My pretty, thick, dark purple, Manduka yoga mat was a gift from Doc B when I joined the Mysore bandwagon, or peace train, whichever you prefer. The ratty, thin, light lavender, no-brand-name mat I’d been using for the prior four years wasn’t going to cut it. The rat mat worked wonderfully well in the carpeted studios I’d been frequenting once a week or so, but now I was moving up to hardwoods and a daily practice. I’d need a mat that would stand up to both. At first, it was like parting with my childhood blankie; we’d been through so much together: partner yoga with grunting man, blindfolded yoga, having an instructor chastise me for not bringing a white towel and then later telling me “do not fear the camel”, learning how to actually relax in savasana versus staring at the ceiling fans, numerous wardrobe malfunctions and ultimately doing my first headstand.
But you know what? Doc B was right, as usual, to get me the new mat. It was like a rite of passage and it marks a milestone in my practice. Not that my prior yoga experience was anything to joke about (well, yoga with grunting man and blindfolded yoga are kinda funny), but a daily practice is something completely different. I stopped all other exercise cold turkey so that I could focus on learning the postures. My new mat has been getting a workout, just like me, ever since.
Just for fun, here are some non-yoga uses for your mat:
- The Manduka mat is a hefty seven pounds so roll it up and do some bicep curls or overhead presses,
- Hopefully people clean their mats frequently but those who don’t should consider donating their old mats to the CDC to use as MRSA experiments – they’re essentially rolled up Petri dishes anyway,
- Remove the rifle from your truck’s gun rack and place your yoga mat there instead – you won’t need a peace sign bumper sticker and I’ll bet you’ll get lots of chuckles too,
- Cut up old mats to make koozies and coasters for your beer, or better yet,
- Use it like I did in the above photo to keep my just-filled beer growler from tipping over during the truck ride home.
Time to hit the sack so that I can hit the mat!