My yoga mat is a magic carpet. It takes me to places I didn't know existed within and around me.
And I cherish it.
Which is why, when people step on it like it's just a piece of rubber, it upsets me.
My mat is my temple. My mat is my connection to Source. My mat has held all the feelings that I am sometimes afraid to feel. Through my movement and my intention and my energy, my mat allows me to explore the growing edges of myself in a way that feels attainable.
This rectangular outline is my safe haven. And, when it's treated as nothing special but a piece of rubber on the floor, I feel that someone is trampling on my faith.
One time, an ex (who was a boyfriend at the time) picked up my mat and kind of threw it across the way, because he thought he was joking.
It was not funny.
In that moment, I felt like he was flinging my feelings to the side, disregarding them in much the same way he eventually approached the end of our relationship.
I know that most people don't think a yoga mat is a big deal, because they're bought and sold as readily as the paper cups that hold our coffee or tea in the morning.
So, people will step on my mat as they make their way across the floor to another part of my home, or when strangers move about a studio, but these four corners that I've placed on the ground are what help to preserve my sanity and my soul at times.
I want to tell these people that my mat is important. I want to use my voice and say, "Hey, can you not do that again?"
But, up until now, I haven't done so, because I've been aiming to protect their feelings or avoid offending anyone, which means that in the process, I am sacrificing my own expressions of self.
Little things like this — and I have always noticed the little things — mean the world to me, so bringing awareness to my mat is a wonderful exercise in being conscious and conscientious for myself and those around me.
Here, I'll practice.
Please don't step on my mat. Please treat it with respect. It's an extension of me, like my arms or my legs, and while it may not make sense to you, if you'll honor my request, I promise to do my best to respect your beliefs and your objects of treasure, which I believe, includes your heart just like my mat includes mine.