Making Time For Mindfulness: At Home With Manduka
The eco-conscious yoga brand knows that durability and sustainability go hand in hand and that every action has an impact. By incorporating recycled materials and cutting waste and emissions in their factories, Manduka continually strives to tread softly.
Best known for the PRO®, their original black yoga mat with a lifetime guarantee, Manduka is on a mission to create enduring products with purpose. Every aspect of their line is designed with intention - from towels and props that enable you to sweat longer and stretch deeper, to fuss-free clothing that keeps you focused on your practice.
The Manduka family is made up of studio instructors who put their gear to the ultimate test and yogis of every level who’ve discovered the difference of a great mat. Together, with Manduka’s 1% donation for every online sale, project:OM and the yoga community have raised $400,000 for Susan G. Komen, and continue to support other likeminded causes.
To Manduka, mindful living extends far beyond the mat. They’re driven by performance and sustainability and fulfilled by the generous spirit of the yoga community. Regardless of where you are in your practice, there’s no time like the present to make more space for it in your life. It’s a place to reconnect with and revitalize the body and calm the mind.
While every practice is personal, we’re highlighting a few benefits of yoga that might get you inspired to carve out more time to move.
5 Benefits of Practicing Yoga
1. Flexibility & Joint Mobility
Moving through a yoga flow means having thousands of years of kinesiology by your side. Yoga poses are sequenced to stretch, contract, and release in a logical order that improves range of motion – say an arch followed by a forward fold – and gets your body warmed up safely. They’re designed to increase flexibility gradually and can be modified using blocks and straps if you’re new to a pose or recovering from an injury. Working your joints in yoga’s gentle, controlled motions can help open them up from dominant postures like sitting at a desk or hunching over a screen all day.
2. Stress & Anxiety Relief
For sufferers of stress and anxiety, yoga is a welcome escape from pressure at work, social expectations, and uncertainty in the world. Being able to move your body, quiet your mind, and release tensions may not change the situation, but it can be a helpful tool to find perspective and understanding. Even if you don’t have the time or space for a full studio-style session, pausing to stretch and breathe deeply can be beneficial to your state of mind. Research on the impacts of yoga on mental health shows that it can be useful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and disorders like OCD.
3. Strength & Muscle Tone
A consistent yoga practice builds strength, balance, and lean muscle. It works your whole body and reveals muscle groups you may be neglecting or overusing in other types of workouts. If your hip flexors are tight, for example, you might be compensating with your lower back. Keep an eye on the finer points of form to prevent injury and ensure that the correct muscles are sharing in the load. Yoga is a core strengthening hero, and athletes in many other sports rely on it for gentle cross-training. Anyone who’s bridged the gap from an occasional drop-in class to a dedicated practice knows that a strong core is the key to nailing poses that, at one point, seemed impossible (scorpion, ahem).
4. Mindfulness & Grounding
The most widely recognized benefit of yoga beyond the physical body is its mindful, grounding nature. It might sound a bit cliché, but yoga can shift your consciousness. Yogic exercises were part of religious practices in ancient India long before a stream of Lycra-clad ladies got on board. And whether you’re drawn to it for the physical benefits or looking for something a little deeper, the meditative aspect of yoga is very real. Studies have shown that yoga can make us more aware of yet less critical of our bodies. In turn, increased mindfulness helps regulate emotional eating and build a healthy relationship with food. For many, yoga and meditation can open the pathway to contentedness and self-love.
5. Cardio & Respiratory Health
While it may not be as fast-paced as a high-octane spin class or a long outdoor run, a sustained yoga session does a world of good for your heart and lungs. Yoga’s controlled breathing and circulation supporting poses make it an under-the-radar hero for cardio-respiratory fitness. Athletes of all stripes are turning to the power of pranayama, yogic breathing, to stay calm under pressure and settle into a rhythm that’s sustainable over time. Coordinating exertion and rest periods with your breath allows you to maintain control and “breathe through” mental and physical challenges. In addition to building overall endurance, a solid yoga practice can help support healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
Whether you’re looking to rekindle a mind-body connection, or need to stretch it out after a multi-day streaming marathon, make yoga your place to return.
No matter where you are or what’s happening in the world, Manduka invites you to #PracticeOn.