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From The Heart

My Manduka helps me practice silence.

-Mercedes Ngoh
Devon, UK

Giving Back

Manduka recognizes an organization or individual each month for sharing the gift of yoga with those in need by donating yoga gear to support their cause.

April 1st, 2010

Homegirl Cafe

Manduka donated eKO Mats to the Homegirl Cafe, where free yoga classes are taught to young women. Homegirl services enable young women to redirect their lives and provide them with hope for their futures.The free support services focus on education, job training and placement, legal services, counseling, twelve step meetings and tattoo removal. To make a donation to Homegirls, visit http://www.homeboy-industries.org/.

March 1st, 2010

Los Angeles Mission Fundraiser

Manduka donated yoga gear in support of a fundraising event for the Los Angeles Mission, hosted by Manduka Ambassador Garth Hewitt, on February 21st. 90 people attended the donation based yoga class and raised over $2,000, which will cover the cost of 2,000 meals for the homeless and hungry in Los Angeles.

February 1st, 2010

Daraja Academy

Manduka recently gifted yoga mats to the girls at the Daraja Academy in Kenya. Daraja is a boarding high school for girls from remote tribes and the slums of Nairobi. These are girls who would not be educated beyond eighth grade if it weren't for the Daraja Academy.

Through a very competitive process based on elementary school performance, need, and passion for learning, these girls have been given the opportunity to change their lives, their communities and their country.

The girls were so excited about each having her own special mat, as part of a two-week yoga-intensive program. In general, the girls were very open to learning yoga – one third of the girls enjoyed the relaxation and physical movement; one third related to the philosophy and call to honor ourselves and each other; and one third really absorbed the power of yoga to transform their lives. One girl stepped up to start a yoga club and lead her classmates in daily practice.

Despite being orphans, abused or forced to hard-labor from a very young age, the girls of Daraja school are proud, determined, and powerful young women who will bring change to Kenya. Daraja is a safe haven for them, where they can focus on themselves and their educations. Yoga was a great addition to their curriculum.

For more information or to become involved, please visit www.daraja-academy.com.

November 1st, 2009

PEACE

Founded in 2005, PEACE (www.peacemexico.org) is a non-profit organization, located in the Punta de Mita region of Mexico, north of Puerto Vallarta. PEACE acts as an umbrella organization for four main programs, Casa Comunidad (Community House), Ayuda a los Animales (Help The Animals), United Hands for Women (Manos Unidas por la Mujer) and Orgullo en la Comunidad (Community Pride).

PEACE works hand in hand with communities to develop and implement appropriate community programs to enhance the quality of life for all. English classes, after-school programs, recycling initiatives, and a free mobile spay/neuter clinic are among the various projects.

Casa Comunidad Director, Nikhol Esterás Roberts, teaches free yoga classes to kindergartners and their mothers once weekly at the kindergarten in Punta de Mita. Manduka donated 10 yoga mats to the class!

October 1st, 2009

Molly French

In February of 2008, after suffering from the classic symptoms of your run-of-the-mill Strep Throat, Molly French's viral infection had gone septic, which means that the bacteria had entered her blood stream. She spent three days in a coma, with only a 5% chance of surviving. After 2 months in the Intensive Care, 6 surgeries and 4 weeks of dialysis, amputations of both her legs, a loss of a thumb and index finger, multiple skin grafts, and 2 weeks of intense inpatient rehabilitation, Molly returned home to the delight & amazement of a loving community.

Today Molly is totally independent and 100% recovered. Now using prosthetic legs to enjoy her independence, and by the invitation of friends Molly started taking Yoga by Nationally Certified Yoga Instructor Emily Jasenski at Element's Yoga Studio in Greenville, Ohio. Emily has been able to modify the yoga positions to adapt them to fit Molly's special needs. Molly credits yoga in helping her to feel secure in getting down onto and off of the floor. Yoga definitely has helped Molly with core strength, which is key in balancing as she walks on two prosthetic legs. Since Molly has to keep her shoes, her old mat was tearing to shreds from the tread on her shoes. Seeing the need for a thicker, higher quality mat Emily donated her one and only Black Mat PRO to Molly, and it made all the difference in the world! Molly feels more confident on the Black Mat PRO because she no longer has the fear of slipping and losing her balance. Molly would like to thank her instructor, Emily Jasenski, for suggesting such a high-quality and durable Manduka mat!