Yoga Without A Mat: A How To Guide
Featuring Two Guest Posts from Kathryn Hudson and Alaha Ahrar.
The great thing about this week’s post is it doesn’t cost you a thing. You get to save your money and be at peace. The good news is contentment and the sense of tranquility that comes with increased awareness and wisdom – is only a click away.
“After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ~Aldous Huxley
The first action in practicing yoga without a mat is, (re)discover music. No mat or yoga toys required, all that is needed is a piece of music that inspires you. In the lyrical words of Jeff Tweedy in his latest tune with Mavis Staples, “open up this is a raid, I wanna get it through to you, you’re not alone.”
Last weekend I gave a short concert at the North Carolina Seafood Festival. It featured some of the best musicians in the area, including a backup gospel choir. We all shared some amazing songs with the enthusiastic audience during the 90 minute set.
One fan in the audience wrote me afterward, asking if she could use my name in her blog. Her being a novelist, I was enthusiastic to read her post, and I quickly obliged after reading her words.
What she wrote about was her epiphany that arose from attending my concert. You do not need a mat to do yoga. My concert had been the yoga (aka healing) she needed for the day. According to Kathryn, my performance lifted her up to another place, to a higher level of awareness.
Her experience is exactly why I believe that music, perhaps, has a more profound capacity to heal than all the decades of my training & practice in physical therapy, medicine, yoga, Pilates, and Ayurveda combined. The spoken, written, and sung word hold untapped potential for healing.
“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” ~ Ion Plato
The second step to practicing yoga without a mat is, embrace the written word. The birthday of the great Afghan poet, Rumi, was celebrated last month. Rumi’s work transcends the ages, and as the Indigo Girls wrote in their song Virginia Woolf, here’s (a young person) on a kind of telephone line through time, and the voice at the other end comes like a long, lost friend…and so I know I’m alright.”
Rumi brings us a pertinent, timely message as applicable today as it was in the 8th century. His work has been studied and promoted by those of all spiritual backgrounds. The post of a dear friend, Alaha Ahrar, a young Afghan poet and woman whose courage should inspire all women, is one I would like to share with you. Alaha’s Post, is uplifting, coming from a very brave woman who writes in spite of the danger and violence that women in her country suffer.
In Review: Practicing Yoga Without A Mat
Researching music which works for you – is free. Pandora, an internet radio station that has been a big source of my musical research, is a great place to peruse endless songs and all genres of music.
Alaha’s Rumi Post
You may want to go out and buy a book of poetry for inspiration; however, the internet and the library are both great resources to help you determine WHAT and WHO inspires you. A good place to start, for those of all belief systems, is Rumi.
To learn more about my work, go here.
*The photo was taken while I was “yogaing” at Stonehenge, in June 2010, on a road trip across the UK with my husband.