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  • Being Where You Are, Not Where You're From

    #NowStartsNow by Manduka Ambassador Hadji Jones.

    We spend so much time wondering ‘what if,’ when it’s much more powerful to ask ‘what now?'

    This very moment has the power to unfold your dreams - all of your possibilities are already with you right here, right now. So what are you waiting for? What’s stopping you? Why are you delaying your destiny?

    These are questions that I asked myself for years. I grew up in Philly - born and raised and proud. This city had (and still has) a strong effect on who I am, so it was important to me to be part of it, an ambassador of Brotherly Love with a hand on the heartbeat of the community. For 5 years, all my ‘nows’ were dedicated to bringing yoga to the city. After all, healing doesn’t know ethnicity, size, age or social stature, healing only knows now.

    I became a staple on the yoga scene, exactly like I wanted. "The Black Yogi” became a personality, taking interviews in the local papers, doing photoshoots in art museums. I was working hard for every now, and it was working.

    There were a million reasons why I could never leave Philly, even when I stopped being happy there. So much of who I was was wrapped up in Philly, so who would I be if not in Philly? In the cradle of liberty, I had clipped my own wings. I gave myself every excuse why it wasn’t meant for me to move, even when I spent my every inner spark on dreaming about somewhere new.

    One day I hit the reset button on my thoughts and my whole perspective shifted. It started with my ritual practice of yoga. The practice that reminds us: take leaps, try something new, stay true to who you are, and ultimately to listen to your heart.

    My heart was telling me to do the scariest thing in my life: leave everything I knew. It was the biggest #NowStartsNow of my life.

    That is the power of #Now - it is the only moment we truly get. Life isn’t happening ’someday,’ it’s happening here and now - and it needs you in it. Yes, the you with all those hometown memories and comfortable routines. Now needs you.

    It needs you to start what’s been burning inside you for a long time. Now has everything you need to be happy and fulfilled - but the first step is yours to take.

    So as I write this, in sunny Atlanta, with a new full-time teaching practice in a new community in a peachy city with a very different heartbeat, I am happy in completely new ways. #NowStartsNow is about getting to your TRUTH and doing something about it. Now is for you to shine.

    Follow Hadji on Instagram at @TheBlackYogi or at

    We want to hear about your now – how you are living this moment as your bold, beautiful, wild and true self. Explore off the mat, start something new, put your self out there and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging #NowStartsNow and @MandukaYoga.

  • Say What Needs To Be Said

    #NowStartsNow by Daniel Scott

    Now starts now. Not later, and once past, never again.

    Many nows ago had me back in NYC, old stomping grounds before life as a traveling yogi took hold. Reconnected with an old friend with whom silence had long replaced warmth for some sincerely forgettable reason. It was time to put the past where it truly belonged— behind us— and blow the dust off a once illustrious friendship sadly gone quiet.

    The afternoon before the long-awaited meeting to finally share said feelings, he was hit by a car and died. Distance is easier to handle by choice. Uncontrolled loss is overwhelmingly unbearable. So much to say, all dressed up, nowhere to go.

    A few hours after the accident, I received a call from his girlfriend. He was an immensely charismatic and talented man with countless friends, of wonderful tribe and family. She and I had only met once a few years back, and did not how she found me.

    “Josh has died today,” she softly trembled, “He would have wanted you to know how you meant the world to him."

    I wanted to scream, not in anger but love. Of all things possible, of all people to contact, of all Nows to engage. She acted on behalf of both when one couldn’t while the other lost. Her words were his, his feelings mine, our kinship so eloquently reflected in that endless moment.

    Now might not always feel like the right time, but it is time and therefore never wrong. Now is the hourglass neck through which each grain of sand must pass, whether to build a castle or be washed away. Now What became Right Now because she took the chance others were unable to.

    For this, I’m eternally grateful. For Josh, for life, for the opportunity to honor instead of regret. Now starts now, ready or not. Make the call, cross that bridge. Say what needs to be said. Share your beautiful now with truth and compassion so others may do the same.



    Daniel Scott is yogi provocateur offering a fresh alternative to the traditional “yoga voice”. With light heart and open mind, Daniel focuses on moving into postures, not through them. He enjoys barefoot running, street art, good coffee, large quantities, and great qualities. Deeply dedicated to sharing in the immense journey from self-conscious to self-aware, Daniel strives to answer the ever-present question: are you moving, or being moved? Find him at or on his high flying Instagram.

    We want to hear about your now – how you are living this moment as your bold, beautiful, wild and true self. Explore off the mat, start something new, put your self out there and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging #NowStartsNow and @MandukaYoga.

  • Now Is A Practice Of Courage And Kindness

    #NowStartsNow by Talia Sutra

    The way we perceive time is a direct reflection of the state of our mind-body-heart.

    Imagine, for instance, being told you have just one more year to live– your relationship to yourself and to time would surely change.

