Getting To The Mat

There are 365 days to get to my yoga mat each year.  Like the earth, my mat has substance.  It is always there for me. Just like the earth, it waits patiently for my attention, appreciation, and presence. How ironic then that it is in the subtle realm of my mind that I experience the densest barrier to my consistent visitation and practice.

Over the years I’ve come to consider that mastery in yoga isn’t the degree of difficulty of executing a pose, although there are elements of disciplined practice required for that.  No, a truer mastery expresses in navigating the mind’s block that occupies the space between my mat and I.   There have been days when that space appears an insurmountable block full of attitudes and excuses, of insufficient energy and time.  On those days  I miss the gift of yoga in my life. 

My mastery begins with the realization that on those days I am out of yoga, out of integrity, out of balance.  My commitment is weak, my will soft, and my union absent. Good news quickly follows however when I allow awareness to penetrate.  It is the miraculous moment when my mind shifts and dissolves the illusory barrier in a breath’s time. Conscious awareness expands as I inhale. Breath’s inspiration clears my mind as its exhale activates my body; I move to the mat where other miracles await.

The mat has no demands.  Its entire existence is in service to my greatest health and well being. The story in my mind about how I need to be on the mat, what I need to do – lacks truth.  The mat neither applauds my practice nor judges my sequence.  It actually resembles the earth in offering a place to come, to be held and supported, to explore, discover and surrender. On the mat, I become a moment of yogic union – a tranquil mind and body in the presence of my spirit’s connection to what my guru, Yogiraj Alan Finger, founder of ISHTA Yoga, refers to as the unbound field of potential.

May this sharing of experience inspire you to your mat where you may glimpse a miraculous moment of your truth:  the universe is incomplete without you.