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  • Manduka's Fall Equinox Flow With Ashley Turner

    Equinox is Made For Yoga - it's a huge shift, when the wheels start turning in a new direction. This is a powerful time to set an intention for the months ahead, so Ashley Turner created this exclusive 30 minute Equinox Ritual Flow just for you. Please enjoy this practice!

  • A Collection of Nows, Pt 2

    Over the last 6 weeks, we’ve been reading your stories, tweeting your Tweets and hearting your Instagrams in celebration of the moment and all the amazing ways you choose to show up for it. Thousands of you have shared your #NowStartsNow – your testament to life’s messy joys, mysterious beauties and most of all its nows.

    We also teamed up with teachers who inspire us on what #NowStartsNow is all about:
    Now is a Practice of Courage & Kindness, by Talia Sutra.
    Say What Needs To Be Said, by Daniel Scott.
    Being Where You Are, Not Where You’re From, by Hadji Jones.
    Now Tastes Good, by Danielle and Whitney of Sakara Life.
    The Yoga of Now, by Cora Wen.
    To Be Or Now To Be Here Now, by Rocky Heron.

    Here are a few more of your Nows that have inspired us along the way, from springing into action to choosing to pause and reflect. This list also includes Erin Noguchi, Jaime Neal Kaminski, Karen Krieger, Ladybirds Lynn and Marissa K, who win a suite of Manduka gear as our thank you for being present and participating.


    Erin Noguchi, @enronnn

    I'm graduating from University of California Santa Cruz in a few short weeks I'm so thankful for the opportunity for a higher education & I've fallen in love with Northern California. I wanted to take these last few weeks I have left up north to explore & appreciate time seems to be speeding up so it's all I can do to live in the moment & cherish every minute #nowstartsnow here's to graduating, making it to the top of this mountain in beautiful Carmel & taking over the world peace by peace.


    @yogaracheal

    Ohana | I've been caring for my baby cousin the past few days and it's really opened my eyes to the beauty and roughness of motherhood. Two days with him and I'm already tired hahaha! But now I'm pretty excited for my time to have a family. Nervous excited for the future, but I'm thankful for these moments now.


    @healthandstrength808

    Bless all the Mothers who carry the heavy load...who give unconditionally...who nurture the children...who selflessly endure through the trials and tribulations. You are Love. #9Months #NowStartsNow


    Marissa K, @Marissaksnow

    Solo in the Sierras. Wet feet from ankle deep snow. No plans. Just a pack. If I go with nothing I'll be back in two hours. If I go with a pack, double that time. At least. If I brought a sleeping bag, I'm afraid I'd never come down. #Nowstartsnow


    Jaime Neal Kaminski

    Take time to enjoy yourself. Listen. Everything you need to hear is right there. "The quieter you become, the more you can hear. #NowStartsNow


    @areyoga

    The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hands of man. Places where your soul feels alive but your mind is quiet. Places to love deeply, breath softly, and live simply. The human spirit needs places where the only moment that matters is the moment you are in right now.


    Marti Nikko, @martinikko

    Hey. It's time! #nowstartsnow


    Monica Palomino, @presenceandplants

    I am currently studying for several cumulative finals that I do not feel prepared for. In a few months my lease will be up, and I don't know where I'll live. I have no long-term post-graduation career plan. I'm not quite sure how I will be able to support myself. In so many ways, life is asking me to be afraid. But I'll be damned if I let worries of the future, a place that is never guaranteed, jade the beauty of this present moment. The rush of this inhalation, the surrender of the exhalation. All is well. #NowStartsNow


    @jessclimbs

    My new favorite spot. I will visit here often to get away from the hustle of life.


    @whiskeyjill

    My sweet little boy falling asleep outside.


