Gratitude from My Yoga Mat

What are you grateful for in your yoga practice these days, friends? And how do you feel when you step onto your mat? How does your yoga practice support you?

I recently posed these questions to Yani and Kelsie of the Sponsored Yogis team, after sending along some awesome Manduka yoga mats for them to try.

I'm hoping their answers will make you smile, like they did for me :)

From Yani:

I am in love with my eKo Manduka mats! For so many reasons. First, I received them from my angel Rachel with Alive in the Fire. I was heading out from lunch when a lovely delivery met me. It was sheer joy. I hugged them. My mats along with a few other magical goodies were the first thing I had received with my sponsorship with Alive in the Fire as a 2016 Sponsored Yogi. I was elated. So blessed.

My favorite is my 5 mm practice mat! I am in love. So in love. 

I'm not sure if it's a universal energy, this time in space, or my mat, but I have been so connected to my mat. It frees me. Welcomes and supports me. 

I welcomed in the Lunar New Year with a divine flow. The year of the monkey is fitting; as I surrendered to the moment I let myself grow curious and be playful with my level of intelligence and possibility.

My Manduka Eko SuperLite travel mat is much smaller and thinner than the travel mat I recently used in my travels within China and the Philippines. The first time I used this mat I folded it and placed it in my backpack. I went on a walk through my neighborhood and led myself to a session at a nearby park. While I was once concerned with how thin it was, it is the last thing on your mind. Again I may just be riding on some wonderful wavelengths in existence, but I found magic in my practice.

From Kelsie:

In asanas that tend to be slightly harder on the knees, like Ustrasana (camel pose) and Anjaneyasana (low lunge), this mat provides just the right amount of support and cushion to feel ease and comfort throughout the pose, even when held for long periods of time. The mat also provides stabilization and joint protection during asanas that require more stability, balance, and impact. At the same time, it won’t compromise the ability to feel stable and connected to the ground. Don’t just take my word for it, though.

I have recently furthered my meditation by practicing with my Manduka

There, on my mat, is where I let go of my ego, my worries, and my fears. And it’s on my mat where I relish and experience the greatness of being “here and now."
A big thanks to the team at Manduka for their generosity, and to Kelsie and Yani for sharing about their yoga practice. Namaste.

Home Practice

Yoga mat by Aurorae.

Roll out your favorite yoga mat in the backyard, or on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor. 

Find a song that you love and play it loud. You have the option of dancing on your mat for a moment.

You're at home, you can do as you please!

Then, when you're ready, find stillness. Sit quietly. Notice the breath.

Begin to move-- first, a few cat/cow transitions, waking up the spine. Sliding forward onto your belly. Inhaling into cobra, exhaling as you release the pose. Inhaling up again, then softening down onto the mat. Let a fluid motion move through your body. Let the movement feel sweet.

Slowly, begin to link on more poses, moving through Sun A and Sun B. Feeling the powerful leg muscles, your solid foundation, your feet connected to the mat. The earth supports you.

Begin to build heat in the body, letting sweat break through. Find the peak pose in your practice, honoring your body as you move in and out of it, cherishing each step of the way.

Cool down, slowing the breath, finding restorative poses. Soften. Draw inward.

Close the practice in a life-changing Savasana. Let go.

Tomorrow, do all of this again.


Manduka Yoga Mats

Photos by Justin Kral of Kral Studios.

Yoga mats matter. Not only because they lay a foundation under our hands and feet when we practice, but because the way they’re produced can have a big impact on the environment.

I have a new favorite mat: Manduka’s LiveON yoga mat. Their team was kind enough to send me one to try out and I’m absolutely in love with it.

Here’s why:
  • The no-slip grip is incredible, better than any other mat I’ve used before.
  • The mat is lightweight but still provides a lot of comfort. It’s amazingly cushiony for only being 5mm in diameter.
  • I love the color! So fun and spring-y.
  • The mat is made out of 100% recyclable PLUSfoam material. After using this mat for a long time, I can send it in to PLUSfoam and they’ll make it into new products. As they say, they’re “putting landfills out of business.” Amazing! 

The LiveON yoga mat is perfect for my at-home practice and for when I do yoga in the park (it’s ideal for non-heated classes). I highly recommend checking out this mat as soon as it releases – you can sign up here to be in the loop when it goes on sale in June 2014.

Thanks, Manduka, for living up to your promises as a sustainable company – and for your generous sharing of this yoga mat! I’ll be practicing on it for years, I can already tell.

Manduka is more than eco-conscious yoga gear. Way more. We are joyology – a study in living. Our { mission } starts on the mat. --> I couldn't agree more! :)

Stink-Free Yoga Mats

I'm a big fan of using all-natural mat spray after class. As you know, I sweat a lot, so it's especially important for me to clean my mat after yoga.

If you're looking for high-quality yoga mat spray, check out my two favorites:
DeekasDream and AromaZen.


