What Brings You to Your Yoga Mat?

In honor of International Day of Yoga, we asked our teachers what brings them to their yoga mat. In a word: Connection.

"My 2'x 5' magic carpet brings me home to myself. It reminds me to pause, notice, and breathe. It allows me to remember that we are all divinely connected in love and joy." ~ Sarah Beston

"I go to my yoga mat to reconnect with myself. It's my safe place. I clear my mind, move my energy, and find presence and acceptance." ~ Maria Villella

"Yoga brings me into a more loving, conscious, and honest relationship with myself and others. These days as a new Mom, I get on my mat out of sheer desperation to feel better -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Whether I'm flowing or still, Yoga brings me home to Self -- awakening a quality of awareness that helps me feel more centered, spacious, and connected." ~ Alana Mitnick

"CONNECTION. The Sanskrit word "Avidya" is often translated as "Ignorance" or "Illusion". Edwin Bryant's translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali takes it one step further and describes it as the illusion that we are separate: from God, from each other, from all beings, from the Universe." ~ Ali Cramer

"It is so easy to lose ourselves in the world around us and end up feeling disconnected. Yoga is an opportunity to pause, to turn my attention inside and be present with my body, mind, and Self. Then, when I turn my attention back to the outside, I perceive it all with more clarity, compassion, and a sense of inner resilience." ~ Birgitte Kristen

"Stepping into my yoga practice, whether it's on my mat or not, feels like getting back to nature and coming home to myself all at the same time. It is the opportunity to reset and update both the internal software and the external hardware, which helps me move closer towards being my best self. This deep feeling of connection with myself and nature fills me up. This ultimately spills over into connection and service with my family, friends, and community. This brings me JOY." ~ Shelley Williams

I always feel better! It's a Judgment free zone — meaning yoga accepts me as I am, when my mind is all over the place, making up things that haven't happened or feeling stressed about 'life stuff.' Yoga has a special way of showing me what actually is happening — breath, sensation, present experience, I then begin to settle, feel more relaxed and grounded, safe, and am reminded that everything is going to be ok. Speaking on behalf of my body: I go to the yoga mat because of the real and undeniable healing and longevity benefits yoga has provided all these years. I heal faster from little nagging injuries, the morning aches and pains are literally gone after a 15-minute yoga session. I'm so grateful for these tools. Companionship/Relationship, time to reflect, contemplate, and to see myself as I am. It's not always easy, but well worth it." ~ Robert Sidoti

"I go to the mat to have some retreat time from my day and to check in with my heart. The practice of Yoga always steers me back on course, especially when I get too wrapped up in the highs and lows of life and it grounds me with a sense of purpose." ~ Wade Gotwals

"These days, I come to the mat to get grounded and clear my mind while doing something awesome for my body." ~ Melina Meza

"What brings me to my mat is the desire to love myself. In practice I get to be present with myself in stillness and play. I get to experience my patterns and explore ways to enhance or diversify them to feel anew. My time on my mat allows me to better understand how my nervous system responds, and I always leave my mat more available, present, and tender with the world." ~ Lydia Zamorano

Share with us in the comments what brings you to your mat!


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