    @innerspaceyogamiami

    In sobriety I find Mother's Day to be bitter sweet. How does one junkie make it when another parishes? My mother was an addict most of her life. She flirted with recovery and I clearly remember going to 12 step meetings as a child. But she couldn't manage to get and stay clean. She died with a system so full of drugs her little body just couldn't take it anymore. You would think that I would have learned from that... Instead I took a long slow journey into my own addiction. Alcohol to pills to coke to meth. Eventually I had a needle in my arm on a daily basis. Just like her. In the soul of every addict there is a hole. Something happened to us by way of nature or nurture that left us unable to love ourselves and hence unable to well love anybody else. We are selfish creatures, trying desperately to fill the void. In the end our self-absorption is pure misery. Some addicts follow this path until the inevitable end of jails, institutions or death. A very few of us addicts are granted a desperation so deep that we snap out of it before we kill ourselves. Why did I receive this gift? When I too could have died alone in a cold dark bathroom, how did I manage to wake up from the nightmare? I don't think it will ever be completely clear how I pulled back from the brink of complete self annihilation. This is what make my life miraculous. Somehow it clicked into place that #nowstartsnow, that I could leave the past alone, and live in the light of the present moment. I do know that my mother will always been present with me and I remember the words "I love you Kiddo" as her final refrain. This is her true legacy to me. Souls are complicated. Hers was broken somewhere along the line and even though she couldn't love herself very well, I know she meant it when she said these words to me, that she was trying as hard as she could to have a heart that wasn't so defeated. I think that in my darkest moment, it was her voice that echoed in my ears. "I love you kiddo." I believe that the hole in the heart of this addict is filling with love, a little more each day.


    Karen Krieger, @thekkriegs

    The magic moments of the morning. The light returns to refresh the earth from the darkness of the night. The air feels full of possibility- full of thoughts that haven't been taken yet, experiences you can't foresee, and opportunities that could change your future. Did you miss it? Don't. Be here now. Breath in every moment.

    Here’s to putting our practice into practice, way beyond the mat. This one of a kind moment and your one of a kind life. Starting now.

    Practice On,
    Manduka

  • To Be or Not To Be Here Now

    #NowStartsNow by Rocky Heron

    I find it difficult to write about the “now.” While I sit typing this I am aware that others will be reading my words in the future, which truthfully, makes me feel a bit anxious. And much of what I feel called to write about is recollections of memorable moments from my past. I’m aware that the process of writing, and much of anything else can only be done in the “now,” but how can I effectively discuss what it means for me to be in the present moment, when the process of doing so seems to send my mind moving in every direction other than right here, right now? The irony is, when I find myself truly immersed in the present, in pure experience and in direct contact with this eternal moment, the last thing I feel called to do is talk about it. But I am up for the challenge and wish to carry out this task skillfully. So tell you what. I’m going to pause, quiet my mind (as best I can), and arrive in this moment that is all around me. When I return I will articulate to the best of my ability whatever my heart and mind are able to convey. Be right back…

    Ok. Here we go.

    The now is ever changing, shifting, and moving from one moment to the next, and all of our power to create lies in the spaces between, the transitions that carry us endlessly toward the culminations of all that are in process of becoming. When we sink into the satisfaction of each moment, it becomes clear: all is well, all is available to us, and all is forever becoming more. To be content in the moment means to be non-attached. Not in the sense of attachment to outcome, but attachment to permanence, since every moment is gone the moment you realize you are in it. It is in our attempt to control the chaos - the beautiful, messy, entropy of life - that we resist the blissfully powerful dance of creation and destruction, for each moment contains both. We are evidence of this relentless cycle of birth and death, and our bodies are not immune to this rhythm.

    As I write this I am breathing in new molecules and breathing out the old. My body is dying and regenerating and I am never the same as I just was. As you read this you are doing the same. Fighting this process seems to bring suffering, for it is one we cannot win; while yielding to it’s intimate relationship with your physical nature can make for a satisfying and exciting exchange with life.

    My practice, both on and off the mat is forever one of arriving. Arriving into harmony with this truth and acclimating to who and what I am in each moment. When I let go and surrender into myself and the life that is manifesting around me, I am offered a more graceful and satisfying journey from one moment to the next. It feels better, and it seems to work better.

    To become all that you are is a lifelong and worthwhile pursuit, but understand that all that you are is always increasing. So dig in to each moment and mine it for the rich nuggets of sights, smells, sounds, tastes and feelings that are potently being offered to you. Wake up to the richness of life that is unfolding within and around you and let this string of joyful nows be the building blocks to a joyful life.

