Just show up. That's what they say...just show up on your mat. It's your safe haven. Your mat is your safety net, a security blanket in a way. It accepts you as you are - beautifully imperfect. Your mat holds you up, gives you traction, and if you have one of those fancy mat towels, it sops up the sweat, too.
Yoga is the ultimate gift to myself for self-care. It has gotten me through babies, widowhood, crazy, messy relationships, the ups-and-downs of being an entrepreneur, and just life in general. For me, yoga is my way to tap into the flow of life. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I cannot wait to be done, and sometimes my cat crashes on my mat and I have to completely change my routine in mid-pose. Yoga teaches you to be flexible on AND off the mat.
Sometime during the flow of the poses (and life) you stumble upon something that you didn't realize was there. The flow of the poses that moves your body, helps to move and release pent up and/or stuck emotional blocks. The issues are in your tissues. Breathe and release, let it go...let it flow.
So, the other day, I was in a hot yoga class at Lifetime Fitness. We just went through 40 minutes of yummy vinyasa flow and we were settling into forearm plank. Geoff, awesome instructor btw, begins to tell us a story as we hold this pose....
There once was a girl. As much as she was a good person, she was angry at everything and everyone except for her boyfriend. She was blind from birth and had always felt that she was missing out on all of the external beauty that she could not see. All she wanted to do was to see the world with her eyes. Her boyfriend was so in love with her and understood her pain. He asked her to marry him but she said no. She said she would not get married until she could see...One day, she got a call that there was a pair of donor eyes available for her. She had the operation and could finally see. The world was full of color and so very beautiful. Her boyfriend asked, "now that you can see, will you marry me?" The girl look at him and was shocked to see that her boyfriend was blind, too. She refused to marry him. The boyfriend walked away crying. Later, he wrote her a note, "just take care of my eyes, love."
Well, that just broke the dam of tears. To have someone love you that much they would give their own eyes for you? Lordy. That had awakened something inside of me. And I breathed and released, I let it go and I let if flow. And I felt safe on my yoga mat crying amongst 35 sweaty strangers. Because my mat is my sacred space that accepts me for who I am, as I am. And your mat does, too.
Just remember, it is okay to cry on your yoga mat. Your mat is a safe haven and a judgement free zone. Just show up and see what comes about.