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  • Our New Spring Season: Spotlight on the PRO


    Why fit in when you were born to stand out? - Dr. Seuss


    The spring season brings with it new beginnings, open-ended possibilities and the opportunity to further define what makes your practice uniquely amazing.

    Abundance is all around – fresh rain! new blooms! longer days! – and, with that, we’re proud to introduce more yoga mats, technical fabrics and performance-driven details than ever before (like, ever).

    To help navigate that abundance and find the yoga set-up that suits your individual practice, we’ve organized this season’s collections with the PRO devotee, the eKO lover and the eQua aficionado in mind.

    First up? The PRO collection, a line-up of our most trusted mats and apparel. For our spring photoshoot, we were inspired by Maria Villella, an Ashtanga teacher who’s been practicing for the last 16 years. We caught up with Maria to learn more about how she got started and why she loves the PRO.

    How did you get introduced to yoga? I saw an ad for a new studio in a local paper. I was looking to do something physical because I was a student at the time and needed to move my body.

    For which yoga practice would you recommend the PRO? All yoga practices! My regular practice is Ashtanga but I sometimes go to vinyasa, restorative or Iyengar classes, too - and it’s still perfect.

    How long have you had your current PRO mat? 8 years and I’ve probably clocked 2,000 practices on it.

    What do you like best about the PRO? I feel so grounded on it. I don’t slip and I can balance well. It’s so durable, too - it’s really the only mat you’ll ever need to buy. The only time I’ve replaced mine is when I lost my old one!

    Why is durability important? It takes time to break in a mat and once you do, you want to keep it around. I’ve practiced on sandy beaches and even in the desert. The PRO holds its shape and is really easy to clean.

    And because the PRO mat is thick and cushy, you don’t need a blanket under your knee in lunges and similar poses. As an Ashtanga practitioner, I don’t often use props in my practice so I’m happy to have a mat that gives me the support I need.

    What does your mat mean to you? My mat is home to me. I go to it daily and it’s where I re-connect. When I come to my mat, my intention is to just be present with whatever comes up.

    Ready to find your perfect PRO?  Shop the collection here.

  • Meet the Artists: The ladies (and gent) behind our new eQua Hot Yoga Mat Collection


    When it came time to design our first hot yoga mat, we found inspiration many places. For starters, YOU (and all your glorious sweat) reminded us that performance must always be paramount to the design process….so we fused a super-soft microfiber eQua Towel onto a natural rubber eKO Mat foundation. Kinda genius (if we do say so ourselves).

    But function must also be complemented by fashion – or, in the case of our brand new eQua Mat collection, inspired by the gorgeous artwork of some of our most talented friends.



    Meet Ashley Mary, Emily Quandahl and Brent Broza, the incredible artists who lent their time and talents to our limited-edition mat collection. We sat down with the trio to pick their brains on color, movement and how the holidays inspire them to give back.



    Q. Where did you find inspiration for your design?


    Emily: The movement of water plays a large role in all of my work - the way it carries the color and settles in a unique pattern each time. I try to let go and allow the paint to do what it wants.

    Brent: The artist Mark Rothko. I love the way he uses landscape and color field style of painting.

    Ashley: Color! I knew I wanted this piece to speak to a natural environment so leaned on my blues and greens.



    Q: Which parallels do you see between art and yoga?


    Brent: Constant learning of both crafts, and being able to apply oneself to different styles. And using both of them as a creative forms of relaxation.

    Ashley: Both are about exercising and expressing your spirit. It's a stretching of heart, mind and soul. My process is fluid, inspired, playful and exploratory - and I see that same spirit come out when I'm practicing yoga.

    Emily: I channel the fluidity of my art throughout my yoga practice. Not forcing a pose to happen, but letting my breath act as the water does in my work - carrying me through a unique practice each time.




    Q: With the holidays in full swing, how do you plan to give back this season?


    Emily: A few years ago, I founded Cantik Collective, a platform for artists to connect and gain exposure. It's important for me to recognize that the base of a supportive creative community is camaraderie, so I make it a priority to shine the light on others.

