Tempest in a Teapot over the New Manduka


The folks over at Recovering Yogi are at it again, this time trashing John Friend’s new mat line. Seriously? Is this necessary? Isn’t muditha that much easier? Here’s my reply on elephant journal.

I have a Manduka mat because I was wearing out a cheap mat very quickly, and I did not think that was good for the environment. When I purchased the mat, I wrote the company to see what length I would need for my height. They recommended to purchase the 85″ long mat and to cut it. I never cut it. The length can be problematic in some crowded classes, especially with 300 other people in a room with John Friend in Montclair, NJ last month.

When I first got the Manduka, it outgassed something fierce. It was a pre-eco.

For optimal alignment in some poses, my hands are on the edge of the mat. I would like the width of the new John Friend Manduka.

For a while, I had Prana Revolution mat envy. I liked that it was wider and thinner than my Manduka, and just as sticky. We like to do “wild thing” in Anusara, and the transition to the pose is much easier with a wider mat.

I would love one of these new mats. I might even buy the travel mat in the line, were I to travel more.

When my teacher first told me about John Friend, I was a little hesitant about the glowing way in which people spoke about him. Having taken weekend workshops with him twice, I feel he is down-to-earth and authentic. Moreover, I need look no further than the teachers he certifies and inspires to judge that. It pains me that bloggers for Recovering Yogi seem particularly dedicated to criticizing John Friend. I thought muditha, “delight in the joy of others,” was a yogic virtue. I hear nothing but openness to other styles in the halls of Anusara. Of course, I hear an insistence on its three jewels, the Universal Principles of Alignment, positive philosophy rooted in Tantra, and its emphasis on kula, community. But I don’t hear trash talk about other styles, only what “good” may be found in them.

These are interesting choices. For my part, I am more accepting of the incorporation of Anusara as alignment with the structure of the American scene, than of conceding to the cynicism that is rampant in American culture.

via File this under “over-the-top yoga marketing that makes you go hmmmm” | elephant journal.

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About Richard Hudak

I am Senior Adjunct Faculty in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and I have been a practitioner of Anusara™ yoga. I have completed 200 hours of teacher training within its diaspora community, consistent with its philosophy and alignment principles.
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2 Responses to Tempest in a Teapot over the New Manduka

  1. Pingback: Lululemon Customers Asked ‘Who Is John Galt?’ | The Considered Kula

  2. Pingback: Some thoughts on the meta-assumptions of the Anusara revelations | The Considered Kula

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