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 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've launched an “Inspire the Practice” campaign. We are celebrating teachers and studios from New York City, to Santa Barbara, CA, to Reno, NV 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.
Meet Yoga Soup
Name: Yoga Soup, founded by Eddie Ellner (@yogasoup)
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Occupation: Yoga Studio, Book Store, Gathering Space
Cause: Transition House
WORDS FROM Eddie, Founder of Yoga Soup
Who I Am
I'm Eddie Ellner. I started Yoga Soup 23 years ago with a donation box and a willingness to keep showing up. The mission statement I came up with on the spot still rings true today:
Yoga Soup is a fluid, organic idea that is constantly reshaping itself. As it grows it will no doubt assume different forms but it's hard to imagine its intention much changing: to provide a safe, vibrant, serious and light-hearted space for self-observation and transformation to occur.
Studio life is family life, and it's taught me to show up no matter what. That's my one and only skill. Show up. Even if I didn't feel I had anything worthwhile to offer, I showed up. Even if I was in bed, or on the floor, or on the floor under the bed, somehow I managed to get up and get over to where a few people were waiting for me to show up. Everything that's good in my life has emerged from that simple commitment.
Yoga Soup is a small town studio tucked into an easy-to-miss side street. For 17 years, we've been open 12 hours a day, sometimes more, every day. We couldn't keep the place clean without a battalion of volunteer cleaners. We offer delicious, nutritious snacks for students and visitors. The Garden Of provides carrots. Oat Bakery bakes us fresh bread and cookies. Organic Soup Kitchen supplies nutrient-dense soup. Milliken Farms grows the sweet potatoes and snap peas we serve on weekends.
Additionally, we trade classes with people who:
- caretake the outside garden and the plants inside
- prepare the lemon ginger tea on the weekends
- stew the prunes and make the raw organic whipped cream to dip them in
Around 250 people a day visit. They take classes and workshops. They sit on the couches and snack and read and enter conversations with people they know or have just met. Yoga Soup's greatest attribute is in the way it's become a reliable stop, a safe haven, in many people's lives. Its miracle is the community of humans that show up there taking turns giving and receiving. No one there is getting wealthy financially, but in many ways it's the richest place in town. Someone's always stepping in to get the job done and the job has always been in service to a durable prayer guiding the way.
Yoga Soup's Sweet Potato Recipe:
Rub 12 Japanese Sweet Potatoes (we source ours locally at Milliken Family Farms) with organic, room temperature (or softened) coconut oil
Lay on a baking sheet in a single layer
Sprinkle with a little pink or sea salt
Bake at 400 for an hour
Enjoy and share with friends!