Sir Mix-A-Lot once uttered those great and powerful words (“Cause I’m long, and I’m strong, and I’m down to get the friction on!” – Baby Got Back). Not in relation to his yoga mat, per se, but I feel his wisdom transcends.
I have a few yoga mat principles and practices that I hold steady and dear:
- I bathe my yoga mat regularly. It likes to feel its freshest and its bestest.
- I never whip my yoga mat out onto the floor. People often look at me strangely in class, but I gently lay it down (hmmm…this is starting to sound like a Barry White song) and smooth it out.
- I don’t roll my mat up after practicing. I loosely fold it. I know it sounds odd, but this way, the dirty parts touch each other and the clean parts stay clean. When you roll your mat up, the dirty and the clean intermingle. Eww.
- I clothesline people who step on my mat. If you need clarification on that, just watch a little weekend football. Nobody disrespects me or my mat and lives to tell the tale.
- My mat rides in the back seat of my car. I’m its chauffeur. Driving Miss Matty.
On a serious tip, I feel like my mat soaks up so much of me — my challenges, my meditations, my practice, so many moments in my life. I am always so grateful when I look at it. And I always treat it with the utmost respect.
My friend Eileen named her mat Grace. Isn’t that beautiful? She says the name reminds her of her intention when she teaches: expanding the heart with love and opening up to the breath.
What is your relationship with your yoga mat? Do you have special practices or rituals related to it? Have you named yours? If not, what would you call it?