My Red Yoga Mat
Tara Carpenter, NC., CPES.
Originally published on July 15, 2015.
Like a loved teddy bear, my red yoga mat has been with me through thick ‘n thin since I was 20 and taught myself how to do each yoga posture with a little book written by Richard Hittleman.
This was before my children were born and my career had taken off; when the days were seamless, and I went where the wind blew …. one of those places was Esalen in Big Sur; where my love for yoga deepened into the easy practice I continue to this day.
Since those carefree days, I have moved 12 times, been a single mom twice, married, divorced, and married again. I have birthed 2 beautiful boys and lost a baby girl so small she fit in my hand. I have built a loving home and career I love. I have found my niche in life 🙂
When I roll out my mat, I breathe in deeply and fall onto its plushness. I let my body stretch in whatever way I go. Other times I follow a video. No matter which way I begin, the end result is the same, a whole centered ME.
I did yoga through my 1st pregnancy …. the photo below was taken by my mother the day before he was born. Once my belly button resumed a slightly normal position, I rolled out my mat, put my new baby next to me on a blanket, and thus began ‘mama yoga’. As my baby got older and started to crawl, he wandered the room quietly while I was upward and downward on my mat; he never crawled on my mat as if he knew this was my place. To this day he is calm and quiet when I roll out my mat.
As a single mom, I worked 60+ hour weeks for years straight and woke early to do yoga. My calm! When I became pregnant again, I was even more sick with hyperemesis gravidarum and rolled up my mat for 2 years. When I got back on, I felt like an old car starting up after a long time sitting still in the driveway. Thank God!!
Yoga is my sanity, my freedom. There is nowhere else on earth, except the ocean, where I feel more at home, most myself, and this is why I find myself on my red yoga mat time after time.
Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of a peaceful mind. ~Yoga Sutra
May all bellies be happy!