Lessons From The Mat: The Time I (Briefly) Appeared To Have It All Together…

Lessons From The Mat: The Time I (Briefly) Appeared To Have It All Together

“I’m intimidated!”

These words greeted me from the back of the room as I rolled out my mat. I was finally returning to the studio after months away during the onset of COVID-19. The class was limited to five students, all appropriately spaced apart, and the teacher was adjusting the laptop to stream the class online. I was near the front because the back spaces were already occupied by earlier arrivals.

To tell the truth, I was amazed that I even made it to the class on time. My youngest daughter had just left within the hour to return to college out of state, and I thought a yoga class would calm my mind as I worried about her transition back to campus.

I threw on the first top I saw in my closet that was long enough to cover my quarantine-enhanced torso during the deep stretching class. I couldn’t find my usual water bottle, so I grabbed the aqua one my daughter had left behind on the counter (adding worrying about her hydration to my monkey mind). The backseat of my car contained a variety of props from an outside class I had led a couple of nights before that I had meant to remove and clean. I snagged two blocks and a strap from the top of the pile as I rushed into the studio in a less than Zen-like manner.

“Excuse me?” I responded, truly not understanding the comment and if it was even meant for me.

“All of your props match each other, your top, and even your water bottle!” the woman from the far corner called out. A couple behind me nodded in agreement. I laughed, “If you saw me at home you’d never come to that conclusion!” Yet, I smiled inwardly; I didn’t realize or even mean to match the items.

Then to inadvertently prove my point, I unfurled my royal blue and black striped yoga blanket only to send dirt and pine straw flying everywhere. Laughing even harder, a real guffaw at the perfect timing, “See!” I exclaimed. Everyone in the studio giggled and visibly relaxed; it feels good to see another’s foibles. I scurried out the front door of the studio to shake out my mat and blanket while the teacher and another student graciously wiped up the mess on the gleaming hardwood floor. I appreciated the camaraderie – all too rare in this socially distant pandemic world. I like to think I brought not only comic relief but an uplifting energy to the practice we shared that morning.

Have you experienced a moment like this? Who are you in the story – the one who is intimidated, convinced someone else is more together? The one who accidentally (or intentionally) comes across as gliding through life effortlessly when she’s a mess just like anyone else behind the scenes? Can you laugh at yourself no matter who you are, knowing we’re all human?


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Melanie Stewart


I’ve been an avid yogi for 20 years. I finally obtained my RYT200 certificate in 2020 to share my love…

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