It is blue and sticky; long and thick. Its Hawaiian floral print is faded from meeting my hands and feet. It probably smells, but I don’t notice because it probably smells like me. It’s rarely been cleaned and that helps it to be sticky. It is long and makes me feel long. Here I find peace and strength, calm and invigoration. I feel alone in this place, but yet connected to everything. I feel small and expansive at the same time. It is on my mat that I both find myself and lose myself. I am tired on my mat, relieved on my mat, refreshed on my mat, in pain on my mat, open and closed on my mat. My yoga mat first came to me from a TJ Maxx store in Iowa where it spoke to me in blue and my sister in orange, my mother in purple. We all purchased a mat to have to exercise on, but my mat has been my companion every since while theirs have been stored away for another life time. My mat has moved from state to state and job to job with me. I have taught abs classes, Pilates, and yoga on this mat. I have attended teacher trainings and led teacher trainings on this mat. It has seen me through relationships and different houses and it remains with me. I have shared my mat with my kids, but never with others. It gets rolled one way and then the other and sometimes folded neatly into my carry on bag so that it can venture with me out of town. Never have I looked at my mat with more esteem than I did on Thursday.
I wasn’t able to find time to post yesterday about my Thursday experience with the meditations book, but it started with a quote that took me in one direction the last time I read the book and somewhere else all together this time around. “Everything all the time… The Eagles” p.6
When last I did this journey I focused on how I am always trying to do everything all of the time and how I need to understand that I can’t be everything to everyone all of the time. This time I read the book Gates spoke to me more about the 8 limb path and how it not a linear path as many suggest, but rather 8 entities of yoga that we take up all at once. When we get on our mat we “practice” for living yoga all of the time. Much like what I learned from the Amy Weintraub book, my mat is my world. Effecting change in myself on this mat can improve my life off of the mat. So, Thursday I spent some time meeting my mat again for the first time and taking it all in.
Thank goodness for that mat. It’s like a magic carpet that can transport me where I need to go that day.
Friday I stepped onto the mat after my reading and realized that this whole journey is about letting go and enjoying the ride. The Day 4 reading really focused on giving up control. All I can say about that is: YIKES!