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April 4th, 2011

And There Is My Dharma...

By Manduka Ambassador Vic Munoz

I recall, since a young age I used to admire musicians, writers, astronauts, and in general people that were passionate about what they did. For a long time I thought it was the profession what made these people passionate. Finding that I didn’t have much of a talent for such careers, I conformed with studying business and finding a corporate job.

A long time into the corporate world, one day it dawned on me that it was not about the choice of career but instead about finding that thing that springs from within, that makes you express yourself in a loving way.

In my case that thing is: to help. And particularly, I feel a sense of expansion when helping others help themselves.

Upon this discovery I decided to get into it seriously, so I let go of the corporate job. A while later I found myself in India, where I met Akhil, a kind man from Mysore, open like an ocean of love. He taught me to work with the Tibetan singing bowls to channel healing energy to help people find their “orbit” or path in life. His, and my yoga teachers BNS Iyengar and Ajay Kumar, exude a passion for life and helping that is just inspiring.

Coming back to Miami, I decided to apply what I had learned and started giving free sessions with the Tibetan bowls and yoga. Determined to carry on with my goal of helping others, soon I realized that although I was not charging money, all my needs were being covered. Realization also came that when I would focus on the money, it will always diminish or disappear, causing a feeling that it is hard to get.

Increasingly, I started getting referrals and also began charging for the sessions and classes. But I had learned to remain focused on the help, nothing else. This went on for a year or so, and then I returned to India. Returning again in Miami, I let go of a couple of public group classes I had, and decided to focus on offering private, one on one, sessions. I figured I could be more effective in helping doing it this way. As usual, with this type of decisions, fear and doubt appear, but I choose to transcend them with a simple phrase we often repeat, but not necessarily act upon: things always find a way to work out.

Three months later, I found a beautiful place from which I could teach and live, something that I had desired for a while. As the space appeared, so did the means to rent it, and putting it in condition to offer the services. Being a fellow that allows himself to be sustained by Divine Grace, and having no savings, sponsors appeared to support the opening of CITIZEN YOGA, amongst them our friends at Manduka, making it possible for me to live my dharma… of helping you find yours.

It is my hope that this message ignites the fire of motivation within you… to transcend fear, to live from your heart, to trust in your dharma to sustain your life.

I would like to thank my mom, Olinda, for teaching me the greatest lesson in life: there is always possibility.

March 31st, 2011

#Practice: Lightly: Manduka Invites You To Give, Share + Receive For Earth Day

#Practice: Lightly: Manduka Invites You to Give, Share + Receive for Earth Day

Love Your Mother. Our gentle movements on the mat help us make gentle motions in the world. Because our practice, and our footprint is our legacy.

Manduka’s commitment to eco-responsibility extends beyond Earth Day. And we have a feeling yours does too. It’s the power of one. And the power of thousands. So this month, when you give back to the planet and share your mission on Facebook, Twitter or our Blog, you can also receive some sweet eco-yoga gear. Here’s how it works:

Give: During the month of April, post to Facebook, Twitter or our Blog showing how you Love Your Mother. Whether it’s volunteering at a beach clean up, composting in your backyard or riding your bike to work – feel free to take a little artistic license. Everyone who posts will receive a Manduka Mat Wash and you can enter to win an eco gear makeover including an eKO Mat, Practice Tote and a water bottle.

Share: On April 22, tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter how you’re celebrating Earth Day 2011 and tag Manduka in your status. For every Manduka tag or mention, we’ll donate $11 (as in, well, 2011) to an eco charity benefiting the air, water or land.

Receive: All through Earth Weekend (April 22 – 24), the entire Manduka eKo line is 15% off

It’s all about honoring the Earth. And honoring you. And celebrating the profound bond between our practice and our planet.

Peace.

March 31st, 2011

Inspiration: # Practice Looking Up

By Eka Ekong

I am in the midst of a yoga teacher training in Mexico(before you become envious, know that the weather has been quite cold) Last night, guided by a few artificial lights, my friend and I were walking back to our room, trying to avoid any hazards or wildlife(read: snakes). Something within me said to look up, and when I did I was engulfed in a sky filled with stars. I turned to my companion and said, “Hey, look up!” She didn’t hear me at first, but when she eventually did, we both froze awestruck by the majesty above and around us.

