Aug 30 • 1HR 31M

Embracing Adversity – Peter Sterios

Manduka's founder on breaking his back and being spurned by a mentor

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Daniel Simpson
Traditional wisdom for modern dilemmas, combining yoga philosophy with critical thinking and practical insights. Hosted by Daniel Simpson.
Episode details

What’s the secret to finding one’s way despite multiple challenges? For Peter Sterios, who founded the yoga mat company Manduka, the key is to soften and learn to let go.

As we discuss, he’s had to do that repeatedly, from selling his business to picking up the pieces when his teacher dismissed him. For the previous two decades, Peter was a student of Shandor Remete, the charismatic creator of Shadow Yoga. Yet one day, he was brusquely instructed to go it alone – and not to teach what he’d been taught.


Though this rupture was tough, it helped Peter move on, refining a subtler approach to the body that had helped him to heal after breaking his back. He sums up what he’s learned in a book entitled Gravity and Grace – a conscious echo of the work of Simone Weil, whom he quotes at the start: “Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.”

Along the way, we explore how detachment relates to the business of running a company, and if yogic ideas about non-acquisitiveness are at odds with being an entrepreneur. You can tune in above, via podcast platforms or on YouTube.

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