The mat is a wonderful place to practice life. It is more than a metaphor, it’s a dress rehearsal. You are put in stressful situations, asked to do things that might be uncomfortable by someone with apparent authority over you all the while being surrounded by strangers that are being asked to do the same thing. You can apply that sentence to all kinds of life situations, right?
We bring to those situations fear, doubt, worry, and judgment. I can’t do the pose, who is that behind me staring at my fat roll, what if I hurt myself, I am better than that lady in the corner because she can’t do the pose right and I can ….. it goes on and on. It’s the same on or off the mat. Worried about this, judging that, afraid of something else.
We pretend that none of this bothers us, yet we are screaming on the inside. Then some guru tells us it’s all an illusion and to just “let go”, no worries, nothing can hurt us. Yeah right, we say silently, this guy doesn’t understand my life!
Enter yoga. Step on the mat and practice handling the stresses that we all have on the mat of life. For just one hour leave all your fears, doubts and worries at the door. Pledge to not judge anything or anyone for just one hour. Close your eyes if that helps, be in the moment, no fretting over what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
For that one hour just flow with the instructions that are given to you. Don’t question them, don’t think about why you are in warrior 2 for what seems like an eternity, just be in the moment and do it. You can’t fail a yoga class. You can’t even fall more than a couple of feet. Before you know it, you are in savasana, corpse pose. Quite literally you are practicing dying, final rest.
Then it’s all over. Some days it feels like it lasted 10 minutes and other days 10 hours. Sometimes it’s the sweetest time ever spent, other times it sucks. It doesn’t matter, you look around and see others that traveled with you in this practice round. Everyone did the same class, yet if you are open to it you realize everyone had a slightly different experience. Everyone’s perspective is a little different than yours. The bodies are different, the physical abilities are different, past experiences and baggage are different, yet we are all the same, finding our way through a yoga class as best we can. It’s the same on the mat of life.
Now take yoga off the mat. Before that big important meeting or stressful situation drop all your fears, worries and doubts. Drop them on the floor and walk away. Pledge not to judge anyone or anything. Just for that one time. Move forward with a fresh perspective knowing that those around you are also finding their way as best they can. By doing so you open yourself to infinite possibilities that do not exist within the walls of judgment. All is possible without the self-imposed limits that are created by your own fears, worries, and judgments. Why limit yourself? The power is yours alone.
You can’t fail at life. You can’t be hurt, not really. Now we are doing yoga!
Blair is the co-owner of Yoga Daily in Mt. Pleasant, SC. He is a certified yoga instructor, a recovering lawyer, and a spiritual student. The content of this blog is what Blair considers to be universal truths that span all dogma and religion and it is offered to you in Love and Light. Check out The Daily Yogi for additional blog entries. You can contact Blair at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yoga is but one path to the knowing that we are all one. Please take what resonates with you and leave the rest without judgment or offense.