I’m going to contradict the blog title, “off the mat” and you guessed it, talk about the mat…sort of
I’ve been reminiscing about the times when I didn’t have a mat, yet practiced asana. I practiced on concrete floors, stone walkways, rooftops, carpet, kitchen floors, and how could I forget the picturesque mountain where I reached nirvana (if you haven’t picked up on some sarcastic nature in the this blog thus far, here is your waving red flag) but the point being I didn’t allow limitations to the asana practice.
It was humbling.
I’ve been spending sometime learning and meditating on dharma. It’s defined in various avenues as the way things are or ones sense of concept. Yoga became a subject right when dharma became a subject. The first yoga sutra states, let’s us learn. Yoga is a subject, it can be taught. The concept of I learned to do this and so can you. This is what I’ve learned thus far.
I’ve learned that dharma as how we get our freedom. So when I find myself upset that I can’t make it or afford a studio class, I remind myself that the practice still exists.
Dharma to me is how we manage a crazy world. Perhaps practicing the asana on a non-rubber surface or outside a yoga studio tests our management of a crazy world. Are we willing to get uncomfortable? I experience fear that if I offer a class at my home that no one will come, either way the practice still exists.
Both dharma and yoga ask for deep connection. Are we willing to connect with ourselves, how we know things without photographic documentation? When the instayogi fad fades away, the practice still exists. When I grow tired of writing this blog, the practice still exists
I offer you a challenge…Practice asana off a mat, any surface will do and then ask yourself did the practice happen? Maybe it was rocky, uncomfortable, or interrupted – but did the practice exist?
One of the meditations in Meditations from the Mat speaks to acknowledging and accepting the light, what you feel – dharma. “Suffering comes from our own resistance to being who we are…the time for asking questions will be temporary”. “It’s the moment in our journey, when we let go of results and wholeheartedly embrace the process”. You and I are right where we need to be. It’s my dharma. It’s your dharma. It’s my meaning of yoga and it’s your meaning of yoga for this here and now.