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  • Yogi of the Week: Kat

    This is Kat.

    She believes that anyone can be successful if they approach challenge, possibility and adventure with true openness. It's how she overcame her nemesis: handstands.

    For years, handstands had been a source of anxiety. There was something keeping Kat from hoisting her legs over her head, and it wasn't physical. One night, while practicing in her living room (in her underwear, no less - talk about freeing yourself from constraint), she decided to give handstands another shot. Feeling completely at ease, she approached the pose with a new attitude. “What the heck,” Kat thought. “Might as well give it another shot.” And with the support of the wall, and the absence of her judgments, she went right upside down.

    That moment taught Kat the power of remaining open to her possibility, because when you stop getting in your own way, you'll be surprised by what you already know how to do. Yoga has taught Kat about deep honesty – with herself and others – not to mention revealed her courage, creativity and beautiful friendships.

    Practice On.

    --Manduka

  • Yogi of the Week: Morgan

    This is Morgan.

    He is a medical assistant, nursing student and dedicated bicyclist. Morgan rides his bike 365 days a year --- through downtown Chicago. Morgan is willing to take chances, which is exactly how he found his yoga practice 11 years ago. It started as a way to help him relax and stretch after running 20+ miles per week, it became a source of clarity.

    Morgan has a few battle scars. Exactly one year after fracturing his left clavicle, he had an epiphany in Kapotasana: life will hand you breaks, but you choose whether it breaks your spirit, or whether it lets you blossom through the cracks.

    Morgan recently raised $1,000 for a friend in India that has Tuberculosis and needed an oxygen machine. Knowing that his friend will be able to breathe for the rest of the year, allows him to breathe easier, too.

    He amazes us.

    Meeting Morgan was a lightbulb moment: we need to meet you too. This is your community, and this is the YOU year. Manduka is on a mission to get to know everyone who makes this yoga community so vibrant, and so real. Because we all have something to learn from you — about how we see ourselves, or approach our practice, or make yoga mats.

    Practice On.

    --Manduka

  • Yogi of the Week: Jimbo

    Meet Jimbo.

    He’s a New Jersey fire fighter, certified rescue diver, doting husband, Harley owner and yogi. His teacher: none other than Manduka Ambassador and former wrestling pro Diamond Dallas Page, because “It AIN’T your Mama’s Yoga.”

    Yoga has given Jimbo a power that's envied all around the firehouse: the ability to BREATHE himself into relaxation. Without crutches, without excuses, there is always the mat. Not only did he lose 30 lbs through Page's DDP Yoga, but his practice also literally saved his life. One day while called out to a fire, his foot went through the roof of a burning building. He was able to pull it out, and afterward faced even more heat from his team:

    "Guys you shoulda seen Jimbo, I thought he was going through, and then he starts dong this little dance. What was that bro; they teach you that at the academy?"

    No, he replied, that was finding himself in Warrior II, and being able to pull himself out by transitioning into Warrior I. Fighting fires AND defending yoga to a group of New Jersey firemen? If that’s not bravery, we don’t know what is.

    Practice On.

    --Manduka

  • Yogi of the Week: Laura

    This is Laura.

    She's a former U.S. Marine, overseas contractor, utility power lineman and massage therapist. Laura thinks that people don't believe her when she says she practices yoga, but she's been an Ashtangi since back when she was stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan. Now she travels to Mysore, India every year to study at the origin of the practice.

    Her best friend (and best teacher) is her 5-year old nephew, Gideon. Her favorite way to get around is by Harley. Her favorite place to practice is at home in Washington, DC. And her mat is a Black Mat PRO.

    She amazes us.

    Meeting Laura was a lightbulb moment: we need to meet you too. This is your community, and this is the YOU year. Manduka is on a mission to get to know everyone who makes this yoga community so vibrant, and so real. Because we all have something to learn from you — about how we see ourselves, or approach our practice, or make yoga mats.

    Practice On.

    --Manduka

  • The You Series

    Yoga helps you be YOU at your most real and most raw. And that's the you we want to meet.

    For us, this is the year of YOU. We're collecting your stories, sharing your joy, and are always here when you need someone to lean on. Because you amaze us, and you make this community real. Check out our newest project, the You Series. If you're open to it, we might like to feature you in our next Yoga Journal Ad and send you $500 worth of Manduka gear.

    You are the most interesting person we've met.