my yoga mat { long, strong, + down to get the friction on }

- - Inspiration

green yoga mat

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:

  1. I bathe my yoga mat regularly. It likes to feel its freshest and its bestest.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

14 Comments to my yoga mat { long, strong, + down to get the friction on }

  1. Hello dear!
    Funny, I washed my blue mat this weekend, I know this will be the one I will spend my YTT weekends on, so I cleaned and prepped it up for next weekend :-)

    I never whip it out onto the floor either, I have this weird feeling that it might get hurt (? – I know…)
    And just like you, I fold it in half, only then I roll it up, so the “dirty” side doesn’t touch the “clean” side.

    “Clothesline”? I’ve learned a new word in English today, thanks :-) I understand what you mean though, yoga pet peeve: people stepping on my mat. Then again, I have an extremist view on personal space in general.

    Haven’t named my yoga mats yet, greeting them with “hello you” when I unroll them is enough for the time being :-D

  2. My mat is ABUSED. Totally. It is constantly in my Jeep. It is dirty. Students don’t really realize that walking on my mat makes me cringe. They do it all the time. This is my teaching mat. You can see where my tadasana feet are.

    My home mat gets salt scrubs and is carefully rolled and under my bed. Sometimes it is unrolled and next to my bed…a little yoga first and last things in my day.

  3. I keep mine rolled loosely by the wall. If it gets funky I spray it with some method all-purpose. I never thought about naming it. That could be fun.
    P.S.Love B.W. reference- he was very underrated. peace.

  4. I love this! I haven’t named my mats. But like you, I always have one in my car. This weekend I did a photo shoot that involved us yogis placing our mats on a goose-poop strewn pond shore. One, I had no idea how big goose poop is. And two, after using my friend’s mat (the photographer made us swap because our tops matched each others’ mats better) and smelling how clean her was, I realized I don’t bathe mine nearly enough. Plus I had to get that poop off. So she got a bath this weekend. Thanks for the reminder. Our mats are an extension of us, and they deserve to be honored and respected — and bathed. :-)

  5. Hmmmm, I have not named my mat, which is odd for me, since I named my car Glinda (because she’s a good witch, not a bad witch).

    I will have to think on this. :D

  6. Mine is deep blue, which I’d like to think reminds me to stay calm & compassionate! I actually have only had it for a month or so (my old one was made of PVC and really slippery!) but it’s been great so far! :)

    For some reason, one of my favorite parts about yoga class is rolling up my mat and putting away props at the very end. Something about the care that goes into making it perfectly aligned, putting everything back in its place, leaving the studio as I found it…makes me feel good :)

  7. I think of my Yoga mat as a good friend. Not to long ago I posted on Facebook that I took my Yoga mat outside for the first time and did Yoga on my porch underneath of a beautiful blue sky and that after I was done it felt like I’d just sat down and had a fantastic lunch with a good friend and after feeling full of love and warmth and goodness, just like when leaving that lunch with a good friend you think, “We have to come back here sometime.”
    When I see my Yoga mat I think of acceptance and friendliness, gentleness and even rest (as I have fallen asleep on it a few times, too). When I was hurt it was Yoga that restored my strength. I haven’t named my mat because it is whatever I need it to be. Sometimes it’s peace. Sometimes it’s strength. Sometimes it’s acceptance. Sometimes it’s rest but to name it would confine it, I feel. Whatever it is, it’s always my friend. A tough one, sometimes, but a friend nonetheless.

  8. Hey Lo, what brand yoga mat do you have? Looking to getting a new one, any suggestions? Thank you!