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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

     


  • 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.

    PRACTICE ON

  • 9 Ways to Use Your Yoga Blocks

    Yoga Blocks: For All The Right Angles | The Manduka Blog

    They call them building blocks for a reason. Yoga blocks are essential tools to help you find balance, explore new poses and help bring comfort to your practice.

    Meet our in-house yoga teacher, Anne Spinner, who shows us how beginners and advanced yogis can use blocks whether it’s at home or in the studio. Follow her on Instagram or check out her website for more info.

    Continue reading

  • Learn to Love Backbends With Jessamyn Stanley

    Ahhh, backbends... The ultimate cure for hunched-at-your-desk-all-day posture, but where to start?  Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn), yoga teacher, body advocate and all around dynamo personality talks us through four supported poses to experience a truly heart-opening practice. 

    You’ll need: a supportive yoga mat and two blocks. (We suggest the Manduka PRO and our Recycled Foam Blocks.)

    First let’s be clear: using props isn’t a sign of weakness. They’re great tools for deepening your practice and they allow us to modify and open in places the body isn’t used to. They’re amazing for rooting down, opening the chest and back, and supporting core strength. For backbends, I have blocks next to me at all times.

    Jessamyn Stanley Continue reading

  • Your Health On The Road with Charlie Marchant

    As the summer season approaches, we asked UK based travel blogger Charlie Marchant to share her best tips on staying healthy while making your travels count.

    Charlie Marchant

    Whether you’re headed to a yoga retreat, music festival or international adventures this summer – be prepared! Continue reading

  • Festival Packing with Sesa O'Connor

    Sesa O'ConnorSesa O’Connor: LA based yoga teacher, mother, surfer and Wanderluster.

    05132016-XX-XXXX-Lifestyle-1338If you just bought tickets to your first yoga festival you might be wondering what to pack. We chatted with Manduka Ambassador Sesa O’Connor to get the best tips for yogis -- because the only thing worse than overpacking is forgetting an essential behind! Continue reading

  • The Yoga of Parenting

    We love following @NamasateTiff on Instagram. This week she shared her thoughts on yoga, motherhood, and the ways in which they inform one another. 

    NamasteTiff

    "I came across this quote the other day, "Peace starts within us -- we cannot bring to the world what we do not have to offer." Continue reading

  • Bring Yoga To Kids Who Need It Most

    Every student should experience confidence, focus and feel balanced in the classroom, but not all students come from situations that give them that luxury. So we have to support the people who support our most at-risk kids. Bent On Learning is a nonprofit organization that has taught yoga to over 18,000 students over the past 15 years, bringing yoga and all of its benefits into underserved New York City public schools to support a healthier, more compassionate learning environment – and we made a mat to help make what they do possible.

    We’ve collaborated with visual artist Ryan McGinness to bring a one-of-a-kind printed PRO mat that will not only inspire your practice, but gives back to a young community that needs it most. Every time one of these special PRO mats are purchased, we will gift two yoga classes for children in Bent On Learning, helping inner city kids find inner peace.

    Manduka PRO Limited Edition Print Continue reading

  • Break In Your PRO Like A Pro



    Just like your favorite pair of jeans or a well-worn baseball glove, our PRO mats require a break-in process, or PROcess as we like to call it, which is really more like a ritual. As you practice, the top surface will naturally wear in, transforming it into one that’s uniquely yours. The more you stretch, twist, sweat and breathe together, the better it gets—just like your practice. Continue reading