This is a picture of my new yoga studio. You can’t see my whole mat because the room is just not large enough for me to get it all in. I’m standing at the wall, on my husband Rob’s clothes. At the other end is my suitcase, overflowing with clothes. On one side is the bed and the other is my dresser. I used to practice yoga in our attic space. It was a great, tucked away, quiet space with a hard wood floor. The roof was low and angled in such a way that I couldn’t raise my arms up over my head, but I really didn’t care much. How often do I really need to do that anyway?
But, now the attic is full of boxes that had been stored away. Our living room is also mostly full of boxes. And in the tiny space that remains are a very loving, cuddly dog, 9 month old baby, and a husband.
I stopped teaching yoga the week of Thanksgiving because we thought we were moving back to Illinois that weekend. Now more than a month has passed and we will be here for another 2 weeks, surrounded by all our stuff (which we apparently didn’t need). I could have kept teaching this whole time and really wish I would have. I have needed it. I miss the spiritual discipline that teaching yoga is for me. I miss thinking about what to teach, about the people who come and what they might be looking to be about. I miss listening to the news and trying to make some meaningful connections to what is happening in the world with what happens on the mat. I miss leading the practice and hearing people breath, move, and respond. I miss changing out of my same old dirty jeans and into my yoga pants. I miss the music that I played again and again. I miss the whole thing.
I read a little article from a yoga teacher (I have no idea where, sorry) who said “I practice for my students and teach for myself”. This is true for me. Getting to teach yoga inspires me to practice yoga. I am embarrassed to admit that when I’m not teaching, I forget. I forget to practice. I forget about my spirit, my body, my breath. And in the midst of taking care of our daughter, supporting my husband as he works out the details of a new job, and try to pack our house up and then not move; I forgot everything.
I had tried to lay out the yoga mat in the living room with my daughter in the exersaucer and me facing her (entertaining her!). This physically worked well but I was distracted by my daughter’s every laugh, cough, yawn, and toot. I had resigned myself to just not doing yoga at home. Soon I was such a crabby *%$#@! that my husband declared that I would go to my room and do yoga while he entertained our daughter. I have discovered that I don’t need much space. Actually, I like this space exactly because it is so tight that I feel tucked in and grounded. Much to my surprise having a small mirror in front of me as I practice (I can only see shoulders and up) helps me to stay focused on me and not get distracted by the many things laying around, outside of myself. My yoga mat feels like sacred space again, thank God.
I think I shall rename my yoga mat a “remember mat”, because it is where I remembered. I remembered how good it feels. I remembered that there is a spirit pushing it’s way through and around me. Most of all, I re-membered myself. It had been a while.
I hope that this blog will be a way for me to stay connected to my practice. I need it. Lord knows the world does not need another blog about someone who loves yoga. But, Lord knows that I need to stay connected and to remember. So, I will practice and remember. I don’t know how I didn’t see it all before… Yoga means to connect, hold together — and the word remember; bringing back together. Duh, it’s all right there. There it is. huh. I will practice remembering. amen