Oftentimes during practice, we can become so focused on an asana we can forget that there is more to us than our body and what we are doing in that moment. When we allow ourselves to expand whether in breath or awareness, we can broaden our inner and outer perspective. By looking up and out we can move deeper inwards, and see what’s true and vibrant inside.

I am #practicing expansion beyond my limitations. What does your Manduka help you #practice?

Here's how some remarkable yogis #practice Oneness:

Kim Puente-" Oneness is the art of being me. Not "mom" not "wife" or "daughter" just me. It is that 90 mins of Oneness that brings me back everyday and makes me a better mom, wife and daughter."

Gabrielle Gervilla-"Wake up in the morning, hop out of bed, sip on some tea, balance on my head. Open the windows, feel the breeze and pose with the trees. Salute the sun, know that we are all one. "

Katrina Hokule'a Ariel- "One Heart Song. Infinite Melodies."

Ozro Hepworth- "1ness to me is seeing the Divine in all things and experiencing all things with-in my True Self. The bubble becoming the Sea."

Kimberly FeLix-" 1ness is realizing I don't control everything. Or anything. Being out of control is ok, #yoga fills the gaps."

March 22nd, 2011

Lyrics To Go: The Rhythm Of Namaste

We recently launched our Lyrics collection, a fusion of word and image, and a celebration of Yoga's timelessness and intent. Words hold wisdom, reflection, and can help us to create the life of our dreams and our larger reality. With our words as well as our actions, we honor the divine light in ourselves and others. How does your Manduka help you #practice Namaste in words and deeds?

Here are a few responses on how some Yogis rhythmically celebrate the word "Namaste" in their realities:

From John Bowden
"Namaste means hello or goodbye, fix a friend a sandwich on Deli Rye, take the drishti to the third eye,eternal supply,forget the past and live in the now,respect the sacred cow,the know how,flow from right to left,up,down,front,and back,rooted firm into the ground the arms are up ,gaze to the crown,give thanks to all that have walked this road that have shouldered the load when the others were cold.."
Namaste

From MaryJo Powrozek Rosso
"There once was a yogi from Kathmandu
who saw divinity in me and in you
the trekkers he'd see, were as special as he
and he is as special as you"

From Jill Lawson
"Free to be me in the 21st century, I play and I pray as the way of namaste, free to be me in the 21st century, I look within, it ain't no sin, in fact, it is the only way."

From Jasmine Arney
"Fear is a shadow
Hate is in the past
Trust is in the present
Truth in the light
Change is in the universe,
Namaste is the peace fight."

From Alissa Lesperance
"Namaste, yo. Bringin' respect from my heart. It's where we end and where we start."

March 22nd, 2011

Inspiration: # Practice Cleaning The Slate

By Eka Ekong

While looking over our facebook/twitter posts from the last remarkable week, I was inspired by our FB post on a fresh start. "Today we #practice cleaning the slate – it doesn’t clean itself. A fresh start comes from a conscious decision to renew."

I love my Black Mat Pro. There, I said it… It feels like I have been in a steady relationship with it for 9 years. We talk every morning, sometimes even in the evening. It greets me, arms open, no hesitation, holds me when I’m happy, and has wiped away many a tear. My mat does not judge me, or harbor any ill feelings. It doesn’t say “oh, good luck next time with that forward fold”, or chastise me if I lose my balance. Every time I step on my mat is a fresh start, a new beginning, a new hope. Each practice is a new possibility, without the luggage of the past. This is what my Manduka helps me practice.

Here are some notable responses on what Manduka helps others to practice:

From Runtaulbee
"I'm new to using @MandukaYoga and just love the new mat. #Practice feeling closer to the earth."

From Jill Lawson
"I practice what I teach and teach what I practice"

From ETL Yoga
"It helps me practice patience with myself....it helps me break down that wall-allowing myself to see what I have done"