Community Action

Who's On The Mat



From The Heart

I don't leave home without it - Manduka is the American Express of yoga mats.

-Hillary Rubin
West Hollywood, California

Giving Back

Manduka recognizes an organization or individual each month for sharing the gift of yoga with those in need by donating yoga gear to support their cause.

June 15th, 2014

Kellar Primary School

Manduka was able to donate mats to kindergarten teacher Angie Swearingian who has set her focus on dissolving social stigmas in her community, while merging her passions for yoga and children. In her 12 years teaching, she has never found a better way to engage students than with the practice of yoga. They practice in the lunch line, at recess, at home, or wherever they have a chance. This next generation of yogis are continuing to are teaching their family and friends yoga poses and relaxation techniques. These small children are inspiring!

May 15th, 2014

Karma Yoga: Discovering Your Self in a Third World Country

This month Manduka was able to donate to Lake Tahoe Yoga who traveled across the world to Cambodia to share the mats and other goodies on the Karma Yoga Retreat.

Here is the letter we received in return from Jenay Aiksnoras, Director, Lake Tahoe Yoga about her journey:

In 2013, One World Travels director, Susan Glasson, and I casually began to toss around the idea of a Karma Yoga Retreat to Cambodia. Susan is an experienced traveler who had previously visited Cambodia three times. After her last trip, she shared photos and stories with me and I immediately began pondering how to work a trip into my schedule. From what she had shown and told me, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a service retreat. I didn't want to take people on an expensive "yoga vacations," I wanted to go on a real deal yoga retreat.

If you are unfamiliar with the history of Cambodia, it's worth taking the time to watch the videos on YouTube. National Geographic did a story on the building of Angkor Wat (City Temple). There are also videos illustrating the trials of the Khmer (Cambodian) people throughout various civil wars and, of course, the Pol Pot Regime (or Khmer Rouge). The country has been built and destroyed over thousands of years. Its current status is only a little over 30 years old. The genocide and destruction that occurred during the Pol Pot Regime cannot be undone. The people of the country have been displaced from their homes, their families, and their livelihoods. They are still learning how to survive while holding on to as much of their culture as they can. (See photo below of the pagoda and mass graves at the Cheung Ek Killing Field Museum)

Karma Yoga is the practice of conscious action. It is to behave in such a way that begins with the consideration of how your actions affect the world, others and yourself. To act in this way is to remove Karma or "unconscious habit." In Yogic theory, if all Karma is removed (good and bad) then we are ready for enlightenment. To participate in a Karma Yoga Retreat is to do something somewhere for someone that is with no expectation of praise, reward or return. This was the goal of the project.

Due to her connections from previous visits to the country, Susan was able to help us link up with two Non-Government Organizations (NGO's). An NGO is a non-profit organization, typically set up by ordinary citizens, that benefits a group or community of people. In addition, Susan was able to establish connections with an orphanage and a hospital. The plan was to make material, energetic and in-kind donations to each location and to speak with, connect with and learn more about each one.

Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capitol, we immediately headed to the Killing Fields in order to learn about the culture and country in which we were staying. A museum of sorts, this monument is dedicated to the memory of those who were murdered during the Pol Pot Regime. The bones of thousands are stored in a large pagoda where visitors can view them, pray and offer blessings. In addition, visitors can walk the grounds and see mass grave sites, trees upon which children were beaten, read about Pol Pot and his followers, and view a short video that explains the devastation caused by the regime.

With knowledge of the country and its history, our group set out to practice Karma Yoga. Our first visit was to Nataraj Yoga; a yoga studio supported by seven partner organizations. Krama Yoga, their NGO, focuses on healing and teaching through Yoga. The Khmer word “krama” means “systematic.” Through a generous donation from yoga equipment company Manduka and help from Lake Tahoe Yoga (LTY) practitioners, we made a donation of a dozen Manduka yoga mats, 20 hand-made organic lavender eye sachets and 20 hand-made yoga straps. In addition, Jenay, offered two by-donation classes at Nataraj studio. Lake Tahoe Yoga will be continuing their relationship with Krama Yoga through special events and the sale of Cambodian rice paper Yoga mat bags (available exclusively at Lake Tahoe Yoga).

The travelers and practitioners at Lake Tahoe Yoga are grateful for the support we received from Manduka. To be able to travel across the world and donate high quality products was an honor. The studio, leaders and practitioners at Nataraj were overjoyed to receive such generous gifts.

- Jenay Aiksnoras, Director, Lake Tahoe Yoga

To read about the rest of this retreat or to join in on the next, visit Lake Tahoe Yoga.

March 15th, 2014

RISE - Yoga for Youth

RISE is a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area that empowers adolescents to be agents of positive change in the world. Through yoga, wellness education, and community building, students develop inner resources to respond to life’s challenges in constructive ways. Their innovative curriculum has shown to increase attendance and retention rates, improve academic achievement, and help students manage stress. The curriculum incorporates physical postures, breath work, and activities that foster connection to oneself and to others. Stress management techniques, mindfulness exercises, and community building activities are an integral part of each class, so students can lead healthier, happier, resilient lives. RISE currently offers programming in eight school sites that serve under-resourced youth in San Francisco and in the South Bay.

Manduka recently donated mats for one of RISE's school sites in the South Bay, where yoga is offered as part of the PE Curriculum. Students had been practicing on the gym floor, and they are thrilled to now have real yoga mats to practice on!

To learn more or find out how to support RISE, please visit

February 25th, 2014

Shree Mangal Dvip Boarding School

The Shree Mangal Dvip Boarding School in Nepal has long been supported by The Himalayan Children's Fund - a program that provides yoga classes to the kids in the school and also for the nuns at Tara Abbey.

The Himalayan Children's Fund is a way for people around the world, and the west in particular, to connect with the lives of people in the Himalayan Region of Nepal, India and Tibet. HCF provides support For Thrangu Rinpoche's many compassionate activities such as schools, monasteries and free clinics. By providing support for education, food, clothing, medicine and other needs the HCF hopes to equip the children and adults with the tools necessary for life enhancement while helping to preserve the culture of the people which is primarily of Tibetan and Buddhist heritage. The classes are held in the library on a concrete floor which is often quite cold. While the participants have regular meditation practice, they also really respect and enjoy asana and pranayama, as well.

Manduka happily donated yoga mats for the school and nunnery to help provide the practitioners with a softer and more supportive surface to practice on.

To learn more or to find out how you can support the Himalayan Children's Fund, visit:

November 15th, 2013

SoulShine Colombia

SoulShine Colombia is an organization whose mission is to empower and inspire girls and women to believe in their strength and dreams through yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. SoulShine Colombia is teaming up with Waves for Water, a non-profit organization whose aim is to provide access to clean drinking water to anyone who needs it.

This November, SoulShine Colombia will be traveling to Cartagena, Colombia to work with one of the most impoverished communities in Colombia. This journey will involve teaching the young mothers and pregnant women yoga, meditation, and mindfulness helping them tap into their inner strength and life force. Manduka was happy to donate yoga mats for the participants to use. Together with Waves for Water, they will also be going to the slums to bring water filters, and to teach them how to use the filters in their homes.

These filtration systems are portable, easy to use, easy to pack and effective. One filter can provide 100 people with clean water for up to 5 years. With these filters, dirty water becomes instantly clean – and drinkable.

If you would like to learn more about Soulshine Colombia or Waves for Water, or if you would like to see how you can support, visit: