yoga mat


By Melody Lima


Several weeks ago, I practiced yoga without my mat.

I basically got down on the floor and moved from asana to asana with no reason or goal in mind. I was a bit too lazy to go upstairs and get my yoga mat, so I practiced without it.

I thought for a moment, of the consumerism of yoga mats and folks who cannot attain them due to finances, accessibility or in my case—desire.

When I completed my practice, I continued on with my day. However, on other days, when I am a bit too lazy to go upstairs and get my yoga mat, I do not practice without it. I simply do not practice asana. I become easily distracted by the day-to-day details of life and well, I skip practice.

The most difficult asana is unfolding the yoga mat.
~B.K.S. Iyengar

Okay so I am not alone, and maybe this is part of the path—my path.

I practice gratitude on a daily basis. I enjoy life with abundance: healthy family, comfortable means to provide for necessities (home, clothes, food, water, health insurance, etc.) and fun (vacations, entertainment, celebrations, restaurants, etc.), with access to many modes of comfort and choices. This includes many studios to practice in, yoga clothes to sweat in and yoga mats to step on.

But not all yoga practitioners have such comfort and choice and some of those folks are my students.

So I asked myself, “If yoga is for everybody, how can everybody unfold the yoga mat?”

Some of my students practice yoga in chairs or on a flat surface like a bed or the floor. Some of my students wander around the practice space barely stepping on their mats. Some of my students curl up in ball on bolsters and blankets searching for a peaceful breath. Some of my students sit on cushions or walk during meditation or pranayama practices.

And for some of my students, their yoga mats are their home.

Whether you unfold the yoga mat for your yoga practice or not, may it serve you with peace and love.



Photo: Werner Moser/Flickr

Editor: Dana Gornall