    Each moment is so brief, and yet they unfold as an endless string of opportunities to find and experience joy. Regardless of how commonplace, temporary or even frustrating any one moment may initially appear. That is the paradox: that the joys of life are both ephemeral and long lasting when we can surrender to each moment fully and its transition into the next. It can render us appreciative of the simplest thing to the most complex. We too are ephemeral, and our existence brief. So if you could only exist for one moment, regardless of what you are doing, would you not want it to be a joyful moment?

    Get lost in the sensations around you, let go of the habitual stories you may tell about the context of your experience. In each moment you can refresh and start anew but it requires you to make the choice. So remember: Be here now! I’ll do my best to meet you there. If not, hang out for a little while and I’ll be there as soon as I too remember :)

    Peace,

    Rocky Heron

    Rocky Heron, is a world-traveling yoga teacher known for uncanny wisdom and skillful instruction. His teaching is informed by years of study in nearly every yoga style dedicated to helping students deepen and inspire their practice, while consciously expanding in all directions. Visit him on Facebook, on Instagram @YogaWithRocky or at YogaWithRocky.com.

    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.

  • A Letter From Elena at New York Children's Hospital

    We are continuously inspired by our dear friend and beloved teacher, Elena Brower. She invited us to be a part of this magical class by donating mats for the caretakers at the Children’s Hospital of New York.

    Elena sent us this beautiful letter about her touching experience:


    Dear Manduka,

    Every night I have the luxury of going to sleep with one hand behind my son Jonah's head, and one hand on his heart. He loves that little moment of energy healing, and has always loved it since I'd taken my first Reiki training with Pamela Miles in New York City. Sometimes he requests a placement on his belly, or his shins for those shinsplints as he grows.

    In the mornings, I wake him by putting my cheek next to his, and whispering, "Good morning, I love you." I'd never realized how truly lucky I am to simply touch him and have him so close until recently, when Nurse Ellen Fernando and Dr. Anita Patel of the Children's Hospital of NY came to thank me after offering a meditation, and told me about where they work.

    From Anita and Ellen on our first few emails, "CHONY (Children's Hospital of NY) is the biggest children's hospital in New York, and to say that we take care of the sickest children in NY is an understatement.  We take care of them with all of our hearts (besides skills and knowledge).  Most times we win the battle, but unfortunately there are times when we don't.  The nurses and doctors at CHONY are all incredible humans."

    The following week I took my son to meet the staff at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit there, intending to offer meditation and perhaps yoga, but we had no props or mats. We all assumed that if the staff could practice calming their minds, they'd be more able to take care of the children with clear minds and open hearts.

    That week we all sat around a conference room table and I spoke briefly about meditation. We sat for 11 minutes, and the mood shifted. We all wanted more. That same day Jonah and I then visited with an infant of 5 months, Rafi, who'd never left the hospital since birth. Born with several issues, his Mama has lived there with him since his birth, and his tubes kept him from being held or touched in the simplest of ways. When we met him, he was intubated and being treated for several critical conditions, and still he instantly melted our hearts.

    I gave Mama some chair Reiki, and we talked to her about our Reiki ritual at night, my hands on Jonah either on his heart, head or belly, and she was almost immediately revitalized. Showing her how to do it over Rafi's blanket and tubes, this gently, she began smiling - and it wasn't just the brave face we'd seen upon arrival - she was happy, trusting, hopeful. She was empowered. The next day, somewhat surprisingly for the staff, Rafi's breathing tubes were removed, and he's been improving ever since, now in preparation for a huge surgery coming soon to repair his insides.

    The next time I arrived, thanks to Manduka, I offered a proper yoga session. Manduka, bless your hearts, thank you for sending us our 10 new EKO-lite mats and 20 "Unblocks" for our caregivers... we had a wonderful session and everyone wants more. I'm now going back at least twice a month but mostly weekly, to teach more yoga, meditation and to spend more time with the families. I'll keep you posted on my wondrous healing adventures here.

    Love, Elena

     

  • The Yoga of Now

    #NowStartsNow by Cora Wen

    I started yoga practice as a young corporate banker making my way in the world. It was a way to exercise, focus my mind and direct my stressed out energy. I went for asana, movement and more on the mat, and in my life.

    Now, as my practice has matured, I have found that asana has been a pathway to find deeper and deeper states of consciousness and awareness. After 30 years of practice, and 23 years of teaching, yoga is my life within every pore of my being. And my feet have been grounded to earth, as I have raised my arms and heart toward the sky.

