What the yoga mat taught me about ‘space’

The first time I walked into my yoga class, I stood at the threshold for a while. Not only was I reluctant, having just got back to exercise after maternity, but also for the fact that I had to settle for a yoga class and not something much more ‘excersizy’! Who doesn’t want instant results?!

On the other hand, it was a minute’s walk from my house and just a run away from the baby who could need me anytime (or perhaps it was the other way around). I let out a sigh and shifted weight in my legs, still deciding. A rush of people walked past me, a dozen of them to be exact. In that airy but little room! How could we possibly exercise in a room full of people? 

Just then, the yoga coach, a young, gentle girl welcomed me to my first class and asked me to lay out my mat and instructed everyone in the to sit at the center of it. 

I am a home exerciser, meaning I work out at home. I don’t enjoy going to the gym room or to the dancing classes and what have you. When people tell me they don’t have the time to work out, I always suggest exercising at home. Most of them have excuses or so I think – chores- family- reading- TV- time and space. Because, to me, taking care of one’s health is one of the most important things. Self care is not selfish, as they say, you cannot serve from an empty vessel. And if you make that twenty minutes to half hour, then it’s only about the space. 

In a lockdown you’d probably have to find that space at home. 

I have been exercising at home for long, but its only since I started to use the yoga mat, I have found my true space. This has given me the ability and flexibility to work out from anywhere and anytime. Now I don’t have to suffer the gyms, the crowd, that music and somehow having to look like you are going out

Here’s what the yoga mat taught me about space:

That’s all the space you need

So I, like others in the class, sat at the center of the mat, Vajrasanana. It was the day to do flow yoga. Everything you had to do, you had to do it with the resources you had – your breath, your mind and your body. And as the instructions went, we could do all the poses – be it tree-pose, mountain pose, snake pose, locusts, camel, bridge, cat, cow, warrior or happy baby – either at the edge of the mat, the other edge of the mat, center of the mat – everything – on the mat. 

After a while, you really didn’t think about how big or small the room was (and anyway you are too tied up in poses and in the mind and perhaps that’s the idea), all the space you needed was the size of the yoga mat. 

A few add-ons and you can do all that’s ‘exercizy’. To the mat, I have added dumbells, yoga brick and weight bar. To warm up spot running and aerobics work as well. Now all you need is just enough space to place the yoga mat, a stand for your phone for music and videos and you are on your way to be fit and healthy. Balcony for outdoors and room with AC for variation.

Generally speaking, life can be crowded. And often what we want is space. Believe me, you can fit your body, mind and soul in that mat and that’s all the space you actually need. Everything else, is a want.

 Stay safe and healthy!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ira Pradhan on LinkedinIra Pradhan on Twitter
Ira Pradhan
Ira is a Corporate Communications Leader with experience in Healthcare, Consumer Electronics, IT, Retail and the Automotive industry. She hails from the small and beautiful state of Sikkim and considers herself a complete Mountain Girl.

In a career spanning over a decade as a communications expert, she has championed and led programs on several sustainable business practices, diversity and inclusion programs.

She loves to read literature, and books on management and development in technology and economics. She mentors young women students & entrepreneurs in her home state, Sikkim.

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