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Personal Journeys

  • 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

     


  • 3 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 compliment 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 the spine.

    PROtip: Rest hands on the 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.

  • 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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  • A Pioneer of project:OM - Danni Pomplun

    Danni Pomplun | The Manduka BlogAs a cancer survivor, Danni was one of the first ambassadors to join the project:OM movement. He is a 500-hr Registered Yoga Instructor and a member of the teacher training faculty at Yoga Tree in San Francisco. Danni credits yoga with opening his eyes to a world of positive opportunities.

    Helping others and having fun doing it – that’s the stuff this project:OM ambassador thrives on. Join us as we sit with San Francisco based yoga teacher, Danni Pomplun, to talk about his love of helping others while paving the way for project:OM ambassadors.

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  • Koya Webb's Story of Healing

    Everyone’s journey with the practice is different. This is Koya’s:

  • Alex Crow's Story of Self-Discovery

    Meet Alex. A yoga teacher and writer who allowed her journey with the practice to unfold without any preconceived notions of where it might take her or what it might reveal.