The Secret Life of My Yoga Mat

You know how some people name their cars?

Yesterday, I decided to name my yoga mat.

I figured we see enough of each other, we should be on a first-name basis.

That way, instead of the pressure of “practicing yoga,” I can just spend some time with my mat, you know?

And no, its name is not Matt.

My mat is female.

I hope it’s female.

Anyway, I’d never thought to ask her name until now, and I could scarcely believe the response. It’s Greta.

My yoga mat’s name is Greta.

I know. I know. I’m a little disappointed, too. I thought her name would be something sublime; something in Sanskrit, maybe, but …Greta?

Seriously?

Hey, I don’t make the news; I just report it.

At first it made me think of the Swiss Miss instant cocoa girl. The one in the bar maiden’s dress? Then I thought of Greta Garbo, of course –who was Swedish– and her famous line,

“I VANT TO BE ALONE!”

And then I realized.

Maybe Greta is a very good name for my yoga mat, after all.

Practicing yoga is my time to disengage from the outside world and revisit my old home –my very, very old home– where everything is just as I left it. The soil of my soul is fertilized by good association. But growth for me occurs, often, in solitude.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I recently changed my Gravitar, the little photo or symbol which accompanies one’s comments and tweets and identifies a person throughout the internet.

Had you noticed?

I was looking for a symbol that would better coordinate with the antique photo on my Twitter profile page. It’s a portrait of two Indian nautch (dancing) girls, who are sitting together, cheek-to-cheek.

I love this photo because, to me, it reminds me of our connectedness to each other and to everything. Yoga.

So I went with a simple pearl, as both girls are wearing pearly necklaces.

It just looked nice to me.

Later, I realized that a pearl is formed around a grain of sand when it gets lodged in an oyster. I was struck by how the pearl is a fitting metaphor for how wisdom often develops from pain or discomfort. Living.

Then I remembered how, in Vedic (Indian) astrology, the pearl corresponds to the moon. Astrologers will often prescribe wearing a pearl for soothing the mind.

Finally, a favorite Sanskrit shloka arose from my cellular memory, wherein Sri Krishna says:

mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung upon a thread.

Pearl it is, then.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Maybe Greta means something, I wondered.

I was trying to console myself. Am I the only person with a Scandinavian starlet for a yoga mat? Maybe Greta comes from the same root as grateful.

No, I discovered, it does not.

In three languages, the name Greta means pearl.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Inspired by Havi Brooks‘s eco-friendly Playground, I’m thinking that Greta the mat might be reincarnated as a rug of some kind in her next life.

What about you? Does your mat have a name? Or might another inanimate object be your personal friend?

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8 Responses to The Secret Life of My Yoga Mat

  1. Rupa!

    I love the synchronicity described in this post – that pearl sure holds some meaning for you, huh? Also meant to say when I first saw it – I love your new Gravatar! I especially like how the white square surrounding the pearl is invisible on white backrounds (such as on Twitter). It please me aesthetically!

    Love to you,
    Reba x

    • Dasi says:

      Thanks, Reebs! Glad you liked it. Yes, that tenacious pearl..
      I do like how it sorta floats there in the Twitter timeline, too.

      As you say-
      Adorations. xo

  2. My yoga mat does not have a name (at least not yet), but I am going to talk to her tomorrow and ask about her name. I’m pretty certain my mat is a female because it is a lavender color and very gentle with me.

    Love the Pearl story – pretty freaky, but cool that it means Greta.

    • Dasi says:

      Namaste! Thanks for visiting, Maria. I’d love to hear what your mat “says”
      …unless, of course, she’s accepted a vow of silence. I respect that, too. :) x

  3. Ooooh. I dig the name Greta. It’s sultry and mysterious. :)

  4. Mat for Yoga says:

    Hi Rupa,

    I always visit your website and I really love the content. Thank you for
    sharing such beneficial articles!

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