Recently, I became keenly aware that my red yoga mat was getting past its prime. You’re probably thinking that a hot yoga mat used as often as mine would become pungent, but it wasn’t really the smell as I clean it regularly. It was still doing a decent job to keep me from going into a full split when I stepped into Warrior 1. But it had lost some of its luster and the edges had become worn. The bright ones in the basket for sale at Epic Yoga had been beckoning me for awhile. I was waiting for the right shade of blue, and last week, it finally arrived. So I bought myself a Christmas gift.
It would be perfectly logical that I would tear off the tag and roll out my mat the next day, but I couldn’t. In fact, I let the new mat ride around with me for a full week. Every now and then I’d look at it through my rear view mirror sitting on my backseat winking its brilliant blueness at me. The truth was that I was a more than a little sentimental about my old mat. My first mats didn’t work for hot yoga, and I invested into my red one when I realized the transformational power of my yoga practice. That red mat had caught me when I face planted for what seemed 1000 times in my attempt to get into crow. It rooted me to the ground as I wavered and wobbled in my balance poses. It celebrated with me when I finally opened my heart in chapasana. But most importantly, it caught an ocean of tears in half-pigeon as I let go of resentment, regret, and the fear of facing a future as a young widow and single parent. My heart is full of gratitude for a piece of rubber.
I finally rolled out my new mat for practice on Monday. It took me awhile, but I realized that there are poses to master, and I need extra support if I’m ever going to get a solid handstand. I have some personal challenges looming in the coming months, and I’m going to need my yoga to relieve the stress and quiet my mind as I prepare for a move in the summer. There are new tears to be shed in half pigeon as college acceptances continue to arrive for my Lauren, and I figure out my new normal with an empty nest. There are celebratory tree poses ahead as I have discovered that it’s not only possible to find love again in my late 40’s, but it’s downright amazing. My new mat will serve me well, but no way am I getting rid of my old red mat.
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