Mystical Island or Just a Floor?

EDY Blog LogoAs I’ve been cleaning house, I found an email from Amy saying that she had finished her floor!  Of course, she told me this in June and I’m only now saying something about it.  I did mention my former title as Procrastination King, didn’t I?

As some of you will remember, I was having issues with practicing on shag carpet—don’t do it—and decided to build myself a portable practice floor.  As I mentioned in Space and Time, I had seen instructors practicing on sandy beaches using plywood planks, why not hinge the plywood for easier transport and have an easily portable yoga practice floor?  A portable practice floor is available for purchase at around $250 but for much less than that I could make my own, which I did.  It turns out that Amy went on the same searching journey that I did and when she saw my own portable yoga floor, she decided to make her own as well!  Here’s what she had to say:

19 Feb 2008
A warm hello,
I have been searching around on the internet for a way to practice yoga on carpet. Of course I came across a site selling portable yoga floors for $250. So, I said to myself, “$250?? Whaaaattt?? I don’t think so.” Shortly thereafter, I came across your site and read about how you built your own yoga floor. It is very beautiful. Nice work! I am inspired to build my own portable yoga floor. My brother has agreed to help me and we are wondering what sort of hinge you used. Could you tell us about it or even send a picture? Your input would be so appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time….and thank you for your site!


3 Jun 2008
I’ve been meaning to take these pictures and send them to you….but I’m easily distracted and forgetful. Finally, I’m getting them to you and I’m excited for you to see them because you were such an inspiration and such a help!!

So, here it is- my completed Yoga floor! Not as lovely as yours….I had a hard time cutting out the handles so they are a kind of rough shape, but I’m really happy with it. And in the process I spent quality time with my brother and learned how to use power tools!!….a power drill, band saw, and a sander. All in all, quite the learning experience. You’ll see I added a simple feminine touch in the corners. At any rate, I’m quite content with it and I thank you once again for all of your help!
Amy's floor
Flowers detail on Amy's floor

23 Sep 2008
The yoga floor is working out wonderfully…’s like my own tiny island…a simple sanctuary for just myself and my yoga! Thanks again for all of your help! Hope you are well.



Amy, thank you for sharing your pictures and experience!  I love the flowing shapes the grain makes and the rough shaped hand holds only help to make it a truly personal space.  Congratulations on finishing your floor!  I still remember the time I spent making my own with great fondness.

OMThe yoga floor is working out wonderfully…’s like my own tiny island…a simple sanctuary for just myself and my yoga!  I love that sentence!  A simple sanctuary for just myself and my yoga, I have talked about sacred spaces before but allow me to touch on them again.  I truly believe that places, spaces, take on a certain quality based upon the nature of the events that happen in those spaces.  While living as a missionary in East Germany in 1990, I went to one of Buchenwald’s under-camps:  Langenstein-Zwieberge.  Three fourths of the people sent to this camp died there, the life expectancy of the prisoners being about six weeks.  It was a beautiful October day, cool but not cold with a soft autumn sun rising to warm the morning and bathe the green fields, dark pine trees and the rolling tops of the Zwieberge in its cheery glow.  We had been through the little museum, visited the memorials and were walking through the trees when it hit us—there were four of us together—we were miles from anywhere and yet were in the middle of silence, not the peaceful silence of a nature walk but absolute silence:  No birds, no squirrels, no bugs even.  Had we been out in the large flats there, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it but we were among dense pine trees.  It was as if all of nature continued to mourn the horrors that had been wrought there.  I am sure that anyone having visited such a site will recognize the feeling.

Other spaces evoke more pleasant feelings.  When I enter a chapel or temple, I feel peace and a loving connection to the Savior and to Heavenly Father.  Unlike Zwieberge, chapels and temples are consecrated and dedicated to the Lord and yet, for very different reasons, they are all very sacred places.  What about my Yoga practice space or, even more transitory, a portable yoga floor?  On a personal level, I believe that such spaces can become just as sacred depending upon our own practice.  If my asana practice is more like a martial arts practice or aerobics workout, then my practice space will take on those qualities and when I enter that space, my body and spirit will react accordingly.  If my practice is more meditative then my practice space will reflect that and, again, my body and spirit will react accordingly when I enter that space.  This is true of any space we enter.  The nature of the activities that thake place in that space linger after we leave, even if only in our minds, and will return when we do.  Amy’s experience is sure evidence of it.  Is it all just in our minds though?  Possibly, the mind is a marvelous thing.  My own experiences at Langenstein-Zwieberge, in chapels and temples, and other more personal experiences tell me that while some of it may indeed be just in my head, most of it is not.