Both are made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients and come in portable bottles you can carry with you. And they smell AMAZING! (Lavender, eucalyptus and witch hazel are so refreshing.)

A heartfelt thanks to Patricia and Sidd for sharing their amazing yoga spray with my sponsored yogis. Namaste!

Yoga Mat Straps

Photos via The Apron Shop.

I've discovered my favorite yoga mat carrying strap: the yoga sling via The Apron Shop on Etsy. The shop's owner, Carmen, was kind enough to donate straps for me and my sponsored yogis, and we love them!

The strap makes it super easy to carry my mat to and from the studio, and I love that it's lightweight, durable, and compact. 


The shop also features mat carrying bags, and all the items are very reasonably priced.

As my sponsored yogi Justin said when he received the mat sling: "Look who's ready for class!" :)

I highly recommend checking out The Apron Shop!

Square 36 Yoga Mat Giveaway

Are you a yoga teacher that does one-on-one sessions with clients in their homes? Or do you enjoy practicing partner yoga regularly with a friend or spouse?

Today I'm featuring a yoga mat giveaway that you'll love. Check out Square 36, an oversized yoga mat that's 6 feet x 6 feet!

In case you missed it, a while back I reviewed the Square 36 mat and gave it high remarks all around. The mat is comfortable, strong, durable and made with high-quality, non-toxic materials. I highly recommend it and love using mine.

You can use the mat to transform a room into an instant high-quality workout area, whether you're practicing yoga, dancing, doing calisthenics, lifting weights, or doing other at-home workouts.

To enter, please visit and leave a comment below detailing why you'd love to win one. And, if you'd like to order a mat of your own, you can get free shipping by entering the code "Aliveinthefire" at checkout (a $24.95 value).


Ad Space Available

Alive in the Fire is an award-winning blog all about yoga, but we also love fashion, green goods, spa and massage, and creative companies with a passionate approach.

Looking for a great deal on ad space for the pre-holiday season? Contact me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com today! Prices are super affordable and you can get great above-the-fold coverage.

Alive in the Fire's audience is an organic fit for those hoping to reach an active, hip, green, fashionable and largely female audience. The blog is a great fit for companies who sell yoga and fitness gear or apparel, healthy food or drink, and green goods.

By becoming a sponsor with Alive in the Fire, you will reach a lively community of readers who love yoga and who care about taking good care of themselves, each other, and the world.

For more info about the types of companies I've worked with in the past, see the Sponsors and Ad Space page. And for details on ad spots in 2012, email me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. Namaste!

Square 36: A Yoga Mat to Remember

Photos by me.

It's larger than life. It will transform your living room into a workout arena. It will take your partner yoga practice to a whole new level. And it's kid friendly too...

Meet: Square 36, the world's coolest over-size yoga mat!

The concept behind these mats is genius: instead of using a standard-size yoga mat, you've got 36 square feet of space to use. Square 36 is a perfect fit for yogis like me who enjoy having the ability to move freely throughout a practice; I love how I can face any direction in the room and still have the same amount of mat coverage all around as I transition from pose to pose.

It also comes in very handy you want to do a partner class - there's plenty of room for two!

Plus, the Square 36 mat works well for P90X or Crossfit, at-home weight lifting, and even allowing your kid to run around and play on.


I have to say, I've fallen in love with my 6' x 6' mat even after only having it for a few weeks. It was hilarious when I picked it up at the post office down the street and the mail carrier at the counter said, "What is this?!" as he handed it to me.

Then, I somehow managed to ride home on my bike carrying it. I'm pretty sure a couple of drivers riding by figured I was practicing for a jousting match :) Too bad there's no photo of that to share with you, but at least there's the one of me jumping for joy that I made it home! 

Anyway, I rolled out the mat in my living room and haven't looked back since. Now when I want a serious at-home workout, I'll get out my Square 36, pump up some tunes, and either practice yoga, jump rope, do calisthenics, try a Bodyrock or Gaiam TV video, or stretch.

At first I was concerned that the large mat would be a bit of overkill, but I actually love having the space. It makes my feel freer to move, really stretch to my maximum, and dance around more, too!

If you're interested in trying the Square 36 mat, I've got great news: Alive in the Fire readers get free shipping (a $24.95 value) on their orders!  Simply visit and upon checking out, enter this code in the coupon box: alive36. Be sure to click "apply coupon," and you're all set! Bonus: 

Square 36 also offers a 60-day money back guarantee.


I highly recommend that all you yogis with a home practice check it out. And if you're a personal trainer or yoga studio owner, this is a workout tool that you shouldn't pass up. You can quickly and conveniently transform a room into the workout space you need, and the mat is strong, comfortable, durable and made with high-quality, non-toxic materials.

Here's to using Square 36 for some awesome at-home workouts, and the best savasanas you've ever had. To learn more, connect with Square 36 on Facebook and Twitter or check out the Square 36 blog.