I have no reason to be. It’s a perfectly good yoga mat. It does the job I need it to do. It provides a suitable surface for my yoga practice and cushions me when I am lying on the floor.
So why am I ashamed you might ask? Well I’m not really, until I have to take it out in public, as I did this weekend at the OM Yoga Show and I see all the other mats that are out there. Mine seems so inferior. The others have special grippy surfaces, lines which tell you where to place your feet, beautiful patterns and matching bags. Why oh why don’t I have a yoga mat that matches my yoga outfit? Everyone else seems to!
But here’s the truth. I don’t need all of that stuff. My mat is just fine. What my mat may lack in extra grippiness, I have to make up for by having a strong foundation in my hands and feet to ensure I don’t slip, irrespective of how sweaty I might get. Without lines to follow on my mat telling me where to place my hands and feet, I have to listen to the teacher’s cues of how to move and tune into my body to check that the alignment feels right.
As I schlepped around the exhibition this weekend with my rather grubby, somewhat old, missing an eyelet yoga mat, I was overwhelmed by just how much in the way of yoga accessories was available. I shouldn’t be. The yoga apparel market is booming. And I won’t lie, I’m as partial to a snazzy pair of yoga leggings as the next person (I just don’t care overly about my mat). And while there were people at the show in top to toe, beautiful yoga swag, I was delighted to see a lady next to me in one of the classes practicing in her jeans. Now while I wouldn’t recommend that on an ongoing basis (try lunging in a pair of jeans and you’ll soon see why), I loved the fact that she wasn’t letting the simple issue of clothes get in the way of her trying yoga! So essentially what I am saying is if you want all the yoga gear, great for for it! But if you’re not into that stuff or simply can’t afford it, don’t worry! All you really need to do yoga is you. The clothes and the mats are irrelevant.