August 8th, 2012

Karson Mcginley - Founder Of Happy-U

A Manduka Mat? Yeah, I have one of those. It actually saved my life.

I was riding my bike home from a yoga class two years ago, and had my Manduka Pro strapped on my back across my chest. When the car hit me, my body hit the windshield, my mat unstrapped, swung around, and slid perfectly under my head as I landed in the middle of the street.
I landed like this:

Okay, not really, but in my mind I did.

Although I had broken my back, my head was perfectly protected on my mat/pillow, and considering I hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I knew my angels had been looking out for me that day.

I eventually healed my back through my yoga practice, denying the suggested surgeries from the docs at the hospital. And ever since then, I’ve had a pretty serious love-affair with my mat. Not just the mat itself (although you couldn’t pay a bagillion dollars to take it from me), but everything it represents. That I was flexible & strong enough to land gracefully (I mean, did you SEE that picture??) and not shatter every bone in my body; that I was capable of healing MYSELF, through the practice of yoga, meditation, and good ol’ faith & optimism; that I was so divinely protected by the universe that I get on my mat every morning and smile at the majesty of it all.

So thank you, Manduka, for saving my life, with the help of the little angels who carried the mat to its perfect position. My head is grateful, my heart is full, and I am totally enthralled and grateful for it all.


Karson McGinley
Yoga Instructor, San Diego, CA
Founder of HAPPY-U: A Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga

August 6th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Lara

This is Lara.

When she taught yoga in Rwanda for the first time, the class moved their sewing machines aside and rolled out their mats onto a dusty workroom floor. Lara had been practicing a few phrases in the local language, but the moment she opened her mouth, her students started laughing hysterically. Lara's poor pronunciation set the stage for 3 amazing months of what she called 'Laughing Yoga.'

For Lara, yoga is a means to provide support and encouragement to others. She is able to adapt her yoga teachings to any situation — from Manhattan to Mysore. Everyone is beautiful, everyone is unique, everyone is both a student and a teacher. And for Lara, every yoga practice is an opportunity to rewire ourselves and see our choices as a bigger picture of causes and effects. This perspective has empowered her to stand up against human trafficking in India.

Lara says that we all carry our life experience in our bodies and the opportunity to watch those experiences being released through yoga is very powerful. "It never stops amazing me how breath can open a heart and heal a soul."

Here at Manduka, we are also consistently amazed at the opportunity we have to read and share your stories! Tell us your story on our You Series

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, social media, and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.


July 30th, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Jennifer

Meet Jennifer.

She completely accepts herself. Acknowledges her insecurities, bares her flaws and loves them all. But it didn't used to be like this. That kind of self realization comes with practice.

For all that yoga has added to her life, maybe the most significant is what it took away: the judgment. "The first time I didn't judge myself based on those around me, the first time I practiced fully on my mat, fully with my breath. All of that came together in a moment I didn't grasp until I left the class and realized I didn't judge myself for a full 90 minutes."

She may have started yoga "to look like Madonna, of course," but her yoga became her path and her practice eight years ago, when she was both a new mom to her baby daughter and a daughter to her mom dealing with ovarian cancer. She learned a lot about the circular nature of life, and how to live fully present in the flow of it all. That is complete and total freedom.

We loved getting to know Jennifer, and we'd love to meet you too. Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page:

Every week we're sharing the story of another real yogi in our blogs, emails and even magazines. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here. Or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.


July 23rd, 2012

Yogi Of The Week: Grayson

Meet Grayson.

Grayson is in high school. He's 16 to be exact. That's pretty young to have suffered a terrible sports injury. After breaking his back training for his most beloved sport, Grayson knew that his future in football was over. When he recovered, he was left with a football-shaped void in his life. He tried a few other sports – rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and then yoga. Unlike the other physical activities, yoga helped relieve the back pain leftover from his injury. It became his new center – with mentoring support from his mother Stacey, a yoga teacher and studio owner herself. After just one year of yoga practice, Grayson enrolled in a teacher training and now is one of the youngest RYTs in the country.

Before yoga, Grayson was 'a run of the mill jock,' as he puts it. He lived on protein shakes, used the weight room like a second home and couldn't touch his toes for miles. But yoga helped to break down all of his barriers -- while expanding his mind and body to places he'd never been able to reach, or even knew existed. It's been Divine.

Grayson admits having been a little 'ignorant to what yoga is' – assuming it was easy, a lot of people sitting around and chanting weird syllables. What he got from yoga instead was patience, love for all things, a non-judgmental outlook on others and incredible strength (he thought he was strong before, but now he's really IN his body).

We loved learning about Grayson. And we want to learn about you!

Tell us a little about yourself on the You Series page:

Every week, we'll share the story of another real yogi. Maybe soon you'll see yourself here, or see something in yourself here.

Practice On.


July 19th, 2012

Goods For Yoga, Goode For The Planet

alignyo is a community that celebrates yoga...rolling out all the in-the-know recommendations, information and inspiration you’ll need to get on your yoga mat.

This month, alignyo, Manduka, Goodebox, and Healing Lifestyles are giving away more than $750 in prizes to help you take your yoga practice & inner glow to the next level.

A $500 shopping spree to Manduka (hello, new mat) and five 3-month subscriptions to Goodebox’s eco-luxe beauty kits are up for grabs this July.

Enter Here: