Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do Your Homework

Please be aware that when these round mats are made there is a lot of unused wasted material.  We at Mandala Yoga Mat do not put any of that wasted material into the landful.  All of it goes to a recycling centre to be used in many different ways.

Other companies who make copies of these mats may be disposing the material in a way that is not great.  Please do your homework and find out before you order from other online companies how they dispose of the wasted material.

We are the Original 6 ft Round Yoga Mat with the beautiful logo embossed in the centre of the circle and the embossed dots to help delineate the quadrants of the circle.  These mats were designed by a yoga instructor who spent time with her students to determine what was needed on the mats to help keep you centered and aligned. 



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Loan Fulfilled

Thanks to everyone who helped to contribut to KIVA by purchasing a mat from us.

The $675 loan requested by Mabel Ottah in Nigeria has been 100% funded.  the loan will be used for the purpose of :  To purchase more sarongs to sell.

So not only do I appreciate your support of my small business I know that KIVA and Mabel appreciate your support as well.

I will continue to find other people in need of support through KIVA and keep you updated.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New KIVA Donation

We have been able to contribute to another KIVA member!  Thanks to all who have purchased one of our Mandala Yoga Mats!  Please know that you have also contributed to Mabel Ottah in Nigeria to receive a loan to help her with her clothing business.



Mabel Ottah

About the Entrepreneur

Mabel Ottah
Warri, Delta State, Nigeria
Clothing Sales

Mabel Ottah is 39 years old and happily married with 2 children. She is a hardworking woman. Mabel sells sarongs and lace at the market in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. She hopes to own a boutique in the future. Mabel is a LAPO client. LAPO (Lift Above Poverty Organization) is committed to improving lives in Nigeria and Africa. Mabel is requesting a loan amount of 100,000 NGN to purchase more sarongs to sell. She says thanks to all Kiva lenders.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Mandala Yoga Mat Cleaner

We are now offering our own special blend of Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil and Purified Water to keep your mat clean and smelling fresh.

If you purchase a Mandala Yoga Mat from our web site just pop me an e-mail and mention my blog I will throw in the Mat Cleaner and  DVD as a bonus.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update on our KIVA loan.

This is an update on the loan to Fumilayo Shonola in Nigeria. 

 Thanks to all of us and 24 other Kiva Lenders, the 675.00 loan requested by
Fumilayo Shonola in Nigeria has been 100% funded. The loan will be used
for the purpose of: To purchase spiritual items to sell . 

Over the
months of this loan, Kiva’s Field Partner in Nigeria, Lift Above
Poverty Organization (LAPO), will be collecting repayments from this
entrepreneur and posting progress updates on the Kiva website.

 You can view the loan profile here:

I will continue to take a portion of each Mandala Yoga Mat sold and find another person in need of a loan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Kiva donation

With each order we receive for a mat we will be taking a portion of the sale price and contributing to someone via   It is also important for you to know that Kiva gives 100% of what they receive from us to the person in need.  (please read our prior post "Giving Back" to get more information on what we are doing).

Here is our first donation to a beautiful woman in Nigeria who could use our help.

It was not easy to choose someone in need of financial help.  But I took one look at Fumilayo's beautiful smile and sparkling eyes and knew I wanted to help her.

We will continue to donate and when the loans are paid back we will just turn around and lend to another person.

Thank you so much for purchasing from our company and in turn thank you for donating to this beautiful woman and wonderul organization.



Fumilayo Shonola

About the Entrepreneur
Fumilayo Shonola
Lagos State, Nigeria
Religious Articles

About the Loan

Loan Amount:
Loan Use:
To purchase spiritual items to sell
Repayment Term:
10 months - View details below
Lenders Repaid:
Currency Exchange Loss:
Date Listed:
Nov 10, 2009
Date Disbursed:
Oct 19, 2009

Fumilayo is 39 years old and married with four children. Her husband is a carpenter. All her children are schooling. She hopes to give her children a quality education. She sells spiritual items like candles, olive oil, and incense in Lagos state, Nigeria. She is a hard working woman and she is determined to excel in her business and family life. The high season for her business is here and she hopes to meet the demands of her numerous customers. She hopes for a loan of 100,000 NGN to purchase more spiritual items to sell. She says thanks to all Kiva lenders for their support.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Since starting my Mandala Yoga Mat business I have realized how hard it is to start up a small grass roots company.  And with the economy right now, it is even more difficult than 2 years ago. 

There have been many hurdles over this past year but the rewards have been wonderful.  I love hearing how much fellow yogis are enjoying these mats and how it enhances their yoga practice and/or teaching.  That was the reason for creating the mat; to help people create a more unique and individual practice.

I have learned first hand how unethical other businesses can be, when they work with you and then push you aside to take your idea all for the sake of making more money on their end.  I have always tried to buy from the smaller company who came up with an idea rather than going to the bigger store to get an extra $5 off the item.  And I have seen over and over again that there are many of you that do the same thing.

So I have decided to take a portion of every mat I sell and give it to a someone who is in need of startup money to create or build their business. is an organization that helps out people who are trying to make it on their own but are in need of a loan.  Mandala Yoga Mat plans on taking a portion of each mat that is sold and lending the money to these small business owners.  When the loan is paid back we will then turn around and lend it someone else within that organization.

So please know that when you buy your mat from us not only will you be supporting the small company that originated the Round Yoga Mat but you will also be helping someone else who is trying to create and/or build their business and livelihood as well.

Once we make a loan to someone on I will keep you updated on how they are doing.  You can check my blog for those updates.  The loans usually are over a 6 - 12 month period but they do give you updates on how these entrepreneurs are doing.

Thank you for helping make a difference in someone’s life.  Every little bit helps.



Thursday, November 12, 2009


Sometimes it can be easier to find the things that are missing or going wrong in our lives.  Or to complain about having to work a bit harder to make something positive happen.

After dealing with the unethical business practice regarding an online yoga props company and my round Mandala Yoga Mats (you can read my first blog "big Business - Small Business"), and putting time and energy into the whole situation;  I have decided to put all of the aside and spend a few minutes each day to think of one thing I am grateful for.  

Sometimes it is a quick realization of how grateful I am to be able to take my dog for a walk on a beautiful fall day.  Other days it is a deeper feeling of love for my family.  What ever my thoughts are they help to keep me grounded and focused on what is really important in life.

My yoga practice continues to reinforce my sense of how things change so quickly in this life and that it is the small things, like gratitude, that we need to keep remembering.

So give it a try, each day pick something that you are grateful for, it could be the smallest to the biggest thought you have.  Each day write it down on a calendar and then in a month look back at all you have to be thankful for. I have the found the hardest thing to do is to just pick one thing. 

Life is pretty great.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Keyboard Is Mightier Than The Sword

One thing I have learned time after time is not to become so discouraged about a situation that you end up not doing anything about it.  You can make a difference, whether it is an issue regarding yourself, your family or friends or even your business.

After dealing with the unethical business practice regarding an online yoga props company and my round Mandala Yoga Mats (you can read my first blog "Big Business - Small Business" to catch up to speed, I could have sat back and done nothing or tell the story and allow people to respond.

And respond they did.  I have found in just a week that people do care.  And the yoga community, WOW, what a community.  I have learned from my practice so much.  But the most basic things I have learned is to be true to yourself, don't push but at the same time challenge yourself, treat others like you would like to be treated and patience.  Such basic things to live by and very simple principals. 

I believe that most people possess these qualities and when you find a way to excel in them you can then experience a full and meaningful existence.

But every once in a while you come across something or somebody that makes you realize not everyone lives by those principles.  That is when you decide, O.K. do I sit back and do nothing or do I reach out and try to make a change.  I know that sitting back is sometimes the easier thing to do but it is certainly not the most effective.

We have so many options and ways to reach out in this day and age.  The Internet is an amazing way.  I started this blog as a way of journaling and it has become so much more.

Thank you to everyone that has supported my small company whether in choosing to purchase round mats from us or in reading my blogs.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Remember the keyboard is mightier than the sword and don't ever think that you are too small or insignificant to make a difference.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The ethics of business and yoga

After many many years of owning a yoga studio I realize that it is a business and that I do need to make a living.  But I have found that what is most important is to do the right thing.  And we all know what the right thing to do is.  If we are making a bad choice that is intentionally hurting someone else, we know it.

Whether it is giving a free class to someone in need, contributing to charities, being kind to your neighbor, or treating your business associates with respect,  you know you are doing the right thing.

Being selfish, taking something that is not yours, being dishonest or not forthright to someone (business associate or not), you know you are doing the wrong thing.

It is actually a pretty simple concept.

In the spirit of yoga we need to be aware of how we treat people.  It is not always about how will this benefit me, in fact you should think how will this impact others.   When you make the right choices things will usually come back to you in a positive way.  When you ethically and morally do the wrong thing........  Not so good.

Dealing with a few large online yoga supply companies I can say without hesitation that does that right thing time and time again.  Other companies?  hmmmmmmmmmm

In the spirit of yoga lets try and treat people the way we would like to be treated.  Again a very simple concept.

The ethics of business and yoga?  Just do the right thing, don't take something that isn't yours, be respectful, kind and honest.  Pretty simple concept.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big Business - Small Business

O.K. so imagine this....... You create a one of a kind product (6 ft round yoga mat). It has taken you forever to source the material, figure out how to cut it, create a logo, have many classes on prototypes that you made and then find out from students what they would like to have on the mat to delineate the quadrants. So you start making them for your students, then others want them. you create a website, make a DVD, start selling them on a website. A large online yoga props supply company comes along and says "hey we would love to carry your mats" hmmmmmmm O.K. they seem like good guys. You get a good relationship going, start talking about drop shipping so they can spend more on promoting your product.... 8 months later after they have sold about 100 of your mats, no phone call, no e-mail, they take your idea and start to make another round mat like yours and are able to sell it for less because they can get the material for less, have more advertising, more money to advertise, need I say more........... is the original 6 ft round yoga mat. Created by a dedicated yogi and her brother, each mat made with love and care. A grass roots company wanting to bring yoga to more people and help them create a more expressive practice.

The other company, in my opinion, has no morals and no respect for the people that they do business with.  That is my opinion from my experience with them.  All they would have needed to do would be to answer my e-mail or phone and say thanks for supplying us with your mats but we have now decided to make our own.  But there was no communication.

Do any of those people even practice yoga? Do they treat each other the way they treat their suppliers?????  Is it that important to make those extra dollars on a mat sale to treat another person with such disrespect?

I knew that another round mat would come out on the market, it is all good, I just didn't expect it to be with the company we were supplying to.

You decide...... Big business - small business..... who do you want to support?