Shanti Shanti Frustration: On Yoga & Gratitude

Hannah Hart Beat

I lost my yoga mat last week. My mom and I had just arrived at Grand Central Station after riding Metro North from Southeast station. It was raining and snowing at the same time and we stood on 42nd street without umbrellas for ten minutes trying desperately to hail a taxi. When we finally ducked into a free cab we were soaking wet and I remembered all the reasons I hated living in New York. When we arrived at the hotel where we would be spending the night before our five am flight the next morning I cursed the city again when our cab driver didn’t get out of the car to help me wrestle our suitcases from the trunk of his cab.

In my frenzy to get to shelter I left my mat there, laying in the trunk of the rusted, piss smelling cab and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my mistake. I cursed the city(again), the cab driver, the rain, my forgetfulness, and the universe in general. I’ve had that mat for five years. When I moved to Brooklyn I borrowed my mothers mat and when I started going to a few Yoga to the People classes in Williamsburg I left the mat there so I didn’t have to cart it back and forth on my bike (#classicbrooklyn). I’m almost one hundred percent sure that my mother’s mat that I originally left there was eventually switched out for another mat. They were both purple okay, Hart Beat! I just grabbed the closest purple mat! Regardless I’ve had that purple mat for a while and I loved it. I don’t even know what brand it was but I do know that it was extra long and squishy and forgiving on my inflexible muscles and bones.

Flash to 2018 the mat has followed me in a semi yoga revolution. over the summer I started a daily yoga practice (learn more here). Four-year-ago Hannah is cringing at that sentence but it’s true. In true me form something that I swore countless times I hated viscerally has become one of the best things to come out of leaving the city last year. Since I moved back home to the Berkshires to commit to writing this G.D. book I’ve found that this area is a mecca for yoga. The Kripalu Center is less than three miles from where I live and some of the best yoga instructors in the world are only five minutes away. I’m addicted. I go to yoga every day and when I miss a class I feel genuinely sad, like part of me is missing.

Enter my frustration at losing that purple mat. The next morning while waiting in the Delta check-in line I took the only shot I had and sent the NYC TLC an email claiming a lost item, pleading them to send it back to me if they found it. They didn’t find it. Undeterred I practiced yoga the entire week on vacation on a pile of towels and extra hotel blankets. It wasn’t horrible but it’s not something I’d recommend when you’re trying to perch in crow.

When I got back to the Berkshires this week I walked myself into the Kripalu store and bought a new mat—a different mat. It’s green, thin and, flexible, kind of like me now and I realize now that it’s a good thing I lost my mat. I love my new mat. And so instead of cursing that taxi driver and New York and the universe, I’m grateful. When I step onto the vaguely plastic smelling mat I smile and breath deeper into my down dog.

———

This is the first post in what I hope is a series on yoga and my feelings toward it. The G.D. book’s first draft is done so instead of writing new words every day I’m editing words already written. Half of the words in the manuscript are wrong but I try to remind myself that that means half are right. Talk to you soon Hart Beat, and until then, Shanti Shanti Namaste. (Excuse me while I go chill in extended child’s pose and think about how four-year-ago-Hannah just threw up a little in her mouth.)

Top picture is of my new green Jade Yoga mat. I can’t recommend them enough, Hart Beat.

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