I had a wake-up call Sunday morning in my yoga class. I have been practicing yoga on the same mat for the past 2 years and have come to the realization that we have a toxic relationship. So it with a heavy heart that I am officially breaking up with my yoga mat. He will be fine (yes, my yoga mat is male). I know what you are thinking. How did our relationship become so complicated and harmful? After all, he is just a simple yoga mat? Let me explain.
Before you continue reading please see the picture of my ex-mat. I know… he is a cutie.
Looking back, our relationship started off great as I was instantly attracted to his appearance (always a red flag). As you can see from his picture, he has brilliantly painted straight orange lines both length-wise and width-wise of his body. Very sexy. I found this feature very attractive when we first started our relationship but it has now become the basis of our breakup. I used to love how his lines would guide me and correct my positioning. I used to love that he was overly critical of my foot placement in warrior 2, pyramid pose, ect. Coming from a Pilates background where form is EVERYTHING I was instantly drawn to his ability to perfect my poses and keep my attention on my foot and hand placement, not to mention how he would make sure I was directly centered. But even with all his “help” he constantly dished out during my practice, I now realize that I was selling myself short of really practicing yoga.
Yes- I am saying “it is not you it’s me” to my mat. I don’t want or need to be perfect anymore. In reality, is there really any such thing as the perfect yoga pose?? I want to practice and experience yoga leading and listening to my heart and free of my perfectionistic mat. I want to spring back from forward fold into chataranga without worrying if my feet are perfectly lined up. I want to step into my warrior 2 without checking to see if my feet are perfectly placed along his striking orange lines. I want the joy and freedom to be the perfectly imperfect me and to do this, I need to end my toxic relationship with my mat. It is time to start practicing yoga (and my life…yes this post is a metaphor) listening to my heart and not my head. And don’t worry about my ex-mat. It was a good run and I am sure he will get over it one day.