    Years ago, I came to each practice with fire and determination to “get” the asanas - Chakrasana, Kapotasana, Vrksasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Tittibasana, and the rest of the more difficult asanas. The ones in the “back of the book”.

    As the asanas came to me through practice, practice, practice, I have found more ease and stability in holding them longer and with more grace moving in and out. Now, I find myself lingering in the asana, instead of struggling into them.

    Now, I can find the time and spaciousness in my chest, side ribs, paraspinal muscles without as much struggle. Though perhaps these days, it takes a bit more time as my body ages and changes. But now, I focus on the breath, the subtle alignment, the way I move into and out of an asana. The journey has certainly replaced the destination on my mat.

    Now, I find myself breathing softer and quieter to find the stillness in each moment on my mat., and in my lie. Asana has become an offering to myself, and it is a pathway that leads me back to the seat of my heart.

    As my lineage guru B.K.S. Iyengar always said -
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” Now, I have grown older with my practice, and my practice has grown with me.

    Yoga has been my teacher, my friend, and my sanctuary for so many years. My practice has held me as I found and lost love, supported my triumphs and my defeats, soothed my heart on countless occasions and pulled me up in crisis and sorrow. Celebrations, disappointments, sukha and dukkha, all these have happened on my yoga mat, as a reflection of life’s journey here and now.

    Every day we must come to the mat fresh and open to the practice that exists right now, right here. Every moment is here for us to experience the fullness of our practice, the fullness of our life.

    What happens on the mat can reflect into your life, so find time to sit still as much as moving into fierce asana. Find time to move into the quiet and stillness that leads us back to ourselves. Find time to breathe fully and accept each moment as it truly is.

    Now starts now.

    Cora Wen

    Cora Wen is an internationally renowned yoga teacher. She lives her life in a manner that is kind. To herself and all beings. Life happens, so she stumbles like all of us, but the practice of meditation and yoga helps her become aware, and aware and aware... Visit her at CoraWen.com, on Twitter @CoraYoga or on Instagram @CoraYoga.

    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.

  • A Celebration of Nows, Part I

    Life can be many things – beautiful, messy, sweaty, mysterious, still. But more than anything else, it’s now. Over the past three weeks, we’ve been celebrating your nows – those moments when you turn intention into action, let your heart do the driving, fully show up for everything that’s possible and put your practice into practice – beyond the mat.

    #NowStartsNow is your invitation to the moment, and we’re inspired by what you – bright, brave, wild you – do with it. Here are some of your Nows that have inspired us along the way, including Christie McNabb, Liz Sherrer, Christine Durrant, Sarah Crowe, and Priscilla Ann who receive a special suite of Manduka gear as our thank you.

    Christine Durant, @ChristineMDurant
    Yes!! Instead of sitting in front of the computer and stressing over my to-do list and then of course not getting any of it done, I biked to work! My bike, Cordelia, and I took a gorgeous trip all over the island I live on and had our first bridge crossing! At the end of the ride I taught a relaxing and loving restorative yoga class to help people close up their week and ease into a new one. I'm so happy that I fought my usual type A tendencies to get everything done that minute and make everything perfect. Instead I enjoyed the moment, got my body moving, and breathed in our salty bay air. Now I'm ready for Monday. #NowStartsNow

    Sarah Ashkar
    I've been stagnated in my job and am working to secure a new opportunity in a new city. I am scared of a huge change, even though I have made several HUGE changes in my young life. Now I have a child, my partner and I have dual careers to consider, and I feel somewhat settled. I know a change is the right thing for all of us, but getting there is terrifying. Yoga keeps me centered, balanced, and confident. I don't do it as much as I want or should, but I always feel better when I do. I would love some new gear to support my practice and move my family forward. Thanks for the chance. ‪#‎NowStartsNow‬‬‬‬

    Misfit Yoga + Wellness
     Need a little inspiration? Get outside, breath fresh air and open your eyes to nature. Beauty and grace are natural elements out there. #nowstartsnow

     

