Ode to the MAT

Tonight yoga reminded me that no matter what is happening in life, my mat is constant. It is a place where walls disintegrate, and I can simply be me.  The mat will always be there when I'm ready; encouraging me to find me. It's comforting to roll out, and step on to, a familiar mat. It allows the mind to quiet with an exhale and invigorates the soul with an inhale. A good mat always provides stability and support.

Ode to the yoga mat on which I've laughed, cried, sworn and sweat. At home or hotel, on mountains or in the desert, here's to you yoga mat that doesn't judge or play devils advocate; it simply is. And simply being can be the best companion.

I encourage you to roll out your mat in good times and in bad, to practice in sickness and in health and care for it to the end of its days. Namaste


Starting From Scratch

After a ski accident that involved 2 trees, 1 impaled branch, the ER, stiches, and plenty of couch time, coming back to my yoga mat felt like starting from scratch. Determined to use yoga as the main source of rehab, every minute spent on the mat was a challenge. Poses that I had thought as basic had to be modified for shoulder, chest and knee injuries. Every practice became a learning experience, rich in patience and personal acceptance. It made me appreciate the poses that I could still do or had once done with ease. Coming to the yoga mat under the physical circumstances made vinyasas more creative and thought provoking. It made little advances feel like large victories.

The advances in physical recovery encouraged the removal of the pose modifications. One day, about 5 weeks into rehab, my chest and shoulder were feeling strong; I decided to try headstand. Slowly at first, I tested my shoulder and chest in making the triangle base. The foundation felt strong so I continued into the pose. It felt so amazing to be unsupported and fully inverted again! Best of all my body felt great. To this day, and most likely forever, that headstand will stand out as one of the most memorable. A pose that I had always taken advantage of became special because I truly appreciated the time and effort leading up to physically being able to do the pose.

Rarely do we get an opportunity to start from scratch in an activity such as yoga that we've practiced for years. If you are ever gifted this opportunity, embrace it.