I love the feeling of practicing yoga in a yoga studio, but over time, I’ve learned to adapt and can practice almost anyplace.
I used to have a much larger home and after I started practicing yoga, I purchased this beautiful rug (on e-bay) that was hand woven by the Kurds in Afghanistan. The dominant color is red and the pattern screams prayer rug, but I’ve never seen one quite like it. It measures 6′ x 11′ and it fit perfectly at the foot of the bed at my old place, which had a gigantic bedroom. This rug became my sacred space. The place where I put my yoga mat down, the place where I meditated, the place where I did hundreds of sun salutations, the place where I cried and seached for the truth. I even slept on that rug several nights after our bed moved out. Right now, that rug graces our front room as our bedroom here is so small I can stretch my foot out from under the covers and touch the dresser with my toes with ease.
In this house I’ve put my mat down in the hallway, in the dining room as well as the front room. I long to have a studio built here as the space above our garage is nothing but a flat roof, but who knows when that will happen. Until then, I make do. Now that winter is here, practicing outdoors is not an option. I loved the summertime early in the mornings when I could unroll my mat on the deck, or take it way down back to the old kitchen flooring that our son has deemed a discus throwing spot. Mosquitos or not, I was out there.
I’ve made a few little places here where I keep special things. Things like this for instance. A bowl with fish tank gravel for holding incense adorned with rocks from special far away places sits on a shelf in the hall outside the bathroom.
In our bedroom is a tall cabinet that Frank added extra shelves to so I could stack up my many pairs of yoga pants and other class attire. On top of this cabinet rests all of this.
A chime bowl I purchased with a gift card. A tea set I got at Silver Dollar City as a child. A little Yoda that’s missing his staff, but still has his snake. I’ve had him forever. I know. You’re totally wanting to break into my house now aren’t you? A green rock gem stone and a small jar of clear crystals from India. A dancing Shiva that also serves as a holder for earrings on occasion. A little Chinese mudman. I’d love to have more of these, but they’re hard to find. A red Chinese tassle given to me by a student who travels often. Two small red buddhas that were gifts from friends, an egg shaped kaliedescope and my name written in Chinese calligraphy are all packed onto this small cabinet top. I open this cabinet every day. I walk by it as I breeze in and out of our bedroom. I love these tiny things and they all hold a story.
I’ve discovered that there is no perfect place for anything. There will always be something in the way, or some sort of distraction. For instance. The studio downtown is in a basement. There’s no windows and when the clothing store above us opens, we hear the sounds of clickity clackity shoes. Instead of being annoyed, I’m thankful that I’m down below, practicing yoga with bare feet. Another space I go to has a fitness center in the unit next door. When they open, we hear the low thumping of music. Another space I go to is on a busy street and sometimes, we can hear traffic noise. At the YMCA, we hear basketballs, voices loud and soft, traffic and sirens on the street.
When I moved to this smaller space I asked myself two questions.
Where would I throw down my yoga mat?
Where is my sacred space?
It’s wherever I unroll my mat.