Manduka is the brand name for a company that specializes in creating unique and purpose-driven products for yogis. Established over twenty years ago by yoga teacher, writer, and entrepreneur Peter Sterios, the company was founded on a simple but revolutionary idea the drive to create a better, more functional yoga mat as compared to the ones that were commercially available back then.
Today, the company has expanded into a world-renowned business that is famous for providing essential yoga accessories including rubber mats, towels, blocks, straps, and cushions as well as yoga pants and other fitness apparel to name a few.
However, unless you are completely new to yoga, you probably already know this. Take a look at 25 lesser-known facts about Manduka that explain the reasons behind the popularity of this brand.
Related: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About prAna | 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Alo Yoga | Athleta vs. Lululemon
1. The Company Was Formed Because Sterios Couldn’t Find the Mat That He Wanted
Back in 1997, when yoga wasn’t as common as it is today, people used mats made from cotton, PVC, and even jute whereas a bunch of folded ordinary cloths was used for cushioning. Sterios saw the need for improvement and came up with a brilliant design based on his vision of the ideal yoga mat.
2. It All Started in an Attempt to Prevent Slippage During Yoga
How annoying is it when you start slipping when trying to breathe while holding a down dog pose? Fortunately, you will hardly experience it with modern-day yoga mats, but earlier mats were not so safe. Yogis often got serious injuries during hot yoga classes as the extra sweating reduced the friction between the skin and mat, causing greater slippage.
3. The Iconic Manduka Mat Was Inspired by Sterios’ Yoga Teachers
While Sterios really wanted to design a yoga mat that would not just have a lifetime guarantee, but would also yoga practices fun and enjoyable, the task was easier said than done. He might have given up on his dream were it not for his yoga teachers and instructors who believed in his abilities and cheered him on until he was finally successful.
4. Sterios Had to Personally Advertise His Product
Change is never easy and people were hesitant to try the new mat designed by Sterios. However, Sterios had an entrepreneurial mindset and therefore, presented the new mats as a gift to his instructors.
Since most of his yoga teachers were skilled practitioners and ran studios of their own, this served as a great marketing technique for promoting the Manduka mats. Yogis who saw the innovative mat being used by their teacher in the yoga class were automatically persuaded to buy one for their own use as well.
5. It Completely Bypassed the Hazardous PVC Mats
In order to provide more durable mats that had a lifetime guarantee, manufacturers in the early 90s had started using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for the purpose. But as it turned out, it wasn’t a smart move as hard PVC surfaces started causing body aches for the practitioners.
What proved equally dangerous was the fact that when discarded, these plastic mats had to be burned down in masses as they were non-biodegradable. Being a responsible citizen, Sterios searched for eco-friendly alternatives and steered clear of using PVC for his mat.
All Manduka yoga mats, travel mats, and towels are made from non-toxic materials and are completely safe for the yogis as well as for the environment.
6. Manduka Pro Series Is Designed for Longevity
With over 2 billion people worldwide who practice yoga, one can only imagine the number of old or worn-out yoga mats that are tossed in the dust bin each year. Manduka wants to curb the amount of waste produced by the yoga industry and thus, introduced the PRO series mats which are guaranteed to last for decades, if not for a lifetime.
7. It Has Sold over 2 Million Yoga Mats
Since its inception in 1997, the company has sold over 2 million yoga mats in a period of about 20 years that’s almost 100,000 sales in a year with more than 250 yoga mats sold every day!
Although the company produces a variety of yoga gear ranging from yoga blocks and mats to towels and even fitness apparel for both men and women, yoga mats remain the brand’s most sought-after product.
8. Black Mat PRO Is Manduka’s Flagship Product
The Black Mat PRO is hands down the brand’s best-selling item. Prized for its ultra high quality, premium design, and durability, this iconic mat is a must-have accessory for every yogi out there.
If you are new to the world of yoga and looking for the best mat to start practicing, then the Black Mat PRO is the ultimate choice to consider.
9. Manduka Products Are Sold in over 60 Countries Around the World
With a variety of different yoga and fitness gear that suits the varying needs and preferences of different users, it’s no surprise that Manduka products attract buyers from all across the world. The brand purpose-driven products are sold online as well as in yoga studios and retail stores in almost 65 countries worldwide.
10. Manduka Is Dedicated to Keep the Environment Clean and Green
Did you know that more than 20 billion pounds of textiles are discarded every year and almost all of it ends up in the landfill? Manduka realizes the importance of waste management and therefore, practices the business in an entirely different, but environmentally-friendly manner.
It acquires the raw materials for its fitness apparel as well as other yoga gear from sustainable sources and serves as a role model for industrial giants to practice the same.
11. Its Clothing Collection Is the Only One of Its Kind
While its yoga equipment is unique and distinct, Manduka’s clothing collection is no different. Keeping in line with their eco-friendly manufacturing processes, the fitness apparel by Manduka is produced using all-natural, high-quality fabrics hardly used by any other brand.
The cotton is obtained from organic farms whereas the polyester required for stretchy pants is obtained from recycling old clothes to reduce the environmental impact.
12. Manduka Celebrated It’s Twenty Year Anniversary
Manduka celebrated its success and twenty-year anniversary in 2017 by launching an all-new collection of yoga apparel for men and women.
