Sometime in the past few months I lost my yoga mat. I used to keep it in the back of JJ’s vehicle because we would swap when I went to a class, but it has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully I have a gracious and generous yoga teacher who allows borrowing, however it means I have nothing to use when I actually get myself to a place of practicing at home.

I noticed the last time I moved myself into a sequence of positions that I tended to move all about the room. I would start centered so as not to kick the couch or a child, but the next thing I knew I came closer to the TV or brushed my arm against the ceiling fan. Recently I worked through some Sun Salutations in my hotel room and I’m convinced I shimmied my way backward at least 5 feet.

I can  be doing a very similar structure of movements, my body the same length and my steps similar in nature, yet when working without a foamy rectangle beneath my feet, my yoga tends to take on a waltz-like quality.

Image: Celeste Lindell via CC 20

Image: Celeste Lindell via CC 2.0

As my yoga teacher has taught me, what is true on the mat is likely true off the mat. The practice simply mirrors the soul.

I need visible guidelines in my life to keep my rhythms and practices effective. When I have a mat to center me, I can move freely. Remove those edges and my mind takes up the work of wondering where I am in time and space. Where is that chair again? Will my big toe crash into the footstool if I fully extend? A mat, a home base, frees me to fully be fully present in each and every position.

In my life, my morning times and a consistent schedule serve as a mat. With those underfoot I feel free to enjoy the motions of the day. When away, when tired, when crowded – I loose sight of where I am. Summertime reveals the depth of this truth.

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