I started practising Yoga in 2013. On the carpet in my living room. With a DVD. I got myself a “real” Yoga mat a few months later. A green one with a white lotus at the top of the mat, right in front of my feet where the big toes touched before entering into surya namaskar (sun salutation).
I found myself on this mat almost every day. Practising with the same DVD for half a year. Almost every time, when I explored one particular asana, tears were rolling down my cheeks. Why, I got to know years later. It was because those hip opener positions have a great capacity to unlock hidden and well stored experiences. Those tears were the manifestation of my body letting go of those emotions. I grew on this mat, day by day. I challenged myself in many moments and sweat dropped down my forehead, right next to the lotus were it became one with the green mat. Every day, my hands and feet connected with my Yoga mat – and left something behind. Traces of joy. Traces of sadness. Traces of vulnerability. Sometimes I found myself on the mat early morning when I couldn‘t sleep, practising in half trance mode and going back to sleep afterwards. The mat got filled up. With memories which got released during my practice. With growing devotion and the ability to surrender towards life. She was filled not only with physical strength, but also with increasing mental power. Sometimes I was stuck, not moving forward. But then getting rewarded few days later with a bigger, more unexpected advancement within the practice of Yoga. I fell, and I learned to laugh about myself. I succeeded, and learned to be proud of myself. I learned to feel and to listen to my body, to trust my inner intuition. I received messages and wisdom, being blessed by gods and goddesses.
My Yoga mat is my sacred space. The space in which I am connected with myself. My place to hide. My place where I also show myself to others when I teach, and show myself to myself when I practise. The space where I am me. The place where I feel completely safe and protected. My Yoga mat became my temple. The temple where I worship and learn about myself. The temple where the divine within me shows itself. I space where I am one with myself and everything around me.
I step on my Yoga mat every day, with respect and awareness. I try not to step on other people‘s mats, like those from my students and yogini-sisters. And if I do, I step on it with respect and honoring their space. Every mat carries its own energy which we can recognise by being aware of it. Honor your Yoga mat! Enter this space with respect and devotion. Because your Yoga mat gives you this unique space which just belongs to you.