November 9th, 2011

Karmanica Events

Talent is inspiring. It's natural that we are drawn to talented people. We all possess an intuitive skill to recognize the excellence found in other people's passions - their music, their movement, their acting, or even abilities not typically considered artistic, such as the ability to speak through one's actions - Mother Teresa being the perfect example. At Manduka, there is a community of passionate people working together, committed to excellence, and being in their presence is inspiring (and contagious!). This Thursday & Friday evenings, Manduka is a proud sponsor for karmaNICA's two fundraising concert & yoga events - the first in Miami (U-night!) on 11.10.11, and the second in Santa Monica we R all 1! on 11.11.11, which will feature three amazing "talents" for the evening's music - Steve Gold and Masood Ali Khan @ weRall1, and Xavier Gonzalez @ U-night. I reached out to each of them this week and posed them this question - "You are obviously inspired by the music that comes out of you. How does your inspiration effect those that hear your music?" Here are their replies:

Steve - "My music is often experienced as a revelation to many listeners. My initial inspiration is to build community through group singing. While performing live I have witnessed community opening their hearts while joined together in song. Their tears of joy and release feeds my inspiration and we all feel more connected as a result."

Masood - "I feel fortunate and grateful to have been introduced to the hang (pronounced "hung"), a unique percussive instrument that carries etheric qualities when played by itself, or accompanied by voice or other instrumentation. As my understanding and relationship to it has become more intimate, the sounds and music it produces through me has profoundly influenced me, as a musician and person. I have seen the same influence it has had on my audiences, where it produces a beautiful bonding of hearts and a true experience of community through sound."

Xavier - "Over the last few years, I have observed in response to our music how people are affected differently. There are those who focus and zone in on our unique technique and instrumentation, where they become introspective and it creates a meditative experience for them, and then there are others who get into the feeling of the music - the rhythm and fiery beat of our music, and it arouses something in them to get up and expressively move their bodies. It has been a beautiful experience to see this influence on audiences."

To get tickets for the events - for MIAMI, click here; for SANTA MONICA, click here.

To learn more about karmaNICA and view their latest video of their initiative in Nicaragua, click here.

November 4th, 2011


As the founder and former CEO of Manduka, I have witnessed some remarkable acts of generosity from the yoga community at large. Especially lately, in this challenging time we all live in, seeing how many of you help those less fortunate, with little (or large) acts of kindness, is truly refreshing, and makes me pleased to be part of that community. As a company, we are committed to our part in giving back, and our most current initiative is with karmaNICA, a charitable organization I co-founded with Adrienne Ward of Big World, Small Planet in 2010.

Last year at a yoga retreat at Jicaro Eco Lodge near the historic city of Granada, Nicaragua, I met a sweet group of kids from a neighboring village, after Adrienne asked me if I would teach some of the "locals". After an amazing session of yoga with them, with many demonstrating a genuine interest in the practice, I was graciously invited back to their village so they could show me their school, the only community resource this village had, and which they were very proud of. I could see it lacked so much, including any type of safe play area, and in that visit, the idea was born to help raise money to build them a more adequate facility for their education and their recreation. As part of this effort, there are two upcoming fundraising events, one in Santa Monica "We R All 1" Benefit Concert & Yoga Event with music by Steve Gold and Masood Ali Khan and yoga led by Peter Sterios at Fred Segal on 11.11.11 and one in Miami "U-Night" An Evening of Community Yoga and Live Latin-Inspired Music with music by Capricho and yoga led by Rina Jakubowicz at Villa 221 on 11.10.11.

Come out and enjoy an evening with your yoga community and support a charitable initiative to help these kids get a better education. Hope to see you there!

November 2nd, 2011

Featured Retailer: Moksha Yoga L.A.

THE VISION: Moksha Yoga LA is a green, clean, hot yoga studio that strives to make sweaty yoga accessible to all. It began with the dream of 3 bright eyed Canadian gals to bring the amazing vision and community of Moksha Yoga to LA. Moksha Yoga is a group of independent hot yoga studios committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living and believes that the benefits of yoga are limitless and accessible to all. From Toronto to Vancouver, from New York to Montreal, all Moksha Yoga studios share a common vision.

THE SERIES: Moksha Yoga series stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body, calming the mind and give a great cardiovascular workout - why not right?! That being said, Moksha Yoga is more than a series of postures...

7 PILLARS: From Toronto to Vancouver, from New York to Montreal, all Moksha Yoga studios share a common vision. BE HEALTHY. BE ACCESSIBLE. LIVE GREEN. COMMUNITY. REACH OUT. LIVE TO LEARN. BE PEACE. This is what we stand for...sweat for...laugh and live for... But rule number one is ALWAYS have fun doing it all!

The PERKS. Along with the amazing classes at Moksha Yoga LA, the facilities are built entirely eco-friendly, always clean, and has spacious men and women's change/shower rooms so you can even get your sweat on before work, or even a hot date! On top of that we have a whole retail area that includes the latest athletic apparel, environmentally friendly products as well as a whole lot of awesome Manduka.

READY...SET...SWEAT!!! Hope to see you soon.

October 6th, 2011

Featured Retailer: Indigo

Indigo-A Creative Approach to Fitness & Wellness, LLC was founded in January of 2006 by husband & wife team Shannon Moran & Abby Webster-Moran. Both have always had a passion for conscious living, natural health, and of, which led the couple to open a wellness studio that emphasizes the practice of yoga & alternative therapies. We are very excited to be offering our first Yoga Teacher Training (200-hr Certification) in January of 2012.

Our beautiful studio is situated near the Mississippi River in the heart of Downtown Moline, IL and is home to 8 yoga instructors, 5 massage therapists, one Shamanic Practitioner (who has her Master's Degree in Counseling), and a host of guest instructors who offer a range of healing & eclectic services. As a studio we do not subscribe to one specific style, and therefore encourage each team member to offer his or her own unique perspective to our ever-growing community of supporters. Perhaps this is why our studio was voted as the Quad Cities BEST Studio in 2010 (RC Reader Poll.) We are proudly committed to continuing education, skillful instruction, and to offering the best eco-friendly yoga products on the market.

September 16th, 2011

Los Angeles Rocks! Operation Shanti

Manduka Ambassador and friend Garth Hewitt has made such amazing strides with his ongoing donation-based yoga classes and events to raise money for Operation Shanti.

Operation Shanti is a small organization that was started a few years ago by an Ashtanga yoga student from San Francisco named Tracy Kunichka. The organization strives to better the lives of exploited, at-risk, and destitute children through an orphanage that provides food, clothing and a home in Mysore, India. After Garth spent time helping and volunteering with Tracy, he learned first hand how the Operation Shanti orphanage was overflowing and in need of another orphanage to help support the growing number of children in need. Garth came home determined to raise money to support Operation Shanti's mission.

Garth's third event, Los Angeles Rocks! Operation Shanti will be held this Saturday, September 17th from 3-5 pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Students are encouraged to pre-register for this event by signing up at or Enjoy this amazing 2 hour class with live music that will be team-taught by 10 teachers, 6 of which are Manduka's own Ambassadors: Ashley Albrand, Ally Hamilton, Angela Kukhahn, Jennifer Pastiloff, Ashley Turner, and of course Garth Hewitt! After the class there will be an auction and raffle with over 30 great prizes, as well as a catered party and a DJ spinning live.

We can't wait to see the community support that we know will be present at this event! Spend your Saturday doing something you will absolutely love - practicing yoga with friends and community members that are making a difference in our world. Help support the people of a country that gave us something that brings us all together - the practice of yoga.