December 10th, 2012
She was used to being great at things. Running, swimming, water polo – Sheri was tough to beat. But yoga was another story. When Sheri tried it, she wasn't good at it, so she didn't like it. Funny how things change.
A bridge that many competitive athletes have to cross is how to treat their bodies after an injury. Yoga can be a beautiful tool for recovery. Sheri turned to yoga to soothe her aching joints and bruised muscles. And it did soothe her body. Then it changed her perspective about it. She went from using diet and exercise to tell her body what to do, to listening to it and giving her body what it needs for holistic balance. If her body needs to go for a run, she does, but if it’s asking for some ice cream, then she does that too.
Sheri's not "perfect," and she accepts that. But she's happy, and able to be of service and kindness to others. And that's perfect. That's Sheri-perfect.
We loved getting to know Sheri. And we’d love to get to know you, too! Tell us about yourself on our You Series page, at Manduka.com/You.
We can’t wait to meet you!
December 3rd, 2012
She was in a hectic spot. Balancing life as a college student and a single mother, her yoga mat was the glue that kept her together.
“During those precious moments on my mat I didn’t think about how bills were going to be paid, laundry was going to get done, or how I was going to handle three kids all by myself. My practice not only gave me physical strength, it gave me the emotional strength and resolve I needed to make it through each minute of my life.”
A dozen odd years later, Lori is happily married with now FIVE children and a fulfilling career teaching yoga – often to students whose path feels similar to her own. When a frazzled yogi rushes in moments before class begins, stressed for time and visibly distracted, Lori can relate. And she's in a special position to give other busy moms their one moment of sanity that they look forward to all week. Yoga is how SHE managed to to keep it all together, and life has a blessed way of coming full circle.
Building off her idea of 'the yoga life raft,' Lori is working to cultivate the power of her local community through yoga. With her husband, she has created the OmWork Club, a yoga-centric afterschool program for Chicago teens to study and socialize in a peaceful, positive and expressive environment.
We loved learning about Lori! And we’d love to learn about you, too! Tell us about yourself at Manduka.com/You.
November 29th, 2012
By Manduka Ambassador Rosie Acosta
With all the holiday happenings like shopping, sending cards, planning parties and eating…one can get easily frazzled and overwhelmed. These are the moments to which overeating and overindulgence sadly takes feat. It is unfortunate that this time of year usually results in an extra pound or two. It is so easy to fall prey to all the delicious and rich holiday treats that surround us this time of year. There are many things that we can do to keep it together during this time. Below are some ways I’ve found helpful to keep it healthy during the holidays.
1. The Reality Of It All: Now is NOT the best time to try and “diet”:
That’s the truth, you know...and I know it. So instead of creating a world of anxiety for yourself just try to be conscientious about where you currently are, and where you want to be in regard to your health. Enjoy yourself; don’t fret if you decide to indulge here and there. Stay present with it all, instead of telling yourself “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten that…” don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead try this, “I ate it, I enjoyed it” be kind to yourself. Every moment is a new moment to try and do better next time.
2. Relieve Holiday Stress:
We all know that now is prime time for some yoga. A little stillness and a little mind silence can work wonders this time of year. If you have a regular practice or exercise regimen try to keep it up during the holidays. This is a great way to prevent any extra lbs. and perhaps work off some of that delicious pumpkin pie.
3. Don’t Focus on the Food:
Rather than focusing on the plethora of holiday treats, turn the focus on an activity. It is a great time for family, friends and community. Perhaps play a board game, make wreaths, or even a gingerbread house. These are fantastic ways to enjoy what the holidays are actually about: spending time with people who you love.
4. Overeating Quick-fix:
If you happen to overeat during a meal, go light on the next one. It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound, and unless you ate dinner at Paula Dean’s house…one piece of pie is not going to make you gain weight. Don’t worry, but refrain from eating the entire pie.
