About Mama Mandala
Mama Mandala is created for the creative, inspired by inspiration, moved to move. It is a collection of practices, rituals, recipes, and words woven together to nourish your body, mind, heart, and voice on your path of intentional living.
Born of awe and love for the earth, the moon, the sun, and the vastness of the cosmos, Mama Mandala plays with the elements of nature, the wildness of embodiment, opportunities for transformation, and the complexity of life.
For caregivers of ideas, projects, plants, animals, or humans, Mama Mandala is an invitation into a nurturing relationship with your inner world, and with the world around you.
About Hagar Harpak
Hi, I'm Hagar Harpak, a mama of two, a kitchen witch, a storyteller, a ceremony facilitator, a yoga, meditation, and breath-work teacher, an explorer of the intersection of Mother Nature, mythology, philosophy, poetry, magic, and somatics, and the creator of Mama Mandala.
Stories have filled my life ever since I can remember myself. My mama is a storyteller, and so is my daughter. As soon as I learned how to write words I wrote a story. It was about a grandmother who lives in a forest and discovers that she has magical healing powers that she then uses to help animals in need.
I didn’t realize it then, but when I wrote stories, when I was playing outside with my best friend, imagining striped cats transmuting into cackling crones, and discovering that cypress tree cones were the eggs of a very dangerous kind of sorcerer, when my sister and I made potions in the kitchen, and when I was chanting incantations into my bed at night, I was beginning my journey as a witch.
I moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 1999, with two suitcases and a big dream of being an actor. Naturally, I ended up becoming a yoga teacher.
I walked into a yoga class in 2003 and fell head over heels, straight into a handstand. It was love at first pose. Movement has always been the language of my soul. After a lifetime of exploring my body through dance, yoga felt like a smooth transition into my next incarnation.
I completed my first Teacher Training with Noah Maze and Naime Jezzeny in 2004, and spent tens of thousands of hours studying, training, and practicing with many incredible teachers.
It was my body that got me on the mat. It was my heart that exploded with love and kept me going back every day. It was my intellect that sealed the deal. I was starving for something like this - rich, deep, and infinite. The philosophy, the mythology, the history, the anatomy; the possibilities of learning and exploring on the path of yoga are endless. I was stoked.
Embodying the teachings – on and off the mat – became my passion. Yoga philosophy and Indian mythology turned me on. I have been dedicated to studying with professor Douglas Brooks – a renowned scholar of Eastern Religion – since 2004, and my love of learning is ever growing.
I began to teach in 2005 - young, raw, and enthusiastic. Over the years I taught classes, workshops, and trainings, privately and publicly, nationally and internationally, in person and online. And I’ve become old, refined, and jaded.
In 2012 the clarity of my trajectory got blurry. The system of yoga that I was teaching went down due to a scandal that involved its founder. It was the right time to shift my focus. My husband Andrew and I went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon and made a baby.
Meanwhile, in the urban jungle of yoga, everything was changing. While I spent my days and nights breastfeeding and staring into my baby girl’s eyes, the scene was taken over by a fast paced, image driven, giant hashtag. The depth of motherhood pulled me in. Yoga still was my breath of life. But my relationship to the industry was shifting.
Yoga, for me, is a ceremonial experience, a sacred space, a sanctuary of connection to myself, to life, to Mother Nature, and to the cosmos.
With the goddess traditions from the south of India leading the way, the gateways into different goddess traditions from different parts of the world opened up in me. I found myself swimming in the waters of priestess traditions (with deep gratitude to Sianna Sherman and Ashley Turner).
Out of a deep need to feel more connected to nature, I created Somatic Ceremonies - transformational rituals that mark the cycles of the earth, and the transition of the seasons. With myth and metaphors, we weave together movement, breath, contemplation, meditation, chanting, and deep, soulful exploration of the relationship between the personal, the collective, and the vastness of the universe.
My interest in the human body, and a burning desire to learn more, took me to massage school, and to Craniosacral Therapy training in 2016. I have yet to complete my certification in both, because around the same time, Andrew and I made another baby.
In April of 2017, seven weeks before his due date, our little boy joined our family. He shook our lives with more infinite love, with the vulnerability of surprise, and with the juggle and chaos of having two kids.
It’s been a gorgeous, heart filling, exhausting few years. I scaled down my teaching schedule so that I can raise my children, weaving together deep study and profound practice into the mind blowing beauty and intensity of motherhood, and just as I was creating a new set of offerings, and ready to resurrect my business, the pandemic hit. Everything turned upside down, inside out, and sideways. I’m slowly crawling out of my cave.
There are several books about motherhood, myth, magic, and yoga writing themselves in my head. I am trying to focus on completing one. I am working on bringing to life a podcast, as well as a few online programs. I am committed to sharing with you what I learn along the way, and to create meaningful and useful content.
I love healthy, seasonal, locally sourced, organic, vegan food, and I’m excited to share with you over two decades of inventing recipes, building meals with flavor, color, texture, health, and season in mind. Much of my magic happens in the kitchen. Cooking is spell casting. This mundane, everyday activity can be an empowering channel of creativity, inspiration, connection to earth, and care for self and others. Nourishment is art.
I’m here to support your movement through the ups and downs of life, to remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. I want you to know that every part of you matters - from raw to refined, from primal to cerebral, from your brightest light to the depth of your darkness. I hope to inspire you to make your path your own; with food and season, movement and poetry, mythology and breathwork, meditation and ritual. This journey is YOURS.