Why I love my yoga mat and my imaginary friend Harry.
As I sit on my yoga mat I know that soon as I close my eyes that is it time to breathe. I naturally begin to lengthen the inhale and exhale and I feel my body beginning to soften and relax. I believe that this now a habit for my body. To sit upon my yoga mat begins the intention of coming back to me, to my breath and to sit in this body of mine and just be. I know that this is my time. My time to be in my seat and let everything in the world around me to continue but for sixty or seventy minutes it is really all about me.
It took me a VERY long time to get to this point. My brain goes on and on, I have many other things to do, worry about, and stories that feed into another. Now, my physical understands this first. It is now my happy place which is there for me whenever I need it. After a nervous breakdown eight years ago, or what we yogi's call "break though"I began to listen to my body more than my mind.
My mind was not a reliable friend but my physical body became that friend to me. That is where I came up with my very own yoga quote, "Yoga is the fastest way to find that friend within." This quote came to me because this is what it did. It was a transformation of hatred for everything about me to this new world of learning to love who I was and how I looked. I wish we could sell it in a bottle! Preferable a wine bottle.
Now I share this with anyone who will come to yoga and practice with me! I love teaching. I do admit, I am terrible at sanskrit and I do get my left and right mixed up quite often and do not even expect me mirroring you. I find mentally that is not how my brain functions and guess what? I learned that it is ok!
Yoga students leave the yoga practice I teah. and say things like; "thank you for the lovely class." Or " that was a beautiful practice." I beam with pride because as a child I was terrified of talking in front of people or let alone being in a room of strangers expecting anything from me.
My Mum told me that when I was a child I had an imaginary friend. " What was her name?" I asked assuming it would be a girl because I two older brothers. My brothers were ok, Jon was kind and gentle and Dave mostly was disappointed that I was not a big sister when Mum and Dad brought me home from the hospital. He said, " thats a baby not a sister!" He was completely pissed off about this until I was about 33. My Mum said she didn't really remember if she had a name.
"What did we do together? I bet that must of been a pain in the ass having an extra imaginary friend in the house?" Mum laughed and told me that my imaginary friend really only showed up at family functions, my birthday parties or any dinner function with more than just our family at the table.
"I was such a little weirdo." I said to my mum. She grinned. "What?" I said feeling a bit on the defensive side. "Well.' Mum paused. "You told me when you were around seven years old that you really didn't have an imaginary friend." She was now laughing with her infectious laugh. I especially love it when she snorts because then you know she thinks it is really funny. "I told you that I didn't really have an imaginary friend named Harry?" Mum looked at me with one eyebrow up amused. " I think he should be called Harry, because of Prince Harry." I said. “ Poor Harry he is so misunderstood.”
Mom finally told me the honest truth which actually explains a lot about my personality and that I actually was not a little wierdo but a very intelligent but somewhat anxious child.
"You told me you said you had an imaginary friend... named Harry." she pauses and looks at me to show me she noticed I had named him as a fourty-five year old women. " You just didn't want anyone sitting by you!" Now she laughed with a snort.
”I set the table with a place-set for Harry on as your insisted, but the whole time you just wanted the space beside your empty. "Hmmm I kind of still do that. " I say. "It really sucks that most functions have round tables now."
With this story which may of gone on a little longer than necessary, I realized that I have had anxiety for most of my life and that I need time to have space. No wonder I fell in love with yoga. I have my own little mat that is just for me and it provides the perfect amount of space! Maybe I could start putting Harry on a yoga mat beside me at a really busy yoga class?
Check out the Back to Basics Vinyasa Flow here: https://www.tummee.com/yoga-sequence/fuO1g