5. Check The Menu Beforehand:
If you show up to a dinner party hungry, it is inevitable that you’re going to fill your plate to its circumferential capacity. It’s like going to the grocery store when you’re hungry, which is never a good idea. Before you begin to fill your plate, check out what is being served. Include veggies and fruits to keep your plate balanced and avoid foods that aren’t necessarily your favorite.
The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the holidays. This is one of the few times of the year when you can really enjoy all the sweet treats without feeling like you’ve fallen off the wagon. If you happen to over-indulge, be honest and loving with yourself and treat yourself with compassion . We are all entitled to live a little. Remember that a healthy lifestyle means nourishing your body and your mind with everything it needs when it needs it.
Keepin’ it Light: Organic Mexican Girl Favorite Holiday Recipe
Here is one of my favorite salads for the holidays. My Granny used to make it every year.
Ensalada De Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Salad)
*Vegan, *Gluten-Free, *Vegetarian and 100% Delicious!
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons organic orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 bag of mixed green salad
1 cup of spinach
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh pineapple cubes (or canned)
2 beets, cooked and cut
1/2 cup raw almonds sliced
1. To make dressing, whisk together olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt, and cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Arrange the mixed greens on the bottom of a glass bowl and layer fruit and beets over it.
November 26th, 2012
Yoga was her 50th birthday present to herself. And it's been an amazing gift. Even after that very first yoga class, she knew her world was going to feel different.
Her practice is "the best thing ever," having eased her joints, given her infinite encouragement and a tranquil home anywhere she chooses – especially the yoga studio. While rock climbing will always be her "first love," yoga is her partner, helping her climb more than mountains. Recently, she climbed the wall, kicking up into her first headstand with the help of her teacher – she couldn’t stop smiling knowing that yoga had both literally and figuratively turned her world around.
“Yoga has been a huge help with my whole life. I love the energy I have after a good hard class. I love the serenity that comes a little later and how all my joints feel fresh and ready to take on the world. I spent some time away from the mat. The day I went back to class I couldn't believe the relief I felt. While I was just resting in easy posture I started crying and didn't stop until half way through. Life is good with an active yoga practice.”
We loved learning about what yoga means to Bobbie. And we’d love to learn what it means for you! Tell us your story at Manduka.com/You.
November 22nd, 2012
By Manduka Ambassador Dana Damara
The words grace and gratitude get used so often; I often wonder if people really know what it means. To feel gratitude for your family, your friends, your job, your home, your financial success, your material possessions, your health…all those things is really easy.
But what about feeling gratitude for the things in your life that aren’t so frilly? Like your computer breaking down? At the same time that your girlfriend decides to leave you. Or how about when you lose something that is important to you like say, your favorite Manduka mat? What about your job ending? You get into a car wreck. You file for bankruptcy. How about feeling gratitude for those individuals who talk behind your back or worse, seemingly get under your skin every, single time you see them.
Can you find gratitude in those situations?
Because honestly, that’s the yoga we speak of when we talk about embodiment. It’s not about the perfect posture…it’s about embodying that grace and gratitude in times of adversity.
Life is not a sedentary event that we can plan out or remain rigid to while navigating through it. It is always changing, ever expanding and infinitely growing. And although we do create our lives in conjunction with our thoughts, we must also allow for Universal order to do its thing. It’s co-creating... all the time.
And when we stumble, or when life seemingly pushes us into our shit, grace reminds us that it’s pushing us there for a reason. And if the s@#t stinks, most likely that means that the reason is beyond our knowledge or understanding. Grace holds space for gratitude beyond our understanding. We breathe it in and allow it to just BE what it IS in THAT moment.
As we trod through those difficult times, we can do so kicking and screaming, slinging shit and mud, blaming others and playing the victim role or we can feel gratitude and allow grace to step up and bring it all in. When we truly embody grace and gratitude it’s like the Red Sea parts… that breath makes way for clarity, vision and an acceptance of what is… truly what is. Not what WE THINK it should be.
The next time you find yourself facing adversity, breathe it in. What can you learn right then? Where is the light? That one breath in time will bring grace rushing to you.
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