Sometimes it’s the bumps in the road that end up defining our journey. This is the story of Manduka, a company founded on the simple idea that a better yoga mat could make a world of difference.
In 1997, Peter Sterios, an architect turned yogi, discovered a simple, elegantly designed black mat whose combination of firm grip and complete support revolutionized his yoga practice. In honor of the yoga masters who inspired him, he sought to share this amazing product with others.
Peter had always been the beneficiary of great generosity from other yoga teachers. To repay that debt, he sent mats as gifts to many of the teachers he admired including Erich Schiffmann, Rod Stryker, Angela Farmer, Victor Van Kooten, Rodney Yee, and Shiva Rea. The teachers who inspired Peter were his first customers. And in the great yoga tradition, they shared their mats with their students, and a true yoga company was born. Peter chose the name Manduka in homage to his teacher and mentor, Shandor Remete, whose core practice and teaching always included the ancient Hatha Yoga Pradipika pose, Mandukasana or frog. The first time Peter heard and repeated the name of the pose he experienced a sense of childlike joy and delight as the sound rolled off his tongue. The word and the pose were mirror images, simultaneously playful and profound. The joy of Manduka is now spoken in so many countries, all over the world.
The quality and performance of Manduka mats and yoga accessories are still unmatched in the marketplace. They are still crafted using simple, enduring, natural, and whenever possible, renewable materials and a fine attention to detail. Manduka is a company built by and for yoga teachers and their students. We are still evolving, still introducing new products, and still celebrating the spirit and wisdom of yoga teachers and their students. From the road less traveled, something great and meaningful has arrived.