Mandela Leola van Eeden

Missoula, Montana

International Adventure Guide| Ashtangi | Educator

Mandela has been a student of Yoga for 19 years & the practice of Ashtanga Yoga has taken her to India and New Zealand where she has completed three in depth studies. Mandela incorporates elements of Iyengar alignment & restorative Yoga but her focus is the study & Practice of Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She has overcome multiple injuries & consequential surgeries through Yoga.  

Mandela began teaching Yoga in mud surrounded by chickens in the townships of Southern Africa. Her favorite thing about Yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere in the world without any fancy clothing or equipment. Mandela incorporates 1% theory before each class begins & ends every class by bringing her students slowly out of Savasana with a sound bath of drowning didjeridu. 

Growing up, Mandela spent a season in South Africa, a season in Montana & various seasons traveling the world with her flight attendant mother & vagabond father. At an early age Mandela fell in love with juxtapositions between cultures, music, food & weather of the northern & southern hemispheres. Mandela works as an international adventure guide/instructor on multiple continents with a focus on the fields of whitewater rafting, bush trekking, whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking & riverboarding. 

Connect with Mandela at  or on Instagram @mandelaleola, @xplorermaps, and @the.trail.less.traveled



  • Didjeirdu Sound Healing:
    Mandela started studying Aboriginal anthropology and Didjeridu sound theory in Australia in her teens and has continued these studies into her thirties. Mandela presents adventure lectures at the University of Montana and other public and private schools around the world. You are invited to join her for a Didjeridu Sound Healing Journey. 
    She will share the anthropology of the instrument and explain how it’s used as a story-telling device by Indigenous Aboriginal Australians. Then you will get cozy and lie on the floor in order to soak up the vibrations of the Didjeridu and other instruments. This 1 hour sound healing journey is open to both children and adults. You’re encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and bring a pillow and blanket. 
    The didjeridu affects everyone differently - some people feel as if they’re floating above the Australian desert, others reconnect with loved ones who have passed, and some have said they truly feel the opening of blocked energy channels. This is both a learning and healing opportunity for friends, families, parents, lovers, children and elders. 


  • Ashtanga "Led Primary Series" Class
    In this class, the teacher calls out the names of the poses, along with the breath counts, and the students move together, in sync. This class is taught in Sanskrit & English. Led class reinforces the proper vinyasa system – when to inhale and when to exhale as you enter in and out of each asana. Following the teacher’s pace and count in led class instills discipline and helps build both mental and physical strength of students. If you are new to Ashtanga, please take one of our intro to Ashtanga classes before attending the traditional led primary class. It can be helpful for new students to practice towards the back of the studio so they can use peripheral vision in order to see the flow of the class.


  • "Investigating Ashtanga Yoga" Class:
    The Investigating Ashtanga class is intended to provide a space for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.  The teacher will tailor the class to the individual students that attend. If beginners attend the class, the class will be geared towards beginners. If more experienced students attend the class, the class will be geared toward those students. In addition, we provide a dedicated space so that students with a personal mysore practice may do their practice during this class. Traditionally, this class would take students through Navasana in the Primary Series and then end with inversions. 


  • "Yoga with Mandela" Class:
    An individualized class for all levels with elements of Iyengar, Ashtanga, Yin & Restorative Yoga. Mandela customizes each class depending on what students want to learn & open with modification options, props to aide alignment, Yogic text, Ujjayi breath, detoxification & options to challenge your Practice. Every class ends with a deep sound healing bath using Didjeridu, singing bowls & Maori Taonga pūoro. You always have permission to take rest as you weave together what works for you.