    Ashley: I love any opportunity I can get to teach. Recently, I was able to have a class of little kiddos come to my studio to make a beautiful mess with me. It was fantastic!

    Brent: Jimmy Miller was one of my best friends who passed away in 2004. The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation currently serves Marines of the Wounded Warrior Battalions at Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms with unique, year-round Ocean Therapy sessions held on base at Camp Pendleton. I’m on the board of the directors, helping to raise money by hosting art events and donating art to their fundraisers.


    Learn more about these artists’ designs >


    Shop The Collection

    yogitoes Yoga Towels | Manduka equa® hot yoga mat by emily quandahl
    eQua Yoga Towels | Manduka equa® hot yoga mat by brent broza
    eQua Hold Yoga Towels| Manduka equa® hot yoga mat by ashley mary


  • What to Eat Before and After Yoga


    As the holidays approach, it’s easy for our usual yoga routines to get hijacked. Between traveling to visit family, parties with friends and the search for the perfect gift (we’ve got a few ideas here), making time to practice is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity. Whether it’s at your local studio or online, yoga allows us to take some much-deserved time to ourselves, as well as reflect to appreciate the amazing people, places and things in our lives...including food.


    There IS a way to enjoy both, although eating a heaping plate of pasta 10 minutes before your flow is not something we’d recommend (but neither is starving yourself only to feel dizzy while upside down).


    When it comes to deciding what to eat before and after yoga, the best thing to do is strike a happy balance. We’ve broken things down below, so you can feel light and festive for your next flow:

    What to eat: 2-3 hours before class

    Oatmeal with a handful of nuts

    The combo of carbs (oats) and protein (nuts) makes the perfect pre-yoga breakfast duo, helping to provide long-lasting, sustainable energy to power you through all those chaturangas. Added strawberries optional!


    Avocado Toast

    With a superdose of potassium and a great source of anti-oxidants, avocados pair perfectly with a slice of low-glycemic index whole grain bread (and any other veggie toppings you like). You’ll feel satisfied and energized for hours.

    PSA: What NOT to Eat

    Garlicky foods

    Deep breathing and garlic don’t go togeter. Be kind to your neighbor and skip for the greater good.



    What to eat: 30 minutes–1 hour before class


    Keep it simple! Packed full of potassium and natural sugars, indulging in a banana pre-yoga can help gently lift energy levels while keeping the body hydrated.


    Green smoothie

    A small green smoothie is a great way to boost energy levels, but remember to strike the 2/3 balance when it comes to packing in leafy greens to ensure healthy blood sugar levels. Adding in half an avocado can also add a nice dose of healthy fats to slow down sugar absorption.


    A few squares of raw cacao

    Yep, that’s right – we support chocolate pre-yoga! But not the sugar-packed processed kind…We’re talking about the real deal. Dark chocolate is packed full of energy-filled magnesium and helps increase blood flow to the brain.



    What to eat: Post-yoga

    It’s best to hold off from eating any big meals at least 30 minutes after finishing your class. Certain yoga postures work on the digestive tract so eating heavy foods straight afterwards can sometimes cause some discomfort. After that, however, the world (or fridge) is all yours! And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to replenish any lost liquids!

  • 3 Yoga Poses For Runners

    Hamstring tightness and soreness is probably the number one complaint heard in yoga classes. Our hamstrings make up three different muscle groups, which collectively are responsible for the flexing of knee and lifting of foot each time we run or jog.  When we overuse or aggravate these muscles, their response is to tense up and contract. And there’s no mistaking the fiery wrath of an over-worked hamstring!

    Why is yoga good for tight hamstrings?
    Yoga and running compliment each other perfectly, helping to fill the gaps where the other lacks.  Practicing just a handful of specific postures before and/or after a long-running session can help to stretch and gently lengthen the hamstring muscles, as well as release any built-up tension in the body.

    Here are our top 3 yoga poses to help you stretch hamstrings from every angle:

    1. Forward Fold (aka Uttanasana)

    Basic hamstring stretch to lengthen and release tension.