    Many of us grow up to become desensitized to our physical, emotional and mental bodies. However ‘sleeping through life’ usually leads to some sort of alarming wake up call. Sometimes it takes a monumental hardship to finally get us to wake up and realize that our time here in our bodies - on this earth and with the people we love - is deeply precious (and in this body, limited).

    Yoga teaches us that there is a constant, a oneness threading together our fleeting sensations, countless thoughts and passing moments; that we are in fact here to come together, to love one another.

    Practicing yoga cultivates tremendous awareness - the ability to see the constant, to hear all sacred sounds, and to feel an overwhelming gratitude for life.

    Gratitude sheds light on the beauty and perfection that resides within each being. In order to experience this level of consciousness, one has to be aware of the constant, and this union with the constant is NOWNESS.

    We can make nowness practical by starting a practice of simple self-observation: our thoughts, tendencies, and patterns. With time, our observation and understanding deepens, and judgment of ourselves and others will detach and fade.

    Mindfulness, compassion, meditation and yoga will remove all illusions– all that is not NOW.

    Developing a more compassionate lifestyle will also sharpen your awareness abilities. Know the affects of your food on yourself and on the earth. Commit to a yoga practice or a meditation practice. It will require some discipline in the early stages. Surround yourself with kind, supportive people and watch out for judgment or expectations (usually a sign of holding on to the past).

    Let now be a practice of courage and kindness.

    Love yourself unconditionally and see how this love shifts your relationship to the earth and all its manifestations. See how it moves your body; see how it enlightens your mind. Let now be the joy of being with the people you love. Let it be realization that you and they and we are enough.

    Let now start now.


    Talia Sutra is a New York City based yoga teacher and curious citizen of the world. She believes that with a joyful heart and an open mind, anything and everything is possible. Find her at or on her fascinating Instagram account, @Talia_Sutra.

    We want to hear about your now – how you are living this moment as your bold, beautiful, wild and true self. Explore off the mat, start something new, put your self out there and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging #NowStartsNow and @MandukaYoga.

  • #NowStartsNow - An Ode To This Moment (And Winning New Manduka Gear)

    This moment is a gift.

    Yes, this one, reading this blog over lunch, on your commute, in your PJs, wherever you are. It’s a gift that has never happened before. A brand new, undiscovered now – here comes another one, and another, are you seeing these? These moments are what our lives are made of.

    So what will we do with it? How will we choose to show up?


    This is your invitation to the moment. We’d like to see what you – bright, brave, wild you – do with it.

    Share your now as a post to our Facebook wall, a Tweet to the universe or an Instagram for the ages. Tag @MandukaYoga and #NowStartsNow. Share what’s been stirring inside you for a long time, and where you go when your heart does the driving.

    Over the next 6 weeks, we’ll be reading your stories, tweeting your Tweets and hearting your Instagrams. We’ll choose 10 yogis who share their #NowStartsNow to receive a suite of Manduka gear from the new spring collection (you can tell us what grabs your eye, or let us choose based on your story), and feature many more here on the blog. So whether you’re applying for your first passport, getting into headstand, breathing through traffic jams or asking for a date, #NowStartsNow.

    Life can be many things – beautiful, messy, sweaty, mysterious, still. But more than anything else, it’s now. Here’s to using this one of a kind moment for your one of a kind life.

    Practice On,

  • Featured Retailer: Touch The Toes Singapore

    Touch The Toes, Singapore:

    Touch The Toes! Can you do it?
    'Nooo... Too stiff!' 'Too old' 'Maybe I'll try tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow' 'Errr I could break something!'... Isn't it funny how everyone almost always assumes it's bending over straight-legged & reaching for the toes?

    TTT is all about changing perceptions. Eco-friendly is affordable. Small can be big. Yoga is for everyone. Customers can be friends. And you can always touch the toes!

    Our lovely shop sits right in the heart of an enclave of creativity. In squeaky clean Singapore, a country where graffiti is illegal, we are surrounded by funky murals, beautiful neighbors, bohemian coffee joints.

    Climb up to our 2nd floor space and you're in a little h(e)aven. Where our customers pop in for a Manduka eKo Mat & sometimes stay the entire afternoon trying new clothes & catching up with us for the latest yoga news.

    We are so proud to be the only yoga retail store for apparel & accessories in Singapore. But we were blown away when we found out we are the only eco-friendly store in Asia!

    TTT are 3 people: Eliza (creative), Kelly (logical), Wuen (quirky). All unique & wonderful. If you are ever in Singapore, do drop in to say hi!

    Ohmsome Beginnings.
    Never Endings.

  • Yoga Class in Morocco with Project SOAR

    We are continually inspired by the work that is happening around the world through the transformative power of yoga. We were honored to be able to support a community project in Morocco called Project Soar, a project which empowers the under-served women and girls through art, sport, fitness and health education. When it is not culturally traditional for women to participate in activities like these, a mat can be revolutionary. And we all know, yoga can change the world.


