It may seem odd to write about the experiences gained from the yoga mat, but much can be gleaned from developing the foundations of the practice. Yoga is many things and understanding all elements will help your practice grow.
Developing Each Session
Yoga is a physical discipline. Each of the postures will challenge your body. You’ll find knots in muscles, stiffness, and inflexibility in areas you have not used for many years. Yoga will use every muscle and tone and promote health in all the organs. Once you step onto the mat, a unique union of mind, body, and spirit will connect within.
Grounding Through the Mat
The moment you start practicing, tune into the sensation of the mat beneath your feet. Separate your toes and spread them wide, feeling the connection of the mat as your toes touch down. Imagine roots spreading beyond your feet and down through the mat, grounding you. Straighten your posture, imagine a fine thread extending from the top of the head upwards, keeping your form in perfect alignment. Soften the knees, lengthen the thighs, lift up through the body. Your form is all-important. Remember this each time.
There is an expression, ‘the mat is your mirror.’ When you step onto the mat, it is about you and only you. Therefore, it’s essential to commit to the session fully and without reserve. Leave stress and anxiety behind. Also, leave any concerns about the postures behind. How far you can stretch does not matter. It is about your progression from this point. It is about your desire to improve, to extend beyond the physical.
Practicing yoga does not mean that life will automatically be good. Instead, it helps you to develop patience, an acceptance of what goes on beyond the mat. You will discover your practice is required even when you have feelings of disharmony within. Once on the mat, you strive for personal equilibrium.
The Space Inside
Yoga connects the mind, body, and spirit. It provides an internal space, a quiet mind, so to contemplate. It isn’t about feeling peaceful, happy, or constantly positive. When the yoga mat is laid out, you will tune into the moment and feel that inner space. In conclusion, when you step off the mat, you still retain the connection with it and look forward to your next session.