There is the person I am on the yoga mat, and then there is the person I am off the yoga mat. On the mat, I am mindful and precise. Feeling each and every movement I make and each breath I take. This precision makes me feel strong and empowered. There is nothing I need to rush through physically, or check out of mentally, because each breath I take reminds me “I’ve got this”. The strength I feel on the mat is more than just muscle. It’s an inner knowing that I can handle what comes my way and everything is exactly as it should be. On the mat, I am a warrior goddess. My strong parts are bad ass, and my soft parts are feminine and beautiful. My body can stretch and hold itself into amazing shapes and I sometimes feel in awe of myself. When I’m on my mat, I feel joy. For no particular reason at all, there is an inner zest and feelings of connection – and in these moments it’s all good. During savasana, when I am on my mat, I am complete, whole and perfect.
When I am off my mat I am insecure. My strong parts aren’t strong enough and my soft parts are gross and fat – they need to be hidden! Day to day, I go through the motions and at times feel dull and often ask the question; is this all there is ? I feel unconnected as I rush through my day, working hard to make enough to pay the bills and then sleeping just to wake up and do it all over again. Then there are the times, that because of all of the above, I completely checkout. I zone out while binging on Netflix. I escape being in my body and my mind, because it isn’t a comfortable place to be. When I am off my mat, I feel alone. I don’t know who I can trust, who understands the real me and my struggles. When I’m far from my mat, I feel like I am in limbo – on the brink of living life but not quite there yet. Where is my perfect partner, house and white picket fence?
BUT….The time I spend on my mat teaches me that nothing is perfect, beautiful and amazing 100% of the time. Life is full of joy, sadness, yearning, fullness, dispair and bliss. The yoga is finding the place in the middle. Little by little, I start to realize that my feelings of loneliness and sadness will pass. I might feel the sun or the breeze and connect with simple bliss and be rescued from those feelings of drowning. The more I practice, the more that person on the mat makes her way into my everyday life. But the other person, who lives off the mat is valuable and worthy, too. I take them both, and in the middle, I find myself.