13. Yogitoes Is (Not) a Wall-Hang
With unique patterns, geometric designs, and abstract images printed in bright and vivid hues, it’s easy to mistake Manduka mat towels for an impressive wall-hang. Sold under the brand name, Yogitoes, these yoga towels feature a patented non-slip design along with soft and highly absorbent material that makes them a must-have fitness gear for yoga, pilates, gym, or any other outdoor exercises for that matter.
14. The Equa Round Is the Latest Yoga Mat Designed Especially for Moms
Designed by Desi Bartlett, a global ambassador for Manduka, the Equa Round Mat is an innovative yoga mat that caters to new moms and moms-to-be. While yoga mats are typically rectangular in shape, this new mat features a perfectly round shape in order to provide a 360-degree range of motion and complete freedom when doing yoga.
It is made from natural rubber and consists of an absorbent microfiber layer at the top to prevent slippage. This makes it ideal for prenatal yoga as well as for the mommy-and-me yoga sessions with babies.
15. Its Props Support Mother Nature
Be it blocks, cushions, bolsters, straps, or similar props required during yoga, all the fitness gear at Manduka is made from recycled and sustainable materials to support not just the yogis, but also Mother Nature.
The blocks are made from cork and recycled foam whereas buckwheat hulls are used for filling the yoga cushions.
16. Manduka PROlite Yoga Mats Are Worth Every Single Penny
Manduka PROlite yoga mats are far from the definition of cheap mats but rest assured, they are worth every single penny. A large non-slip, non-toxic, and latex-free yoga mat, the PROlite features a closed-cell surface that provides perfect cushioning, prevents sweat from seeping in, and is guaranteed to last for a lifetime.
17. Yogitoes Mat Towel Reduces Plastic Waste
Production of a single yogitoes mat means that at least 8 discarded plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill, are put to good use. The recycled plastic is mixed with recycled yarn to produce useful yoga mats that look anything but old.
18. Its Yoga Mats Can Be Used as a Home Decor
Although Manduka yoga mats are highly functional, some of them are equally, if not more stylish, and can, therefore, be used as home decor as well. For instance, the latest Equa mat features a stunning sunrise and sunset depiction that will add a pop of color wherever it is placed. These rubber mats are great for baby-proofing the house without compromising on the overall indoor look.
19. The eQua Towel Is a Must-Have for Vinyasa
Made from a highly absorbent, quick-drying, and non-slip material, the eQua mat towel can be spread over any regular yoga mat to provide a clean and slip-resistant surface. This is especially useful for different types of yoga such as vinyasa and hot yoga as well as power yoga.
20. It Offers Organic Cleaners to Help You Renew Your Mat in Seconds
Made from sea salt and other organic compounds, Manduka offers safe-to-use and eco-friendly mat cleaners. Just spray it onto the surface to renew your mat and have it smelling like fresh lavenders.
21. Manduka Shares Credit for Its Success with Rodney Yee
Rodney Yee, an American yoga instructor who rose to national prominence in the early 90s was one of Peter Sterios yoga teachers along with other masters like Erich Schiffmann, Angela Farmer, Shiva Rea, and Rod Stryker. Needless to say, they played a major role in inspiring Sterios to transform the entire yoga industry in terms of practice and of course, the use of yoga equipment.
22. It’s Line of John Friend Mats Had to Be Pulled Back Due to the Anusara Scandal
In November 2011, Manduka partnered with John Friend, founder of the famous yoga brand Anusara, to release a line of extra long yoga mats. However, in the wake of the Anusara Scandal in February the following year, Friend’s reputation as the Yoga Mogul was compromised as he was accused of usurping his company’s pension funds.
Given the uncertain circumstances, Manduka had to pull back the relevant stock from all the stores.
23. You Can Avail Special Discounts on Manduka Products
Manduka is keen to work with like-minded people who are dedicated to empowering the lives of others in the community via the practice of yoga and rewards them for their noble work. So, if you are a professional yoga teacher, licensed fitness instructor, travel guide, or even just a regular employee in any yoga or fitness-related business, you can avail of special discounts on most of their products.
To benefit from their reward PROgram, you need to fill in an application form and qualify the criteria mentioned therein.
24. You Can Work for Manduka
Manduka is always looking for skilled and talented individuals who are passionate to help fellow yogis and lend a hand in improving the overall practice be it through the design and production of better yoga gear or by encouraging others to try the same.
Whether you are a yoga instructor, studio owner, or someone for whom yoga is an important part of their fitness regime, you can team up with Manduka in different ways to avail of different benefits.
25. It Offers a Special Program for Yoga Teachers
In order to stay connected with the practice, Manduka partners up with expert yoga instructors from all across the world. Certified teachers not only keep the company up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry but also get an exclusive chance to collaborate with Manduka for new product development and publishing online content.
The Manduka Ambassador Program is designed especially for this purpose. By becoming a member of this program, you will be eligible for generous discounts on Manduka products. Plus, you and/ or your studio might be featured on the company’s blog as well.
To join the Ambassador Program, applicants must meet the following requirements.
- Have over 500 hours of certification
- Have a prominent presence on social media
- Be an active participant in community events, workshops, and the likes.
Designed for yogis by yogis, Manduka has a global outreach encompassing more than 4000 yoga studios and millions of customers and is also endorsed by over 900 ambassadors. Trusted by yogis and teachers all across the world, Manduka is the ultimate stop for all your yoga gear needs.