Take the what off the mat?
It is very likely that throughout your experience of attending different type of Yoga classes, you would have heard the instructor saying to their students at the end of the session to “Take your Practice Off the Mat”.
And you wondered then “what are they talking about?”, “What do they mean?”, or “how do I do that?”
It’s not until I dwelt into a search for deeper understanding that I found the answers. So today I’ll share with you my interpretation of this saying.
Simply start by questioning the reasons why you are being attracted to Yoga.
Why do you go to yoga classes? What are you looking for? What are you expecting from it? How do you want to feel?
Are you attracted by the idea of making time for yourself, is it for health reasons, are you hoping to bring more movement to your everyday, or is there simply a need to disconnect, to take a break from the routine?
When you have a better idea of your personal expectations behind your yoga practice, you can try to apply that in your everyday life.
If having a “me-time” is your personal goal, you could allow yourself a few minutes to take some deep breath in the day, plan some quiet time in the evening for a bath, or go out and treat yourself with a full hour massage from your favorite RMT (by the way, I know a very good one here in Toronto, so send me a message if you want his contact details)
If feeling and being healthier is your purpose, you could align healthy habits to other aspects of your life such as nutrition, your social connections and relationships, any products you use in the house or on your (and your family) body. Think non toxic
If your interest lie in the physical aspect of the yoga practice, you could bring more activity in your everyday by choosing to climb up the stairs instead of using the lifts or escalators, walk more or pick up and carry your kid rather than using a baby pusher for example.
Finally, to continue with the examples I brainstormed above, you may be looking forward to disconnect and break from your routine. Can you take a moment, take a step back and observe your day? You might notice that you are constantly running from one task to another. In that case, it may be a good idea to set aside some moments throughout a day to pause and breathe.
You got it, the main idea to remember is to be mindful.
By bringing this mindfulness in all aspects of your life, from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, you will “take your practice off the mat”.