Sounds like a bad fitness magazine article, I know. But the truth is, the relationship you have with your yoga mat greatly affects the overall quality of your practice. When you’re starting out naturally it will feel foreign to you. As a novice, you will most likely feel insecure in your movements and not as flexible as the more familiarized students. The truth is, a lot of people are just now learning the all around life-changing benefits of yoga. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to be new at this! Have the confidence to jump in and be excited that you are learning about a whole new way of life! Something that will give you the power to overcome any obstacle life wants to throw at you! Trust me, I know.
Today has been especially rough for me, I won’t go into detail but it should have been the worst day I’ve had in a while. Notably though, my overall stress levels stayed at a record low. I was able to work my whole shift, not once did I feel a panic attack coming on (a few crying spells did occur, but I managed to get a hold of myself through deep breathing and affirmations ;)). I kept utilizing the tools I have acquired over the years – stretching, breathing techniques (pranayama), and venting to friends all help out tons (given your friends are as wonderful as mine to listen to your rambling and treat you to a delicious Mexican dinner :))!
After I came home from dinner I immediately came into my room, put on some soothing music (Ambient radio on Pandora.com), and laid out my mat. After dimming the lights and briefly stretching my legs and arms, I got into Corpse Pose.
I’m not sure how long I laid there on my mat, but I do know that I felt every emotion known to man whilst doing so. At first I felt anxious and weak – I couldn’t take a full breath and it was hard for me to lay still. Then I began focusing on my breath more and my thoughts less, with this I began to feel a little stronger. I incorporated affirmations, envisioned myself as strong and able to overcome anything. As the thoughts began to pour out of me – rolling through my mind but not affecting it – I thought about the things I would be losing out of the situation. Tears began to pour out of my eyes uncontrollably. But they weren’t the familiar tears of sadness I so often cried in my adolescence and years struggling with anxiety. It was like they were cleansing my soul. Once they were gone I felt a warmth surrounding me and a sense of complete calm overwhelmed me. I stared at the air vent on my ceiling and felt no thoughts at all, just the comforting blanket of peace.
Every time I have similar revelations of serenity on my mat, I can’t help but feel completely blessed to have found this practice that makes me feel so entirely whole. When I have no where else to run and no one to talk to, my mat is always there – patient and humble – waiting for me (however long it takes!) to find what I am searching for deep within myself.
Here’s the Green Smoothie I made today: