I’ll be honest: I didn’t make it on the mat yesterday. And it wasn’t for a “good” reason – no major injuries or sicknesses kept me contained to a bed and away from my practice, just a full day containing chores, pleasure, sunshine, and travel. A day containing so much of that joyful fullness that it is hard to encapsulate it in just one memory. Should I paint our gentle start to the morning, sitting on the backstoop with a cup of coffee in hand and discussing green things we’d like to plant and grow this summer? Our adventure in Berkeley, featuring a stop at a favorite breakfast joint with the NY Times in hand, a trip to REI for the members’ discount, or the time spent collecting paper and envelopes for wedding invitations with a terrifically helpful associate in Paper-Source? Slathering on sunscreen and donning hats to take our dogs on a walk at the Bushy Peak Regional Park? Finding the right screw, after nearly a year and a half of postponing that trip to Home Depot, and collaborating on getting my tire rack on my bike? (Finally, I can pedal to work with my new pannier!) Smelling green and earth as we shelled fresh English peas, delightfully found at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market? Crafting a pantry dinner out of fresh peas, marscapone, dill, and farfalle while we drink beer and talk through the upcoming week? Or, finally, the simple delight found in being present and active in my tiny family?
My time on my mat is just that – my time. Though it keeps me sane and strong, it is also a very self-centered practice that tracks and moderates my evolution as a person. I can’t grow solely there, though. Aspects like trust, zest for life, conversations and reflections, and love, while cultivated on the mat, also need time in the light of community and family. Yesterday was a full day, full of me and, simultaneously, full of us. And I’m ok if my yoga challenge takes a day off for that kind of growth.