One of the nicest parts about being back home in SF was going to my storage space and finding my old yoga mat. Those of you who have a regular yoga practice are familiar with the attachment one can have with their mat, an ironic thought as part of yoga deals with non-attachment. Generally when one starts practicing yogasana they won't buy a mat but will use what the gym or studio has. When they get more involved the first mat will be bought, the standard cheaper generic foam yoga mat that you see everywhere. As the practice progress and one gets deeper involved they will usually upgrade to a premium mat.
When I moved to San Francisco in the winter of 2007, my parents bought a Chanukah gift for me of a new Manduka mat, bag and towel package. I had wanted a Manduka for a while, since trying a friends out. However, they were expensive. Thankfully I have good parents and as the New Year rolled around I started my Manduka experience. The thing with Manduka mats is that they are truly transformative yoga mats. A little heavier than the generic mat but made from recycled rubber and earth conscious materials, they last. This was a problem I was having with my mats before, they wouldn't last. I'd tear through them around 3 months in. It was annoying and getting costly, but my Manduka didn't have this problem. In fact flash forward almost 5 years later and my mat is still in near impeccable shape.
I had poured so many hours into my mat, so much progress, regress, happy times, sad times, transformative times. Whenever I had an issue in the "outside" world I could come home to my apartment, roll out my mat and either do my asana practice or just sit and meditate there. It provided a firm and safe place for me. I poured copious amounts of energy into that mat, and it always supported me and gave back to my body and soul.
This is why I was so happy to come to my storage place and reconnect with my mat, because in a way it was reconnecting with a part myself.
Manduka has made a newer style of mat that is a little lighter and wider and so I recently purchased this as my wide chest appreciates a wider base to spread out and the lighter weight makes it easier to travel with. I've lent my old mat to my former yoga partner and good friend, Steven, who was using another popular brand of mats but also found himself tearing through them every few months. Part of yoga is also non-hoarding, so why should the mat sit in storage when other people can experience the joy and happiness that something that seems so trivial can bring. For me, my Manduka improved both my yoga practice and me. I hope to bring and share this improvement with others. After all it's the little steps that we take that make the whole big picture a better place.
While I miss my old mat, I'm absolutely loving my wider mat and how this is also transforming my practice and me. If you're interested in learning more about these mats, or want to talk more about how to get out of the rut and take your yogasana practice to the next plateau, please contact me.