A Tale of Two Traditions Pt. 2

| Culture

A Tale of Two Traditions, Two Cities - Jivamukti Yoga, ManuTeeFaktur x Vegan Good Life - Vegan Good Life Magazine

Following our article on ManuTeeFaktur and Jivamukti's collaboration, we carried on our interview with Manu Kumar himself and Karoline Straubinger from Jivamukti to ask them more questions regarding Vegan Good Life's home bases, Berlin and New York City!

A two-part-feature taken from the pages of issue 7 of Vegan Good Life magazine as part of our online "quarantine"-care package, a collection of content to come in handy in Corona times.

Words: Cort Cunningham
Photos: Jivamukti Yoga, ManuTeeFaktur

What’s your connection with Berlin? How is the city part of what you do and how does it translate into your work?

Karoline: Berlin is a community where Jivamukti Yoga is thriving, as in other parts of the world. It’s a city that has a buzz of musicians and artists and change-makers that feed movement and innovation. So many artists meet here, drawn to its vibration, congregating, and gathering energy from all over the world. It’s a magnetic space for artists and free thinkers that gives rise to the counterculture movement, that then creates so many inspired advancements in science and global consciousness.

Manu: I instantly fell in love with Berlin when I first got here in the mid-90s. Everything seemed possible. There was so much room for ideas and freedom for a creative, unconventional lifestyle. Whereas Germany was more for dreaming dreams, in Berlin we were able to actually live your dreams. Kreuzberg back then was the epicentre of creativity, innovation, and experimentation. Yoga in Germany basically started in Kreuzberg.


What do you think are the biggest differences between both cities? What are some of the things they have in common?

Karoline: Berlin has very quickly become a vegan highlight on the European map, and while New York has a lot of options, Berlin leads with green/eco/zero-waste movements. The pollution in New York is unavoidable, so you quite legitimately feel the presence of the consciousness and environmentalism in the very air you breathe in Berlin.

"In Berlin, the journey is the goal, in New York the goal is the goal."

Manu: Berlin is more playful and daring. It’s also more naive, more relaxed and less planned. Berlin has time. Berlin feels like New York back in the 70s and 80s. New York on the other hand is faster, tougher, more professional and above all, more goal oriented. In New York you have pressure to deliver and accomplish things fast. While in Berlin the journey is the goal, in New York the goal is the goal. Berlin makes more out of less, and New York makes a lot out of a lot. What unites these two cities is that both are places of creativity, vision and innovation; full of people that want to live their dreams, and we actually do.

ManuTeeFaktur founder Manu Kumar

Just as ManuTeeFaktur and Jivamukti Yoga found common values, they both aim to bring health and wellbeing into one’s daily life by showing in an approachable way how traditional teachings and practices are relevant to today. Karoline speaks about yoga’s close relationship with nature and once again quotes Sharon, from her book Yoga & Vegetarianism: “As yogis, our ultimate goal is enlightenment, which involves realizing the unity and interconnectedness of all beings and things—not just human beings. Extending compassion toward animals purifies our karmas, creating an internal state that is conducive to enlightenment.”

"My father taught me to just sit and do nothing for a few minutes."

Manu shares a similar mindset, which stems from his childhood: “As a kid, eating healthy was totally normal, and so was doing handstands or ‘the bridge’ at home with my family. Yoga was part of my everyday life. My father taught me to just sit and do nothing for a few minutes in the evenings. He never called this act meditation or practicing yoga. He introduced me to this holistic world in a playful way and made me realize and appreciate the benefits of yoga without even knowing what it was. I was taught in a very natural way – let’s say the Indian way.”

And here we are at Vegan Good Life. While our outlook is on the future and our aim is to attract modern appeal, building traditional wisdom into our everyday practice and living liberated no matter where we and animals are is our ultimate goal. Jivamukti Yoga, ManuTeeFaktur, and Vegan Good Life: three wild children of today’s culture, bringing yoga, tea and veganism to the people – in Berlin, New York, and around the world.

Click here for
Part One of this feature and for the full interview here!


We know that self-isolation can be stressful…

…so be sure to check out to stock up on your favorite calming teas. You can now find the new Jivamukti Yoga x ManuTeeFaktur collaboration, a selection of finest teas on the ManuTeeFaktur website (and once back open, in Jivamukti studios all around the globe).

  • Indian Masala Chai
  • Black Chocolate Rose
  • Coconut Green

For sale now, limited stock.


Online Yoga Classes anyone?

…another great initiative to make you're staying home easier is the new digital class platform by Jivamukti Yoga – making sure you're still getting your yogi on, lockdown or nah.



Vegan Good Life Issue 7 has the full story – and much more!

The very best in plant based fashion, travel, lifestyle, art & design. Issue 7 of Vegan Good Life Magazine, your one-stop-destination for vegan counterculture.

  • Interview: “Earthling Ed” Winters on Activism
  • Interview: Zero Waste Chef Max La Manna
  • A Weekend in Warsaw
  • How to love Sneakers with a Conscience
  • Streep rap gone vegan: Moses Pelham & Vega
  • Portrait: Tommy Four Seven

148 pages on high quality paper from sustainable forestry. Printed in Germany.

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