So, I was taking a jaunt around Yoga Journal’s Community page as I do more and more often these days (it’s like facebook but for yogis, don’t ya know!) and I happened upon someone who posted a blog about what he brings to his yoga mat each day. It was really moving to read and I think that it’s definitely something we all ought to think about for ourselves.
What do we, individually as yogis and yoginis, bring to the mat? Yes, yoga is about union and about letting go of the ego, but like we say and I’ve said before, it has to start within. So I think it’s important for all of us yogis to highlight what it is that we bring to the mat, to our practice, to our community. I think it would be neat if this started a chain (and we can all credit sat-nam for being the inspiration). In that spirit, I’m going to go ahead and go next:
When I step on my mat, I bring with me a girl who is only beginning to learn and live life. I bring a girl who is healing from mental wounds, self-inflicted. I bring a girl who was lost in the world and who punished herself for it. I bring fear. But I bring courage, too. I bring a yearning and willingness to let go of the past. I bring a girl who has only begun to taste true freedom. I bring a girl who knows deep down that she is beautiful and worthy of the good in life. I bring persistence in my quest. I bring a girl who is resolved to never give up on herself again.
I bring intellect, thoughtfulness and insight. I bring a mind that has faith in a power outside myself and longs to be united with it. I bring a heart that continues to open. I bring a desire for peace, inside myself and out. I bring compassion.
On my mat, I am a student of life who is no longer reluctant. I am inquisitive. I ask for help when help is needed. I am a girl who is learning to release her pride. My mind and heart are sponges. I am a leader too. I bring a dream of helping others like me to find peace. I bring a message to everyone so they may know they deserve peace.
I express myself with the suppleness that comes from youth and am grateful for the opportunity to grow and mature. I begin to express myself without fear. I learn to stay true to myself. I bring awe inspired by the beauty of life. I bring appreciation for my fellow yogis and yoginis. I relish in the energy we create.
And I try with my whole being to bring mindfulness to my mat. To live in this moment and to know that this moment is perfect. I bring the gentle reminder that there is no fight to survive. Everything is as it should be in this very moment and so everything is perfect. I bring an inner light that glows brighter the longer I practice and reaches out to the world.
When I come to my mat and I sit down, I imagine myself as a child sitting down for story time. I am the Earth’s child, eager to hear Her story and beside myself with joy to learn that I, that we, are Her story.
When I am on my mat, and I am in this place in me, and you are in this place in you, we are one. When I come to my mat, I cease to exist as an individual and I am home.
So there was that. I’m separating that from this bottom bit because the top part was really for my YJ Blog, but I thought I’d share it here too.
In other news… You ought to have seen the look on my mom’s face when I asked her if we could all go to Midnight Mass tonight. It’s very un-me to want to do anything related to organized religion, but as I was driving in from Evansville and I was listening to one of my favorite religious Christmas songs (“Mary’s Boychild,” if you cared to know…), I got a nudge from outside myself to attend Midnight Mass. In my quest to reach the Energy outside of myself, I understood from this sudden urge that if I keep my heart open to it, this is the right place for me to be tonight. Where better to go to honor peace and love in this world? Maybe Catholicism has ceased to be the way for me, but I feel on this Christmas eve that there is a phenomenal energy buzzing through the land and I need to be there for it.