I meet my yoga mat.
Those first few moments connecting with breath on my mat are filled with racing thoughts. My mind spins at 1,000,000 miles a minute with fleeting thoughts including: Did I hit send on that email? Am I missing any work-related deadlines this week? Do I have groceries to make dinner? Did Ken feed Lucy breakfast? Have I even washed this freakin mat since the last time I sweat all over it?!
It’s a lot. It can feel like a fast-moving tumbleweed growing larger and larger as it rolls on down the hill of life. But the beauty amidst the chaos is that we have the power to calm our minds down. So long as we let ourselves be humbled by grace. There are days when I hit poses like a pro and there are days when I audibly face plant into my mat (true story)! When I falter and lose my balance, I bring myself back to my breath and treat myself with grace. And it’s in those moments when I’m able to truly advance my practice by gaining a greater control over my mind. Taking a breath and letting my body follow suit.
And I’m not the only one who has taken to this amazing practice.
According to a study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, about 37 million Americans are practicing yoga in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012.
And while I still love lifting weights, it’s nice to leave my packed gym bag behind to hit my mat with a few essentials:
- My nonslip Lululemon hot yoga mat. Sadly this has been discontinued, but they have plenty of other options on their website!
- Water with BCAAs added in. I could drink my body weight in water during class!
- Towel. Because I sweat like a fat kid playing dodge ball.
That’s it! A few items and an open mind are all you need. If you haven’t tried yoga (and there are a TON of practices in varying levels of difficulties) why not give it a shot. And when your mind races and your thoughts wander, remember to get out of your mind and into your body.
The greatest gift yoga has given me is the ability to turn the outside world out and tune in with my innermost thoughts, hopes and desires. If you’re in need of a great workout – mind, body and spirit, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot. I hope you discover the beauty of being completely engaged in the present moment. It’s a blessing only we can give ourselves!