Take Your Practice Off The Mat

You hear it all the time in yoga class, “take your practice off the mat”, but what does that even mean? Does your teacher want you to do handstands everywhere you go? If that is what you want then go for it, but when you hear a teacher say “take your practice off the mat” or “take your practice with you” it means to take the intention and apply it to your daily life. Below is an example of how I try to take my practice off the mat. I say try because it is always easier said than done.

Example: Intention~ Let shit go! I set this intention often because it is so easy to get pissed off by little things that simply do not matter. I blame this on my Aries sign. 
On the mat: When we set out to let shit go on our mats we simply breath through annoying situations not letting frustration make its way into our practice.

  • That sweaty guy next to me who keeps dripping sweat on my mat… oh it’s your lucky day sir because I’m just going to wipe your sweat off my mat and let it go.
  • That moment when I cannot find my balance if my life depended on it…. a few deep breaths later and I don’t even get mad, maybe I even laugh it off.
  • Now I’m in a back bending pose which usually make my face frown but today I am going to smile, breath, and let it go!

Off the mat: Letting it go throughout your day is extra challenging. However, if you practice your intention often it will become second nature.

  • Casually walking out of yoga class with my intention to let shit go and …oh shit… I just dropped my IPhone and cracked the screen, but it is okay because material items will not burn down my intention.
  • I get ready for work and …OOPS I get my hot pink pitaya smoothie on my new white shirt, but no big deal I just change my shirt and move on.
  • After work I get stood up by one of my friends, but it’s okay I’m going give her the benefit of the doubt and LET IT GO.

See how easy it is? Just take your intention from your practice and apply it to real life. Enjoy the bliss!