    PROtip: If you start to feel any pain, back off by gently bending the knees. The aim is to feel a stretch without any discomfort or strain.


    1. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold (aka Prasarita Padottanasana)

    Inner hamstring stretch to also lengthen the spine.

    PROtip: Rest hands on the floor and lift kneecaps to activate quadriceps. Increased activation will deepen hamstring stretch.


    1. Pyramid Pose (aka Parsvottanasana)

    Outer hamstring stretch to work leg balance and strength.

    PROtip: Extra tight hamstrings will benefit from the use of blocks (like these!) to support hands if they don’t reach the floor.

  • Manduka’s Holiday Mindset: Putting Your Practice Into Practice



    How did this all happen so fast? One minute it’s summer and the next, we find ourselves fully entrenched in the holiday season! Not that we’re complaining…this time of year is always one of our favorites, bringing with it family, festivities and lots of opportunities to put the tools we learn on the yoga mat into practice in the real world.

    This year, we’re proud to feature some of our favorite hometown teachers (that’s sunny Los Angeles, by the way), who share with us how they give back in their own communities, model some of their favorite Manduka picks, provide their personal flow playlists and some will even be teaching live-streamed yoga classes throughout the next few months.

    Meet our Holiday Gift Guide Teachers below and get inspired to put your own practice into, well, practice. Together, we can spread positive vibes big and small to everyone we meet, hug, toast and gift this season.

    Practice On,





    NAME: Alex Artymiak




    The Flow Collection




    Sign up here!



    NAME: Jackie Smyth




    The Strength Collection




    “As a single mother, I know that help from family, friends and even strangers is always appreciated. That’s why each holiday season, I use my community at the studio to arrange clothing drives for Santa Monica’s Upward Bound House to help single mothers and families get back on their feet.”




    NAME: Kali Sampson Alexander




    The Energy Collection




    Sign up here!



    NAME: Katie Keller




    The Shine Collection




    “I work at The Giving Keys in Downtown LA, where we employ people transitioning out of homelessness to make inspirational products and key jewelry stamped with words like DREAM, CREATE or INSPIRE. Working with organizations like Chrysalis, Union Rescue Mission and First Place For Youth makes me proud to pay it forward today, tomorrow and every day.”



    NAME: CJ Harvey




    The Growth Collection




    Sign up here!

  • 5 Yoga Poses For Stress & Anxiety


    Stress is something that affects us all. In fact, we need a bit of stress in our lives to help evolve, grow, gain perspective and stay motivated. But when we’re overloaded with stress (hello, 2017), it can become overwhelming and detrimental. Ultimately, too much stress affects our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, which is why making time to practice yoga is so important.

    Yoga provides the perfect tools to help us deal with stress. Below, you’ll find some key poses to help relieve anxiety and allow you to move through your day with more mindfulness and peace:

    Sesa O'Connor

    1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

    This pose has an immediate calming effect. It allows the mind to turn inward away from distractions.

    • Come to a kneeling position, with knees wide and big toes together.
    • Place a bolster between your thighs, then fold forward from the hips and rest your chest down.
    • Rest head on the floor or on a block, with arms stretched out in front.

    2. Crocodile (Makrasana)

    This position allows for a deep connection with your own breath, helping to turn the mind inwards.

    • Lay on your belly.
    • Make a pillow with your hands and rest your head upon them.
    • Keep your legs out straight behind you, with feet turned outwards.
    • Focus on the breath down into the belly. Feel it pressing the floor as you inhale and soften back on the exhalation.

    3. Reclining Bound Angle (Supta baddha konasana)

    The detrimental effects of stress often occur because we’re holding onto unnecessary thoughts or feelings. This pose teaches us how to let go.

    • Lay on your back, place the soles of the feet together and knees resting apart.
    • A bolster can be placed underneath from the lower back up to the back of the head.
    • Extra support can also be placed under the thighs.

    4. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)

    This inverted position is instantly calming and introverting.

    • Sit with the side of your pelvis against the wall.
    • As you lay down, pivot legs to swing up the wall so your spine is lengthening away from it.
    • A bolster or low block can be placed under the back of the pelvis for more comfort.