    Leah Pennington

    When I am following my heart, I am able to use the strength, compassion and courage I gain on my mat and go out into the world and make a lasting change. Last week I had a great opportunity to attend the Supporting Student Resiliency in Trauma-Sensitive Schools conference. There were some pretty amazing speakers and a national panel of educators all talking about the great changes they have made in schools. Hearing words like mindfulness, restorative practices, trauma compassionate & wellness centers, make my heart skip a beat. A shift is coming and I am so excited to see it happening. Change starts from compassion, it is fueled by passion and it lasts from connecting to others. Follow your passion, follow your heart, #NowStartsNow

    @littleislandstudios
     I have spent years doing what i thought i should, or what everyone else expected of me. It left me lost and lonely. It took a dramatic event to awaken me. I found my passion & continue to move forward & reinvent myself…This is YOUR life. It is YOUR choice. No one will choose for you...and that is a beautiful thing.

    Christie McNabb
    When I originally heard about this contest, I dreamed of extravagant pictures in the woods, beautiful shots of yoga poses at sunrise and the like. But this is the truth of my now, the truth of how my yoga practice keeps me going.

    In a year that has been tougher than most, I've experienced temporary homelessness, moving, relying on a bike for my sole transportation, cockroaches and now, in a gracious gift from my neighbor: bed bugs. My sweet, peaceful sanctuary in a crazy world has to once again be packed and bagged and piled. And, although I may sob while I do it, I'm trying to draw on that deep reserve of strength we begin to realize we contain while on the mat, and allow my breath to carry me through.

    Here I sit in meditation amongst all my belongings, in trash bags destined for either the dumpster or the laundry mat.

    It's not pretty, but it's real.
    #nowstartsnow

    Heather N, @holyyogiheather

     #nowstartsnow this is my practice right now. A season of savasana. A knee injury sidelined me 5 weeks ago. The morning of my injury I chose yoga over sleeping in. I had the most grateful & present practice. I was grateful for my body & amazed at what it could do. The night of my injury, as I lay on the snowy sidewalk waiting for the ambulance, I practiced as well. This time with deep, healing, ujjayi breaths. And for the past 6 weeks (and for a few more) I practice savasana. I rest in gratefulness. Grateful for that last "official" practice before I was hurt, grateful for the natural response of my body to use breath I have learned in yoga to keep me conscious & focus through the pain, grateful for a season of rest, and grateful for the coming season of getting back to my favorite asanas. (This photo is my savasana while my knee is being iced after a particularly tough and victorious session with my physical therapist.)

    Sarah Crowe

     Easter holidays and taking a break from yoga teacher training to be a big kid with my son. Life's to short to be serious all the time, even on my manduka mat the odd laugh appears with a wobble and a face plant which is why I love yoga #nowstartsnow

     

    Elisabeth T. Lilja, @etlyoga

     When you wake up in the morning do you tell you tell yourself you are beautiful? Do you tell yourself that you are enough? Do you tell yourself you are absolutely perfect the way you are?

    I invite you every morning to place your hand on your heart and tell yourself:

    I am beautiful.
    I am enough.
    I am absolutely perfect the way I am.

    This mantra doesn't mean that you can't grow...what it means is you should give yourself more love.
    #NowStartsNow

    Priscilla Ann, @kauailife

    Some #StopDropAndYoga in the middle of preschool P.E. a.k.a. awesome dance party. #BestJobEver #ECELove #NowStartsNow

     

     

    Yulady Saluti, @yulady

    "What time is it?" I asked my son Wyatt. I couldn't see the clock. He said something that I couldn't hear. I got closer and asked again. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and said "It's now Mom." This concept is not new to my house so I shouldn't have been surprised. We talk to our children about the future and the past but are careful to explain that life happens this very moment, right now we say.

    Through all of my health problems and surgeries (24) I have learned not to anticipate the future or dwell on the past. If I did that I don't think I would have ever made it. The Now is where I choose to hang out. It's so alive and vibrant here in the Now.

    Here's to you my blessed son Wyatt Oscar Saluti.

    Happy Birthday to a shining bundle of light and love. Tx you for reminding to suck the life out of each second I am on this earth.
    #NowStartsNow @mandukayoga

    Maria Laura Aguayo, @malauraaguayo

    It takes courage to jump into the unknown, but you don't get to fly if you stand still. #NowStartsNow so take the leap!

