. After the Giants game (a loss, mind you, so most of us were already working through some serious, very recently-inflicted suffering….), about a hundred yogis and yoginis took to the field.

Now, I knew this was right up my alley. There are few things I love more than my family, my yoga, my Giants and my city. To be able to celebrate all of those things at the same time, Wowza.

What my family and I thought, was merely game turned out to be more than that. Hitting the field with mats in hand was just another incredibly generous gesture on behalf of my two exhausted, heartbroken children (did I mention the Giants lost that day?), and my already incredibly supportive, budding-yogi husband.

Here’s where the magic happened: by taking my practice, my very personal, private practice, to the outfield with my family, I went somewhere I’ve never gone before – I truly shared my practice with the people I love the most, and it was heaven... There was laughter, concentration, joy, wicked awful alignment, freedom, and lots of happy tears. In the moment, I found the joy of doing something I love with the people I love. And later, looking at the pictures, I was choked up to see my younger son meditating peacefully (to be fair – this was captured in between yoga-inspired bouts of breakdancing), and my older son, with his head tilted toward me in most every pose, watching, learning, truly making an effort to understand the outward shapes, in order to reach the inward space that his mother talks about all the time.

Do I want to practice every day with a 9-year-old baseball player and a 7-year-old breakdancer? Probably not. But what I learned on Saturday is that there is joy in sharing your most precious practice. That by opening yourself up to share, you rediscover why you do this in the first place. For me, I was reminded that I practice so I can be a better version of myself. That, in turn, makes me a better wife and a better mother. All of this came together on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in San Francisco- deep, deep in Center Field.

September 24th, 2013

The Unblok Party At Stellar Yoga!

There are places that specifically set us up to unblock. Freeing our bodies, energies and intentions. That neighborhood yoga studio that helps you clear your mind and make room for breakthroughs. Stellar Yoga in Vancouver, WA is one such studio says Amy Clayburn. Amy nominated Stellar Yoga to win the Manduka unBLOK Party Contest because not only is it her home studio, it’s a place where she can be herself, build her strength, relieve stress, and laugh.

We have visited Stellar Yoga and can now see exactly where Amy was coming from. Stellar Yoga is a progressive and dynamic vinyasa yoga studio whose mission is Reach over Revenue - they aim to enrich as many lives possible with all the benefits a yoga practice has to offer. The goal in each class at Stellar Yoga is to improve your flexibility, strength, balance and endurance while simultaneously allowing you to embark on the journey within - to help you find and tap into where your inner peace dwells.

On September 6th, Ma’i, the studio owner, hosted a packed house for an unBLOK party where her students gathered to celebrate her and the community that they’ve created in short time the studio has been open. Ma’i taught an hour-long class focused on heart opening postures and the students all shared how yoga helps them unBLOK.

One of the prizes that Stellar Yoga won in the contest was a Seva Scholarship to use in whatever way worked best for their studio. They have chosen to use that scholarship to provide a free class for the community on the first Friday of each month. The First Fridays unBLOK Party class will be a 75 minute vinyasa class followed by music, refreshments, fun, and laughter. The class is free as a service to those who are financially in need.

We are so grateful to have gotten to know Ma’i and everyone at Stellar Yoga, and are so excited to watch First Fridays unfold as a community class. If you would like to learn more about Stellar Yoga, or if you live in the Vancouver, WA area and would like to check out the studio, please visit: stellaryogastudio.com.

Namaste.
Manduka

September 20th, 2013

#Letsgothere Giveaway: From Thriving With An Open Heart To Adding Your Own Verve

Getting out of your comfort zone is scary. It requires bravery. However once you take that leap of faith, it can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. We’re asking you to really Go There. Wherever ‘there’ is for you. Opening your heart opens up space for you to thrive. And whether you thrive on your mat, or off, we are here to support you.

Two weeks ago we asked you to join the #LetsGoThere challenge so that we could all see how this community thrives, and to share with us how you 'Go There', by posting a photo on Instagram. Here are a few of our favorite photos, including our winner, @gldmne, who will continue to Thrive with a new + improved eKO Mat, Recycled Foam Block and eQua Towel, all in the season’s new color, Thrive.


By @gldmne, who won last week's #innerGPS contest.

Here are some of our other favorites!


@daynasueferg


@hotdogla


@jsgroller


@yoga_cat29


@ajcarpinelli


@camillialeeyoga


@asanaanna

Over the next two weeks, show us how you Go There by revealing to our community how you live a life full of enthusiasm and your contagious spirit. Celebrate what it's like to go beyond your barriers and embrace your vigor by posting a photo on Instagram using #LetsGoThere. In two weeks we’ll select one winner to receive the Manduka PRO – Black Verve, eQua Mat Towel in Verve, and 2 unBLOKs.

It’s an honor to be part of your practice, and a joy to see your pictures. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below!

In gratitude,

Manduka

September 6th, 2013

Go There: Manduka’S Fall Challenge And Giveaway

This season we’d like to take you away. Out of your comfort zone and into a daring new place. Out of your head and into your body. Away to where real growth happens and your truest self comes out.

We want you to Go There.

We can’t tell you exactly where ‘There’ is - only you can do that. But Manduka will help, as we challenge you to try more, trust more and feel more. Go THERE.

And show us what it’s like.

Let’s Go There using Fall as inspiration to try something new and express yourself entirely. Then comes the bravest part: sharing a photo. Go There to Instagram tagging #LetsGoThere and @MandukaYoga, or upload to the special tab at Manduka’s Facebook page.

Every two weeks, one yogi whose photo helps us all Go There will receive a specially created Manduka gift set. To help guide your journey (and your photos), we will focus on a series of themes inspired by Manduka’s Fall color ways:


Starting today: THRIVE
Open your heart on or off the mat.

Starting September 23: VERVE
Reveal your real power and strength.

Starting October 7: EMBRACE
Go where your emotions flow.

Starting October 21: INDULGE
Treat yourself to the ultimate restoration.


So now get up. Get out. Go There for a chance to be your most you (and win a new + improved eKO Mat, Recycled Foam Block and eQua Towel, all in the season’s new color, THRIVE).


And know that we’re always here to support.

Practice On,
Manduka