Me: Writing a blog post.
Kid #2: About what?
Me: My new yoga mat.
Kid #2: Again? Seriously mom no one cares that much about your yoga mat.
And he’s probably right. I realized today that I am putting way too much thought into this new mat and way too much pressure on myself to feel worthy of a designer mat.
It all started earlier today when I saw a Hummer limousine driving down the streets of my small town. (Stay with me, this is related to yoga mats.) My first thought was, ‘Now who possibly is so self-indulgent to want to ride in a Hummer limo?’ It’s showy, pretentious and over the top.
Today was also the season finale of a Free Yoga in the Park class I offer in the summer. I had with me my usual supplies of extra yoga mats, towels and water. I also had my old and falling apart Walmart yoga mat that I was using. (If you simply must read more about my old purple mat and my new orange mat, you can read it here: http://jenniferyogalifeway.blogspot.com/2010/10/yoga-mats-out-with-old-and-in-with-new.html)
A few of the class members asked where my new mat was. Well, it’s home rolled up in my closet. They asked why I wasn’t using it. Well, it’s big and I feel kind of ostentatious carrying it around. And I might return it and if I do I sure don’t want to be using it on the ground at the park.
So the obvious question then was why did I even buy it in the first place? I needed a new one, I liked the way this was made, and I do like how big it is. I’m 5’9” and my heels often hang off the back in a downdog and other poses.
But it’s so big. And heavy. At close to 10 pounds I’m picturing carrying it on an airplane and lugging it to classes. And I’m really picturing rolling it out in a class. What will others think? Will they think I’m self-indulgent and over the top?
Finally, the voice of reason came from a very unlikely source - a new man to yoga class today. He was a very big guy, athletic, muscular. Not at all the kind of guy you’d look at and think oh he does yoga.
“Honey, that mat has no feelings. It’s just a piece of rubber. Quit putting your issues on that mat.”
Oh wow, his first ever yoga class and he’s already got what yoga is really all about. Letting go of what is holding us back and keeping us tied down. Letting go of not only physical pain but also our own emotional and mental pain that we often inflict upon ourselves.
I often end my yoga classes by saying that yoga isn’t about tying yourself up in knots, but rather it’s about untying the knots inside you. Freeing the physical blockages inside to allow a personal freedom to flow.
So, once again, I’m reminded to take my own advice. Tomorrow the new, very big, very orange mat will be pulled out of the closet and will be christened with downdog, virabhadrasana and definitely a “letting go of what others think of me” meditation.