Saturday, September 7, 2013

Practice | Carrying a Yoga Mat

In the past week I have been carrying along my yoga mat, which has been my constant and sometimes only companion since when I left New York and landed in Australia on March 12. Yoga practice has been a solace and reference point throughout these months of uncertainty, isolation and marginalization. I practice a short vyniasa sequence, a surya namaskar (sun salutation) which includes a sirsasana (headstand) in the morning, as soon as I wake up. And I repeat the same sequence in the evening, before dinner. My yoga practice usually happens in my room 16ft x 7ft where I also sleep, eat, research, read, design, draw, listen to music and communicate with people in my life across the ocean.
The past week has been one of the toughest, in the roller-coaster of my academic and personal journey and I decided to carry my practice outside, wherever the day was taking me. Although I practiced outdoor only once, during a warm spring announcing day, carrying the yoga mat has provided a sense of safety from my feeling of vulnerability, becoming the Linus blanket du jour. Although a yoga practice does not require a mat, this physical object has it own value and its presence makes me feel less vulnerable. A yoga mat —or whatever space occupying object— represents a potential to occupy a mobile space with your identity, a visible marker of a temporary occupied territory, even if the location moves: it becomes a metaphor of "being in the world" a liaison/interface between body and earth. And it is also a way to affirm diversity, especially in a place where yoga is definitely not a mainstream practice as in in my home town. 
I am truly looking forward to next week: hopefully spring will be coming to stay!