blog

July 23rd, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Grayson

Meet Grayson.

Grayson is in high school. He's 16 to be exact. That's pretty young to have suffered a terrible sports injury. After breaking his back training for his most beloved sport, Grayson knew that his future in football was over. When he recovered, he was left with a football-shaped void in his life. He tried a few other sports – rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and then yoga. Unlike the other physical activities, yoga helped relieve the back pain leftover from his injury. It became his new center – with mentoring support from his mother Stacey, a yoga teacher and studio owner herself. After just one year of yoga practice, Grayson enrolled in a teacher training and now is one of the youngest RYTs in the country.

Before yoga, Grayson was 'a run of the mill jock,' as he puts it. He lived on protein shakes, used the weight room like a second home and couldn't touch his toes for miles. But yoga helped to break down all of his barriers -- while expanding his mind and body to places he'd never been able to reach, or even knew existed. It's been Divine.

Grayson admits having been a little 'ignorant to what yoga is' – assuming it was easy, a lot of people sitting around and chanting weird syllables. What he got from yoga instead was patience, love for all things, a non-judgmental outlook on others and incredible strength (he thought he was strong before, but now he's really IN his body).

We loved learning about Grayson. And we want to learn about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

July 16th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Jessie

Meet Jessie.

Jessie ran away from an abusive household, and ran deep into the mountains of Montana. Feeling “nerved up,” she turned to yoga on the recommendation of her new neighbors. 7 years later, her practice is the “place” she goes to get herself over her fears.

A lot of Jessie’s practice is about control – mind and body. Now her asthma doesn’t even bother her anymore. Yoga taught her to stand up for herself – and the world, from a place of responsibility instead of reaction. She has become an environmental steward, studying natural resource management alongside her husband, a timber faller. “Our world is like a garden; properly thinned, managed, and recycled the garden will flourish; left unchecked it will not thrive.”

As she likes to say, "today is done. Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it. Live well and dwell little." Her practice has shown her how far she’s come, particularly from a difficult childhood, and empowers her to come to peace.

We loved learning about Jessie. And we want to learn about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

July 9th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Lashel

Meet Lashel.

Lashel started practicing yoga 10 years ago, and she says that she still learns something new every time she goes to a class. “That is what I love about yoga; the practice is never ‘finished’. There is so much to learn, and every teacher has his/her own unique qualities. I am inspired by teachers who understand that I am me, I am not like everyone else, and my practice is mine and doesn't look like everyone else’s.”

She still remembers the first time she shared an OM with a large group of people in a yoga studio. She felt the vibration of those OMs running through her and for a split second, she felt almost frightened. Then all she felt was joy spreading throughout her entire body. Even now Lashel still gets a tingle of excitement just before the first OM in class.

Lashel is passionate about taking care of the world we live in. She feels that the money we spend is our most powerful tool for change. “I try to think about the dollars I spend, and make them count for the things I want to see more of. I don't want my hard earned money to count for or invest in things that harm the world I live in.”

We loved learning about Lashel. And we want to learn more about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

July 2nd, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Rick

This is Rick.

He started practicing yoga to look inside himself. Ancient texts, meditation, asana - it was a study in his own true nature. One day in class he heard the words "open to grace" – and that's exactly what he felt. Tears rushed down his face, his heart blew open and his posture… totally fell apart. Eureka moments really can sweep us off our feet.

Rick admits that he can be clumsy (he IS a human, after all), but yoga has given him the power to fearlessly look inside - to see the things that haven't awakened and acknowledge the parts that are loving, open and heartfelt. He found connection.

What Rick didn’t expect to find through yoga is an amazingly supportive community. Being a member of this kula has shown him that there is someone there to hold you up - whether it’s in a handstand or in a hug. We are ABUNDANT here.

We loved learning about him. And we want to learn more about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka

June 25th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Mia

Meet Mia.

Mia has always felt that teaching and inspiring others has been her calling. She found yoga while teaching cardio kick boxing in 2002, and decided to try yoga to help stretch her body. But she never guessed how much yoga would stretch her soul as well.

Mia feels that it’s her dharma to be a teacher because she can feel the teachings flow through her as she teaches therapeutic yoga to prenatal inmates in Cook County Prison, as well as to domestic violence survivors. For her, it is amazing to see the look on their faces after a helpful yoga class.

Mia believes that every person has a specific and important reason for being on this planet and that we have a responsibility to fulfill what we're meant to do. She feels that everyone can have the confidence, open heartedness and strength to live our destiny, and that yoga can be a way to help us figure out what that is.
We loved learning about Mia. And we want to learn more about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page: Manduka.com/You

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.

--Manduka