"Yoga is the process of falling in love with the breath," Mandi Rice wrote on her final examination for 200-hour yoga teacher training. That insight, and countless hours of asana practice, have guided her through a master's degree in religion at Harvard Divinity School, work as a hospital chaplain, and now back into the yoga studio.
Mandi took her first class at Down Under on January 1, 2014. It was indeed a life-changing moment. She had spent the prior six months traveling around the country for her research on LGBTQ Americans' spirituality. That work was a calling, but she felt herself drowning in the dark experiences that some of her interviewees shared. Mandi's recommitment to her yoga practice served to lighten the weight in her heart and in her bones.
At Down Under, Mandi has been amazed by the depth of knowledge of her teachers. She has practiced regularly with Peter Crowley (Slow Flow) and Kate O'Donnell and Rich Ray (Ashtanga), among so many others.
"We are not entitled, we are indebted," another teacher told her, memorably. She strives to bring that attitude to her work as a manager, which touches on everything from operations to marketing. When she is not in the studio, Mandi practices sun salutations in Harvard's Divinity Hall chapel. She is also a bubble tea enthusiast, a provisional Episcopalian, a polyglot, an identical twin, and a Missourian at heart.