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#MadeForYoga

  • 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

    Banana

    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!

  • 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 complement 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 spine.

    PROtip: Rest hands on 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.

  • 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.

    PRACTICE ON

  • 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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  • project:OM Spotlight - Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington

    project:OM Spotlight - Getting Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington | The Manduka Blog

    Loyola Marymount University (LMU) will host project:OM’s Los Angeles marquee event, on May 13th, 2017.

    Powering through poses and searching for inner peace is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Yoga. Manduka Ambassador, Program Adminstrator of Yoga Studies at LMU and instructor, Sarah Herrington, shares with us what it means to offer one of the only master’s degree programs in Yoga Studies in the world, and what project:OM means to her.

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  • 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.

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  • The Ripple Effect Contest

    At Manduka, we believe yoga has a ripple effect that starts on the mat, but stretches far beyond.Souljourn Yoga Retreat in Peru | The Manduka Blog

    From January 18 to February 28, we’ll be looking for the most creative, passionate, and genuine ways our followers plan to create a ripple effect in their communities. Share a 60-second video showcasing how you'll make 2017 a better place to our Create.It page for a chance to win the experience of a lifetime. Continue reading

  • 5 Things We Love About The PRO Series

    5 Things We Love About The PRO Series | The Manduka Blog

    Optimal Transitions

    While the natural rubber of our eKO mat provides a tackier finish some prefer
    for holding arm balances or inversions, the performance surface of a PRO mat is ideal for moving toes through chaturanga or warrior transitions without catching on your mat. Continue reading

  • 7 Reasons to Try Yoga This Year

    Reasons to Try Yoga This Year | The Manduka Blog

    Wanderlust's Schuyler Grant and Jake Laub share seven reasons to commit to a regular yoga practice this year. Their 21 Day Yoga Challenge is the perfect program to get started and begin feeling the benefits. Sign up for the challenge here and purchase your Beginner's Kit with everything you need for a home practice. Continue reading