An unusual perspective perhaps. But consider that the boundaries of your yoga practice may be directly related to the edges of your yoga mat. This is what I mean – there is the “you” that lives off the mat, and then there is the “you” that steps onto the mat. Are they the same? It may be that there are qualities that you carry with you that you leave behind when you step onto your mat and begin your practice. Or, perhaps, there are qualities that you are able to access on the mat that have a way of shifting out of sight when your practice is done and you step off the mat. Have you noticed how that might be?
Suppose you look at how yoga shows up in your day-to-day life. Off the mat, I imagine the question of how you live your yoga might help identify how you are in life. Consider how you maintain focus during the day, how you pay attention to your breath and what’s happening in your body as you move from one hour to the next. Present moment awareness is often not so easy to access throughout the comings and goings of the day’s events. So, how is it possible to do this during your yoga practice?
Ah, yes… the room is quiet, the demands of the day set aside, your phone and computer turned off. You’ve made an appointment with yourself and a conscious decision to step onto your mat. Sounds simple – but how to bring more of this kind of awareness with you when you step off? It’s not the calm or the delicious feeling at the end of shavasana that I’m talking about; it’s more than that. It may be the grounded sense that comes from being fully focused on the present moment as it is accessed through your body. In other words, the authentic you that is paying attention to what’s happening now – not involved with what’s happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
Are these then qualities that can move off the mat with you and be there again before you step onto your mat? I wonder how it might be to make spontaneous appointments with yourself and create this awareness throughout the day…
One Response to Edge of Your Mat
Great questions! Inspired reading! Hopefully this goes to the heart of what a yoga practice really is meant to draw forth in a human being.