The comfort of my mat

We returned from a two week trip to Japan on Saturday. In a jet lagged daze, I went for my violin lesson yesterday, and reported this to my teacher: I didn’t practice. I was really sick, then my dog died, and then we went to Japan. And then I burst into tears. She hugged me. And truthfully, despite the tears and jet lag, despite not practicing, I knew that deep inside that I was grateful. Grateful to be there for my lesson, and grateful for the many blessings in my life.

I am nourished by routine and consistency. Honestly, I don’t like surprises much. Call me a party pooper (husband does). I understand and appreciate the need for novelty, but if I had to choose, I’d swing the balance in favor of routine. My yoga (and violin) practice are part of that comfort. Coming to the mat is a slice of calm in a chaotic world – we always have some surprises there, but can overall expect to feel very safe on our 24″ x 68″ space.

My yoga practice and my routine were disrupted by travel and life these last few weeks. If you visit a place like Japan, it’s pretty hard to say, “I must go practice yoga now” when there is so much to see and do (not to mention, the size of our hotel rooms wouldn’t allow for a mat). As we visited Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan, I felt that became my practice. It certainly evoked some of the same feelings of peace that I find through yoga. I was reminded that even when I’m not officially practicing, the practice is always with me.

And as I come to my mat today, I reflect on the many happenings between practices. The comfort of my mat gives me the courage to cope with the more challenging surprises. I am grateful. Namaste.