Dhanurasana (bow pose) is one of those poses that requires everything I’ve got in me: I have to be aware that my shins are squeezing to the midline; I have to attempt to get my upper body into a Cobra-like shape; and on top of all of that I have to lift my knees as high as I can while my thunder-thighs are adamantly refusing to defy gravity. Luckily, after Dhanurasana most teachers provide a brief respite from their asana sequence. And since I have to use up all of my fuel to try to mimic the weapon of The Hunger Games, I accept that respite gratefully. I lay one side of my cheeks onto my mat, close my eyes, and inhale deeply through my nose… and suddenly I’m not so grateful because all I can do is focus on the funk emanating from my yoga mat, instead of settling into the brief moment of repose I worked so hard for! All I can focus on is the synergetic funk of my feet, my teachers’ feet, and my classmates’ feet on my Private Idaho of a mat. Instead of resting, my mind is elsewhere thinking, “When’s the last time I cleaned my mat?!” I know, how unyoga.
So today, I just cleaned. I cleaned my house and my mat like Annette Bening cleans on Open House day (minus the crazy mantras). I didn’t go to any yoga class (which is rare for me these days). I just cleaned. And I must admit that today, I’ve done the most “yoga” I’ve done all week. No bending, twisting, or contorting required. Cleaning the shit off my floor and my mat was much more enlightening than learning any new pose would have been.
Sometimes we can gain the most from doing the littlest things. It seems counterintuitive because the standard paradigm typically dictates that we need to get more to benefit more: more poses, more clothes, more information, etc. But sometimes the most beneficial thing we can do is to take inventory of what we already have. Then we can clear out the unnecessary. Then we can see if more would be beneficial.
It’s easy to see a gain as a benefit because normally, when we want something, we do something to get it. But sometimes by doing less,
we can see more we can declutter the unnecessary so that our vision can fine-tune on the things that really would benefit us.
Cause the last thing we need in the studios are more funky mats.
-The Humble Warrior