At Manduka, we were founded on the simple concept of creating a foundation to support those (teachers, studios, community guides) who Inspire the Practice. The yoga teachers and studios inspire more than they will ever know. They become people and places of familiarity, comfort, community, and joy. They help create strength in the chaos. They push us when needed and grant space when it's best. They facilitate our own 'moments' on and off the mat.
Quite simply, they are our inspiration.
With that, we continue our “Inspire the Practice” campaign with celebrating teachers from Maui, HI, to Los Angeles, CA, to Miami, FL, to Evergreen, CO, by telling their stories. As they have gotten to know us, we now ask about them. Who are they? Why are they doing this work? What is their mission? What makes them laugh? What music do they like? What do they like to do when they are not leading our communities? What inspires THEM?
Manduka is grateful for the thousands of teachers and studios who make it part of their life 's work to create a sanctuary for us to move our bodies, free our minds, and find peace. Even if for a moment, we honor you and say thank YOU for Inspiring the Practice. Inspiration is what unites us all to make ourselves and this world a better place. Let's take off on this journey together to celebrate those that #InspirethePractice.
WHY WE 'RE INSPIRED
Heather Archer (500-RYT) is a native Californian, currently living on the beautiful island of Maui, HI. Heather believes in "Living your Yoga" which means living a life in alignment with what's best for your mind, body and Spirit while also being mindful of what's best for the planet and each other! Heather has been teaching all levels of Vinyasa Flow, and Hatha all over the world for the past 13 years. Enjoy a reflection from her, below.
- Name: Heather Archer (@heathernamaste)
- Residence: Maui, Hawaii
- Occupation: Yoga & Meditation Guide
- Cause: Maui Humane Society
WORDS FROM HEATHER
Moving to Maui had always been our dream but when we got here, I felt lonely and isolated. Covid had just hit. I had left my yoga community back in California and a thriving yoga business. I was accustomed to being around so many people, my yogis, my family, my friends, hundreds of people weekly. I was used to leading yoga classes and connecting deeply on a daily basis... then I found myself literally alone on an island. I had this sinking feeling inside of my heart that I had lost everything. It was almost like a death had occurred- the loss of my community, my daily routine and my identity as a teacher and leader. I fell into depression. Yoga was my savior!
Devoting uninterrupted time to my yoga practice and time in nature, helped me return to the Light during those darker days. It kept me connected to the truth of my being. The truth being, that I'm safe and supported. Most importantly, nothing is ever lost. All the beautiful memories made with my yogis, the thousands of hours that we spent on the mat together, it was all still within me. As I helped myself stay in the light, ultimately I learned how to help others do the same during challenging times.
This is a lesson that has come up for me recently due to the extreme devastation of the wildfires here on Maui. This is a lesson that I have shared with my community many times over the last few weeks. Although it seems that all is lost. Look beneath the smoke and the ash, you will find the arms of the Divine outstretched supporting us. You will find the Spirit of Aloha. The love of your family and friends, your Ohana, your community. Although physically much has been lost, the love remains, the light remains, the memories and the mana remain.
I continue to teach, because teaching is my medicine. It feeds my soul and brings me joy. I believe it's my purpose to be a guiding light, and a calm steady force for my community. And only through my own personal practice can I foster those qualities within myself to then share with others. We all have special gifts inside of us, that's why we're here. I hope to inspire people to keep shining their light and sharing their love. The world needs us!
PRACTICE WITH HEATHER
As part of our Inspire the Practice campaign with Heather Archer, Manduka has donated $2500 to the Maui Humane Society.
The Maui Humane Society is a local charity helping animals impacted by the Maui wildfires of 2023 among other unfortunate circumstances. Heather is an animal lover and advocate. She holds all animals big and small, near and dear to her heart. She has recommended that we donate to this charity to support her, and we are more than happy to.