“Who you are on your mat is who you are OFF your mat.”
Can I get an “UCH! YASSSSSSS!” from my fellow yogis who have heard or preached this in class before?!?
Of course we show up to our mats with different moods, needs, and intentions depending on the day, but it’s safe to say that my practice generally entails aiming for “perfect” alignment, judging the teacher’s style and music, and anxiety about how other yogis are moving unsafely through their practice.
I know: THEN WHY GO?!?!
Because after 18 years of practicing & 5 years of teaching, I’ve come pretty close to mastering BECOMING A WITNESS to these thoughts. I catch myself, laugh it off WITHOUT judgement, and bring the focus back to what’s happening within.
That’s what the beauty of yoga is for me: an open-ended invitation to stay in my own lane while external factors continuously trigger old stories that date back way beyond 18 years of practice.
But for shits and gigs and because it’s much more fun to judge than talk about being a semi-evolved yogi, let’s go back to my irritation with the girl to my right in a class I took this week.
Man, was she in a RUSH-– undulating from planks through chatarungas to upward dogs, and it was stressing. me. out.
I wanted to nudge her and say: THOSE ARE THREE SEPARATE POSES!!
Furthermore, I wanted to yell at the teacher for being disconnected to her students’ disconnection to their practice.
Ya know, cuz clearly I was SO connected while I got in everyone else’s lanes–or mats, if you will.
But I fought the urges and did what I just bragged about being “so good at” above– I became a witness to my irritation and consciously chose to move extra slow, bringing the focus back to me.
Post class, it got me thinking about how triggered I was, to the point that I let it affect the precious hour to myself, doing one of the things I love most.
Thanks to my devoted study and commitment to Byron Katie’s The Work, I knew my irritation had WAY MORE TO DO WITH SOMETHING I WASN’T OWNING ABOUT MYSELF, vs a stranger next to me I’ll never see again.
So I took an honest inventory of areas in my own life that I rush at:
Eating. Drinking. Driving. Showering. Washing dishes. Talking. Walking. Make-up application. Folding laundry. Making my bed. Brushing my hair.
To name a few…
And then I thought, “Well why is rushing such a bad thing?!”
I am a New Yawka after awl, and it’s just what we do!
But as I tried to justify all the rushing, my deepest knowing self–beneath the layers of stories, judgements, and arguments– acknowledged the constriction in my stomach, and I recognized that my rushing was causing me to miss out on the beauty and simplicity of presence.
The beauty and simplicity of experiencing synchronization with my breath and my body that I’ve given the most amount of love to for the first time in thirty-six years, over the last month. (contact me to learn more!)
The beauty and simplicity of watching the guac dissolve off my dish under warm running water millions of people on the planet would kill to experience.
The beauty and simplicity of staying behind Grandma in traffic without honking or eye-rolling because one day that’s gonna be me.
Who you are on your mat is who you are off your mat.
My physical yoga practice may be conscious, steady, and strong, which is why my deepest knowing self says “you’re going” when my head says I “should” go to Barry’s Bootcamp five times a week.
But my mental practice of staying in the moment without jumping from judgement to planning to frustration, is a continued work in progress, both on the mat and off.
I’m not sure if that’s something I think I’ll ever fully master, nor do I feel pressure to, but I guess the moral of the blog is:
There is no feckin’ rush. Slow the F down.
Gotta run. I’m late.
Happy Claire Your Mind Monday.
PS: I’m squeezing in TWO more slots to coach with me on the weekends! WHO’S IN??
What’s YOUR rush? Is it necessary? Does it help you? Who are YOU on your mat and off? Comments and questions below!