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
Micha is a dynamic yoga and mindfulness facilitator based in Miami, Florida, driven by a deep commitment to positive impact. Her mission is to build spaces that make yoga and wellness more accessible to all demographics and cultures especially those in marginalized underserved communities. Founding Girls Club Yoga, she empowers young minds through the Angel Watching Over Me Foundation, turning life's challenges into opportunities.
- Name: Micha Oriol
- Residence: Miami, FL
- Occupation: Yoga & Meditation Teacher / Community Builder
- Cause: Angel Watching Over Me
Life doesn't always follow our blueprints. Initially, yoga wasn't a part of my life's plan, let alone teaching it. Even during teacher training, the idea of myself in this role hadn't dawned on me. Yet, this practice took me on a profound adventure, ultimately leading me to this very moment.
When my father received a Parkinson's diagnosis, everything changed. The simple act of movement, once taken for granted, transformed into something sacred through the alchemy of yoga. His diagnosis was the catalyst that launched me into the heart of this practice. The dancer in me fell in love with its fluidity, and a newfound altruism stirred within. My initial dream was diplomacy, believing it to be my path to change the world. However, teacher training steered me towards a different destiny, igniting a passion for teaching and fostering human connections.
Drawing from my background in dance, world affairs, and a decade of corporate experience, I wove together personal trials and the transcendent power of yoga. This fusion found its voice in my teaching, extending far beyond the mat. Through my practice, I quickly uncovered the potency of representation, understanding that yoga thrives most vibrantly within a community. Recognizing a glaring lack of inclusivity and diversity in the yoga space, I made the conscious choice to step away from conventional studios. I asked myself, why not bring yoga and meditation into communities that have no access to it? Why not embed this healing practice right into the community, nonprofit sectors, and curriculum of schools and institutions? When one is empowered, the next natural step is to uplift others. This required not just thought and words, but action. The practice wasn't asking me to be the diverse teacher that yoga requires, but to be a diverse leader as well. I learned when you can mirror our diverse community, yoga undergoes a transformation - it becomes accessible.
My mission transcends personal practice. It's a summons to revolutionize wellness, prioritizing equity over profits. This means redefining the entry points into yoga, making it attainable to all. This mat, this practice, holds the echoes of my journey, a place where challenges morph into opportunities, and each breath leads to a deeper understanding of self and purpose. Amidst life complexities, it's easy to forget to recognize our power, our oneness. I often impart this mantra: “All of this is fluff.” It's a gentle nudge to shed unnecessary layers, returning to the core of our being. It is in this sacred in-between space, we discover unwavering support from the universe. It is through connection we emerge more centered, grounded, and vividly alive on and off the mat.
Every time I step onto the mat to practice or teach, I'm filled with gratitude. Each moment spent here is a testament to my enduring commitment, a place where I've found solace, resilience, and an unbreakable connection to my purpose. Yoga may not have been part of my original blueprint, but it's now the guiding force of my life. Sharing this practice is a privilege and a commitment to the world, and I'm only just getting started.
Practice With Micha
Indulge in a 25-minute invigorating flow, culminating in a moment of deep rest to savor the newfound energy.
As part of our Inspire the Practice campaign with Micha, Manduka has donated $2500 to Angel Watching Over Me Foundation.
AWOM, an acronym for Angel Watching Over Me, is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization founded by Sarah Akiba who lost her father to lung cancer in 2013. Knowing what it felt like to need others support during a time of immense heartache, AWOM was started.
Micha has recommended that we donate to this charity to support her community teaching efforts in and we are more than happy to.