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From The Heart

My Manduka helps me practice balance and peace.

-Leah Cullis
Austin, TX

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.

November 1st, 2010

Headstand

Headstand is an innovative nonprofit dedicated to empowering students in economically disadvantaged communities through the practice of yoga. Headstand enhances students’ capacity for academic learning and promotes healthy social and emotional wellbeing.

Founded in 2008 by a former school teacher and yoga instructor, Katherine Priore, Headstand offers a unique curriculum designed in collaboration with experts in the fields of education, yoga, health, and wellness. The Headstand curriculum is research-based and blends yoga exercises with integrated educational theory and social and emotional learning.

Headstand classes include stretching, breathing, and awareness exercises to help students let go of anxiety and worry. After a Headstand class, students are physically, mentally, and emotionally better prepared to learn. Classes help students develop greater self-awareness and enable them to choose new behaviors for better personal balance and academic achievement.

Headstand programs are currently operating in schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston with the use of donated Manduka mats!

Learn more by visiting www.headstand.org.

October 1st, 2010

The Extension

The Extension in Marietta, GA provides long-term residential recovery services to homeless men and women recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. At the Barbara J. Crafton Women’s Center, Nancy Sauer, a volunteer yoga teacher, is seen challenging residents to connect with their breath as they practice Hatha yoga on these wonderful mats provided by Manduka. Until now, blankets have been used in some cases, since mats were sparse. You’ve made a real difference for these women. Thanks, Manduka!

For more information about The Extension or to make a donation, please visit www.theextension.org

September 20th, 2010

Healing & Evolution in Paradise

The annual yoga, meditation and healing retreat for self-transformation and evolution, a charity project that was born in Bali last year, was held recently upon the secluded and beautiful island, Pulau Macan, which is nestled within a gorgeous archipelago known as the Thousand Islands off the north coast of Java.

Joseph Lee (www.yoga2peace.com), who adopts yoga as a way of life, together with 3 other inspiring teachers –Astrea Aurora, Makiko Domen, and Jean Manuel, guided the retreat participants through a transformational week of vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, pranayama, divine sacred sound meditations, guided as well as silent meditation, group cranio-sacral therapy, and educational workshops like Revealing the Mayan Calendar and The Power of Manifestation. This blessed opportunity was the result of a shared intention to create a sacred space for self-healing and transformation for all participants. The benefits from this retreat reach beyond the evolution of each participant, and touch the lives of many children in the global community. This annual charity yoga project grew from Joseph’s vision to share yoga as an ‘inward’ mindfulness meditation practice on-and-off the yoga mat to expedite our very path towards self-transformation and realization, and at the same time to groom the next generation of children. This year, the funds raised will sponsor 19 children around the world at Children International (www.children.org) and Bali/Indonesia for a year to provide for their:

• Health+Dental care and medicine
• Malnutrition screenings and nutritional support
• Sturdy clothing and shoes
• School supplies and improved access to education
• Encouragement and hope

Joseph and friends inspire possibilities in others. Make a stand in what you believe in, and begin/continue to shine your love and light onto others.

August 1st, 2010

Peninsula Healthcare Connection

Peninsula Healthcare Connection is a non-profit medical and mental health clinic that provides services to the homeless of Santa Clara County, California. PHC is dedicated to helping the homeless move with dignity toward self-sufficiency. In an attempt to address all of the health needs of PHC clients, the clinic has been offering a free yoga class for the past three months. A local yoga teacher has generously donated her time for one hour each week.

The new yoga class is part of a larger effort in the clinic to provide healthy and meaningful activities for PHC clients. The class is the first step PHC is taking in this direction. PHC would like to offer more opportunities of this type in order to incorporate a holistic approach to wellness within a traditional clinical framework. It is PHC’s hope that this program will serve to alleviate some of the physical and psychological burdens of homelessness endured by their clients each day.

July 1st, 2010

Lotus In Action

Lotus In Action (LIA), located in Montclair, New Jersey, is a not-for-profit organization offering yoga and meditation to underserved constituencies as a means to create positive change in the world. LIA brings yoga to diverse populations in detention centers, housing projects, community centers, hospitals, and schools. One of LIA’s major initiatives is bringing educational enrichment to Newark, New Jersey public school students. Although no public funding is available, LIA teachers provide fifteen classes a week to 180 students in the Newark schools. With Manduka’s help, students in two of the schools are now practicing on mats instead of the school floor. Sixth grade students from the Avon School and Jennifer Kohl, Director of Lotus In Action, are pictured below leading one another in their favorite poses.

Learn more by visiting www.lotusinaction.com.