Buying a Mat

Slick-Yoga-MatThe perennial question came up at the end of practice this morning:  What kind of mat should I buy and where?  Mats are rather personal things, they often define our space when we practice and are even sometimes seen as status symbols.  Isn’t it odd that a tool we use to practice Yoga, Union, can so easily also be used as a tool to create separation?  This post, however, is not about the philosophy of Yoga mats.  It is about finding a good mat for your practice.

 


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A Peaceful Sadness

One week ago this morning, my grandmother died and I wept.  Tonight was her viewing and, at times, I shook with tears as I held family in my arms.  I was told, “Be joyful, this isn’t a time to be sad.”  Another said, “This isn’t like you.”  Before I go on, I am so thankful to them, they gave me their very best when they saw me with tears streaming down my face.  I could never ask for more.


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Images of You

Jesus ChristI have been thinking about that one word, image, for quite some time.  When I woke up this morning, the image in my head was quite profound and more demanding of me than any I have seen in a long time.


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What Is Yoga?

om-set-1Yesterday I wrote

Yoga is union.  That is the doctoral thesis of this whole practice.  If you master those three words, “Yoga is union,” then there is no more.

What is yoga then?  What is union?  I also wrote that there is an ultimate reason to practice yoga, what is that?


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Why do you practice Yoga?Every day, yoga grows more and more popular.  Currently there are an estimated 20.7 million people who practice yoga in the US alone.  Were you to ask any one of them why they practice, you would see some definite themes but you would also get a unique twist on those themes.  The best part is that you would quickly realize that there is really no one right reason for practicing yoga.  At the same time, you might realize that while there is no one right reason for practicing, there is a subtle yet distinct progression in the practice.


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Music has always played an important role in my life. kirtan_instruments_018_SMALL8b5e95The first song I can remember, if only vaguely, is the German version of Away in a Cradle. That song continued to figure large in my life as I sang each of my children to sleep with it.


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200312947-001You may not know this but Yoga saved my life.  For years I lived with severe bouts of depression, I am not sure when they first began but I do know that the accompanying thoughts of suicide began before I was 8 years old.  Over the years, those thoughts turned to plans and those plans eventually turned to action.  Thankfully, those actions taken long ago and in a far away country were thwarted.  Still, I struggled for years and suicide was often on my agenda.


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