     

     

    Kristen O’Brien, @keobrien12
     Did a short meditation once I got home today to clear my mind and set an intention. Friday and Saturday are my last days of class to become a certified academic language therapist. I have a book report and a huge paper to finish by Thursday. I am so excited for all my hard work to pay off. I can't wait to improve the lives of so many children during my teaching career. #NowStartsNow - I am driven to finish this & start the next chapter of my teacher career. I'm also super excited to drink a margarita on Saturday to celebrate!


    Liz Sherrer

     We have this amazing opportunity to move to Germany. We have moved a lot throughout our marriage, but this upcoming move has by far been the most complicated. There are so many things we have to plan for, so many thing we have to do in preparation, it is HARD. I have an easy option, I could just not go. But in the end that would cause so much heartbreak, knowing I missed out on an amazing opportunity because it got a little hard.

    Manduka (the company that makes my favorite yoga mat) is starting a movement. They are calling it “now starts now.” They are asking people to share what is stirring inside of them, how they are planning on showing up for life – it cannot be coincidence. I feel like I’ve just received the most timely invitation – to live life without fear of hard things, of pain, of disappointment. To live life full throttle with a zest for adventure and a spirit of love.

    So with that said I’m going to do the hard things. I’m going to move overseas and live an adventure.

    See Liz’s full blog post “I’m Saying Goodbye To A Fear Of Hard Things” here.


    Now it’s your turn! We’re reading your stories, tweeting your Tweets and hearting your Instagrams. For three more weeks, we’ll choose five more yogis who share their #NowStartsNow to receive a suite of Manduka gear from the new spring collection. Share your now as a post to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and be sure to tag @MandukaYoga and #NowStartsNow.
    Now is your one, wild & true life. What will you do with it?

  • Now Tastes Good

    #NowStartsNow by Whitney & Danielle of Sakara Life

    You know when the volume of crazy in your day is so overwhelmingly loud that it leaves you breathless? Or when you can’t stand in line for a cozy cup of coffee (or tea!) without grabbing for your phone? How about when your phone battery dies unexpectedly - are you restless, stressed, and even a little frantic?

    Unfortunately, our lives are constantly filled with distractions these days, rather than nourishment. And if there is one thing we’ve learned from living, working, and trying to achieve balance in NYC is how essential it is to nourish the NOW.

    A huge part of nourishment is, of course, food– and being conscious of what you put into your body and how this affects every area of your life is integral not only to your health, but also your happiness. We consciously eat to nourish, not to fill emptiness. We consciously create rituals around food, bringing loving presence to the preparation and taste of these building blocks of our bodies. Now tastes good and now feels good.

    Nourishing ourselves for optimal health also means investing in our creativity, curiosity, discovery, and relationships. Challenging yourself to learn something new, connecting with a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while, waking up half an hour earlier to spend some quiet time in your body, or resting just a bit longer in Savasana….all of these practices require slowing down, living in the present, and nourishing the now.

    The word ‘sakara’ is Sanskrit for “the manifestation of thoughts to things”– bringing what you desire and think into creation. This is our North Star, our home base, and our inspiration– to turn intention into action and help people transform their lives by changing how they nourish themselves.

    From food is the enemy to food is medicine; from I will to I am; someday to today. This shift in awareness is the first step in creating everything you desire. It can be a hard first step to take because it requires acknowledging that everything you want is already in you, you just have to make the decision to acknowledge it.

    Right now, this very second, you can make the choice– head down in your phone or head up saying hello to the person in front of you. Holding your breath, or breathing. Nourishing your body with clean, whole foods, medicinal herbs, and love.

    Your choice, your now.

    How will you nourish it?

    #NowStartsNow

    Sakara Co-founders, Whitney and Danielle, grew up together in the beautiful town of Sedona, Arizona, where they were exposed to the benefits of natural eating and holistic health from an early age. After moving to New York, they knew they needed to share their knowledge with the fast-paced, delivery-loving, eat-outers of Manhattan. Get to know their organic meal delivery system at http://www.sakaralife.com/ and follow their adventures on Instagram at @SakaraLifeNYC.

    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.

  • 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 Facebook.com/TheBlackYogi.

    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.

    #NowStartsNow.

     

    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 DanielScottYoga.com 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 TaliaSutraYoga.com 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.