There is a place that I go to everyday, rain or shine, sick or well. It is a place where I find comfort and solace, and a place where I would like to think that I am able to tap into my true nature. My yoga mat is a source of peace for me, a place where moving meditation occurs and my body opens to the grace of the universe and the possibilities of the day that lies ahead.
People ask me all the time what I find to be special about yoga, why I have been practicing for as many years as I have, and I don’t have a clear answer. All that I know is that on my mat I dance with the divine in a powerful way. On my mat I allow myself to be as open as is possible, and I tap into the energy of the universe in hopes of finding my place in this life. For me, it is prayer in motion.
Yoga can be a practice in a beautiful studio with many others. It can be done in solitude on the sands of the beach, on top of a mountain in winter, or while sitting home on a Friday evening. The beauty of yoga is that it can be done anywhere, anytime.
As a mother of three children, my yoga practice, my mat, serves as my place to regain my center. I enjoy waking before my family to a quiet house and spending time listening to nothing more than my own heart beating. It reminds me that my journey through this life is my own, no matter how blessed I have been to share it with others. That reminder is what keeps propelling me forward to forge my own path, to be not only a mother and a wife, a daughter and a sister, but a woman in full form.
For me, yoga is the link between mind and body, breath and movement, light and dark. As I stand on my mat and take a deep breath in, my arms raise over my head. The release of my arms is linked to the release of my breath, and so the dance begins. I often wonder what my days would look like if each of my movements were linked in such a way. I can imagine how much slower I would walk, write, cook, speak, and live.
That is the goal of yoga, in my mind. To teach us that everything in this life is linked. We are all connected, and to stop and savor life is important, but it is not enough. We must link to one another, to the earth, to everything in order to live fully.
Today, no matter if it is 5 minutes or 50 minutes, I will come to my mat. I will take a deep breath and find the awareness in my center, and begin. It is as simple as that. From there I let the dance take me where it wants to go, where I ultimately need it to go.
Then I step off the mat, into life, and the real dance begins.
Heather Fontenot, co-editor and publisher of Rhythm of The Home, lives with her family on the Front Range of Northern Colorado. As a writer, doula, and yoga teacher, Heather has a passion for natural and creative living, and spends as much of her time outdoors as possible. She loves to knit, sew, garden, photograph, read and cook for her three sweet little ones. She writes the blog Shivaya Naturals, where she chronicles her life as a mother, artist, and gluten-free baker. Heather’s first book, Naturally Fun Parties for Kids will be released in March of 2012.