  • Empowering the Next Generation with the Live Well Project

    Last year Manduka donated 200 yoga mats to The Live Well Project who supports girls who suffer from homelessness and poverty every year for the past 6 years. Their mission is to empower the next generation of leaders through self love, nutrition, yoga and goal setting. Nothing inspires us more than seeing so many amazing people practicing together and creating a better world. Namaste, girls.

  • Closing the Loop: PLUSfoam Technology and LiveON Products

  • The Shama Yoga Rug is a Reminder to Create a Life You Love

    By Kee Kee Buckley, creator of the Shama Yoga Rug.

    I didn’t set out to become an inventor, it just sorta happened. It happened during a time in my life when I looked around and realized I wasn’t happy. There were a lot of broken parts in my life, and I had grown tired of sludging through the murky undercurrent of stagnant and toxic energy that seemed to infuse every bit of my existence. It was 2003, and yoga was the one thing that seemed to bind all the broken pieces of my life together. It was my lifeline during a time when little else made sense. A six year relationship had just ended, leaving me moving out of the beautiful spacious Venice Beach house owned by my ex-boyfriend into a tiny 300 square foot hobbit hole. I was also working hard to digest the fact that my dream career was really just something that was leaving me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I needed to find a solution and fix my life. Not knowing where else to begin, I turned to yoga.

    In fact, I dove head first into yoga and enrolled in yoga teacher training. Then, wanting to take my practice even deeper, I enrolled in the Yoga Philosophy program at LMU and joined a yoga philosophy study group with several well-known LA yoga instructors. As my body and spirit grew stronger through yoga, I began to challenge myself physically with a more advanced asana practice. Yet with more physically demanding asana came more sweat. As much as I would like to say I glow when I work out, I don’t. I sweat. Profusely. My face gets red and puffy and sweat drips from places one would think sweat should never ever drip. On the one hand, sweating felt good – like I was detoxifying all that toxicity in my life. On the other hand, sweating hindered my practice by causing me to slip on my mat. Wanting a non-synthetic solution, I turned to cotton yoga rugs. Unfortunately, although they helped, I still would slip. Yes, I sweat that much.

    Although I hadn’t yet found a solution to fix the bigger problems in my life, I was bound and determined to find a solution to fix my problems with sweating on my mat. A conversation with a friend about how I would improve the yoga rugs on the market led to me impulsively getting on the internet and educating myself about the difference between the weft and the warp yarns in weaving. I decided my dream yoga rug would have a raised weft weave, leaving ridges that would not only help with alignment, but would also be big enough to serve as friction points to stop me from slipping at the same time as being small enough that they wouldn’t throw off my balance. In order to accommodate large hands and feet on taller people and smaller hands and feet on shorter people, I wanted these ridges to be spaced further apart towards the ends of the rug and closer together towards the center of the rug. India was the only country I knew of that had commercial handloom companies, so I shot off a few e-mail inquiries to several of them. The most accommodating was a family-owned business in New Delhi, and over the next year they would send me samples, I would make changes and then they would send me new samples. We did this several times until I finally had a production sample of my new yoga rug, which I promptly named the Shama Yoga Rug. Shama in Sanskrit means tranquility and peace, and because I was actively searching for inner-peace in my life, I thought this the most fitting name for my new rug. The next few years involved obtaining a utility patent on my yoga rug, setting up an online store, and eventually finding a home for the Shama Yoga Rug in the Manduka family of products.

    Fixing my problem with my sweaty yoga practice taught me a valuable life lesson. When I find there is a problem in my life, then I should buckle down, find a solution, and fix things once and for all. Surprisingly, inventing a patented yoga rug was easier than fixing some of the other broken things in my life. But I’m getting much better at drumming up the necessary courage to create lasting healthy changes. Each time I practice on my Shama Yoga Rug, I’m reminded of the importance of being an active participant in creating a life I love.

  • Yogi of the Week: Ashley

    Meet Ashley.

    Ashley was teaching her regular vinyasa class and demonstrating Cobra pose. But at 8 months pregnant, there are some poses the body (well, mostly just the belly) won't do in the traditional sense. Ashley had this realization about a moment after it was too late to do anything about it. She went from Cobra to Nobra, tipping over uncontrollably in front of the whole class. Instead of getting upset, she immediately burst into laughter, and her whole class laughed as well.

    That's when she knew her yoga practice wasn't going to be about "advanced" asana anymore. She let it go, making room for the new chapter in her life and the little miracle growing in her belly that would change it forever.

    Ashley's yoga has come into a whole new journey deep in the mind, paying close attention to her thoughts and focus. She now feels more love and respect for her body and chooses to dedicate every practice to her growing family.