It's not just a mat - it's so much more

Today was a completely uneventful day and I am so pleased with that. Considering I am someone who is normally ‘go, go, go’ - learning to stop and appreciate ‘my time’ is a real challenge. But with the intensity of the training here, there is nothing more wonderful than spending time relaxing at home. Of course, I have been non-stop studying however having the flexibility to stop and start throughout the day, rather than cramming information in during the short breaks each day, is a lovely change.

In preparation for my exam in week 4, I am planning the days and what to study when. Today I committed to learning Surya Namaskara in preparation for tomorrows class, learning the many chants we must know (in Sanskrit and English translation), reviewing the philosophy of yoga - in particular the Pancha Pranas, and reviewing guidelines for working with students. This doesn’t scratch the surface of work to be done however I feel I made significant progress today. This was achieved with the help of a hundred teas or so! (Loving my new heat cup!!!) No doubt I will be up all night going to the toilet. Oops.

I also chatted with Owen about the seven Chakras we must know and understand. This is all very new to me, so I feel a little behind the eight ball, but I know I will be ok in the end. As Owen said, it’s great that I’m learning this stuff from a true teacher of it, not some fad publication on the internet. My foundation (of knowledge) will be solid and far more accurate. So, although the challenge is immense right now, I know it will be to mine and my students benefit later on.

I spent time today cleaning my beautiful mat. Whilst doing so, I realised the care of something as simple as my mat can make all the difference to my practice - symbolically of course. Just as a karate student treasures the belts they earn, I treasure my mat the same way. Without sounding too off the planet, I feel a connectedness to it. It is on this mat where I am both physically and mentally challenged every day. It is here where I have moments of sheer bliss whilst on the flip side, have moments where I want to throw my mat out the window and run away to where it is safe. This is why my mat is important to me (and why it was important I selected my mat for myself, from a company whose ethics resonate with mine - Manduka). So today, whilst taking the time to appreciate and care for my mat, I couldn’t help but feel completely centered and comfortable with the choices I have made up until now. My mat brings me home. (May have lost you now…)

The past couple of days I have felt pain in my knees, which is not a good sign. I’m hoping today’s rest may have helped to rectify this. Clearly I’ve gotten a little too excited and tried pushing myself into a posture which has been a little too demanding. Typical Jessica - rushing and forgetting to stop and listen to my body. Hmmm. Note to self.

Tonight I will continue to read and relax before an early night to bed. My 4.00am alarm will be going off soon enough, so I want to make sure I get a good nights rest before the next week begins. We’ve been warned the pressure is increasing so I want to be ready. Bring it on!!

Goodnight.

Namaste xx


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