Musings from the Mat

This week was fulfilling, amazing and deeeeeeep. The arrival of a brand new nephew catalyzed a swift packing up of girls, the dog and my yoga mat and then a not-so-swift car ride across the prairies to meet the newest member of the family.

The new baby was everything he should be; shaky and small- little enough to curl into a sweet fetal ball when gingerly lifted and adored. He smelled like an angel and he was perfect.

musings from the mat

 Between visits with the proud parents, Canada day parades and cousin playdates I was gifted with three opportunities to attend yoga classes that I didn’t have to lead myself. Doing yoga that someone else is teaching  is a rare occurrence in my world.  I am the only yoga provider in my small town which means that attending someone else’s class is a rare and coveted opportunity. Three classes in one week was unprecedented!

My breath slowed as my throat constricted into the rhythmic ujjai breathing that regulates the flow between poses. My blanket steadily received the cleansing sweat, which dropped from the tip of my nose as I rinsed my way through vinyasas. All ego disappeared as I took breaks in child’s pose and fell over in half moon. There’s no such thing as perfect and I couldn’t help repeating a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as I moved (and yes, struggled) my way through each practice.

musings from the mat2

Rich Veruca Salt,  spoiled Augustus Gloop, brainiac Mike Teevee, over achieving Violet Beaureguarde and poor Charlie Bucket meet Willy Wonka for the first time when the five golden ticket winners arrive at the world famous candy factory for a globally coveted tour of the mysterious manufacturer. The first four kids  believe that they have every right to be at the factory- a fact that Willy Wonka points out with sarcastic disconnect. But Charlie Bucket isn’t anything special, he isn’t rich or gifted or award-winning. In fact, he is just the opposite; poor, unassuming and humble. Each of the first four kids do their best to impress Willy Wonka who seems to see right through their rehearsed antics and forced nuances. When he finally observes Charlie however, he greets him by saying, “and you? Why, you’re just lucky to be here.” Nothing special about Charlie. He just is.

For years that is what I’ve tried to cultivate on my mat. I just am. Nothing special- nothing the prove- just grateful for the opportunity to practice. And that sentiment was what made me smile this week during eagle pose and bound triangle. When you drop your ego and let go of pretence you can truly appreciate being on your mat, the wisdom of your teachers and the connection between the part of yourself that is the same piece of light and love that resides in everyone else in the room- in the city- in the country- in the world.

Roald Dahl is a genius, Roham Pahlavan is a wonderful yoga teacher and my family are saints for looking after my children while I practiced. Thank you all for sharing your light.

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