    5. Savasana

    The ultimate stress-relieving pose!

    • Lay on your back, with the spine in a straight line.
    • Let feet and legs roll out from each other, and arms rolled out from the sides of the body.
    • Tuck the chin slightly towards the chest. A bolster or blanket can be placed under the knees to relieve tightness in the lower back.
    • Now, just breathe normally and relax.


  • 8 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Home Yoga Practice

    Developing a home yoga routine can be daunting. Finding the time and space to show up on your mat each day is challenging, especially when you're used to the structure of an in-person yoga class.


    But learning how to practice yoga at home allows you the space to really listen to your body and its needs, without the temptation of playing a comparison game with neighboring yogis.


    More often than not, the biggest hurdle is simply showing up. The remaining steps? We’ve outlined them below to help get you started. Practice On.



    1. Get Online

    Make use of the many resources out there. Online yoga classes are a great way to get started on your home yoga journey, providing just enough structure and routine to build up confidence to “go it alone”. And with a range of different lengths, styles and levels to choose from, there’s always a class to fit your needs.


    1. Create the Right Space

    Creating an inspiring space for your practice is crucial. Find somewhere open and clutter-free that creates a feeling of ‘space’. Outfit that space with props that make you feel comfortable and supported. We love blankets and blocks for home practices.


    1. Find Your Soul Mat

    The cornerstone of your practice should be a mat that suits your needs and personal style. We love our PRO mats, especially the PRO Squared (if you can fit it!) Confused on which mat is best for you? Take our quiz!


    1. Be Selfish

    Take the time to tap into how you’re feeling. No two practices are going to be the same. Some days, you’ll want a stronger, longer practice; others, you might just want to do a few Sun Salutations and lie in Savasana.  Allow yourself the flexibility to feel what you and your body really need.


    1. Welcome The Resistance

    Resistance is part of life. Embrace it, rather than punishing yourself with it. The most important thing is that you make it to the mat, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 50 minutes. Respect and appreciate where you’re at in your practice.


    1. Start Small

    It can take a while for a new commitment to turn into a habit. Respect that, and start with just a few minutes, working up to a longer practice when it feels comfortable.


    1. Phone = Off

    This is YOUR time, and don’t let anyone or anything take it from you. If you're joining Yogaia classes from your phone, make sure to turn off all notifications so your class doesn't get interrupted.

    1. Forgive, Forget & Carry On

    Falling off the wagon is normal – so don’t beat yourself up about it! Just be sure to get right back on and reward yourself that you did.


  • The Ultimate Yoga Guide for Beginners

    Starting something new can be scary, and finding yourself in a yoga studio as a beginner is no exception. With unfamiliar names for poses and even stranger-sounding Sanskrit words, being a new yogi can often feel like learning a new language.

    That's why it's important to make sure you start your yoga journey with a class structured specifically for beginners. Yoga for Beginners (Level 1) classes start with the absolute basics, structuring sequences in an easy-to-follow way, even for someone with no idea what Downward-Facing Dog means.

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  • How Manduka Founder Peter Sterios Built The Best Mat in The World


    In 1997, the Internet was just getting started (less than 2% of the world’s population were users), the first social media platform was launched (but, let's be honest, no one knew what to do with it) and Amazon was only 4 years old, primarily selling books and DVDs.


    20 years later, all of those things are very alive and well...and so is Manduka’s signature yoga mat, the Black Mat PRO. In 1997, the yoga landscape was a very different place, where 60’s-era refugees and martial arts students gathered in small studios to practice on makeshift mats often made of cut-up pieces of carpet underlayment (true story).

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  • We're in This Together

    Our beloved community of yogis goes beyond the studio – it spans the nation and the globe. Harvey and Irma's affect on our community has broken our hearts, which leads us to the question: What can we do to help?


    Manduka has committed to helping studios in need hit by the hurricane with replacement yoga mats for those that have become lost or damaged. We truly believe that the power of yoga provides a sense of self and strength, especially in times of uncertainty.

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