I didn’t come looking for anything when I came to yoga. I was just told to show up. What does that even mean? Just show up? It took me about a year and a half to understand that. Teachers would tell me, and the class, that nothing mattered as long as you showed up to your mat.
I’m not a competitive person, but the days where I feel my practice is at it’s best, I am the most proud. I have brought everything on to my mat. Bad days at work, bad news with friends, friends death, exhaustion, run down and burnt out. I have brought every form of myself, but my mat has never turned me away. My mat is one place that I don’t have to explain the emotions that show up. And that’s when I understood it. Just show up on your mat. The thoughts you were thinking, the stressors you were focused on, the laundry list you were creating – leave it behind and just show up. The emotions that you bring, that is your truest self. Regardless of what those feelings are. I have laid and cried on my mat after finding out the worst news of my best friends divorce. I remember laying in savasana with the most silent tears pouring out of my eyes. And my mat didn’t ask questions. It just accepted what showed up.
I’ve found that no two practices are the same. I have long narrow feet so balancing poses are sometimes extra difficult. Especially if I’m having a bad day balancing. I’m grateful that my mat is there on the bad days and doesn’t laugh. And on the good days I have room to celebrate.
I also have an extra vertebrae in my cervical spine, so back bends are amazing but camel is painful and tough. My mat accepts me fully, however I come. It’s incredible to know that on my worst days I can show up and be successful, fulfilled completely, as well as empowered.
Because of yoga, I am a more confident, happier and more beautiful person. I have found that the world is more beautiful, and what we surround ourselves with, is what we tend to become and reflect. My mat is a place where I can perform for myself. Where I can push myself to my limit, or just focus on my breath. It is a place for rest, and hard work. It’s a place to play what I have been practicing, and try what I’m scared of. It’s a place where falling isn’t frowned upon, and help is always accepted. Even better than that, the yoga studio provides the same things, along with a family of people who wants you to succeed as much as you do.
Whatever shows up is fine, as long as you do show up.