When my new-to-yoga Whitney-sister asked me what kind of a mat she should get, I replied with, “What kind of yoga are you practicing?” For see, different styles of yoga necessitate different qualities in a mat. For Bikram, I’m converted to the Kulae mat. It dries fast and doesn’t hold moisture, essential features if you frequently endure that delicious/horrific sweatfest. If it’s power yoga you’re practicing, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Manduka. Those things will far outlast the Apocalypse, which you want if you’re vinyasa-ing the hell outta your mat.
Now while my Kulae gets play every day, my Manduka has literally been gathering dust in the back of my car. I haven’t been to a power yoga class in, like, two years.
And well, Dear Reader, if you don’t use it, you really do effing lose it.
I’m not so naive to think that different brands of yoga translate; the differences between styles is vast, especially if you do Bikram, which is way the hell out in yoga’s fringes. But I didn’t know just how drastically I’d set back my vinyasa practice by, uh, not practicing.
My Doug-Swenson-trained friend Ella teaches a vinyasa class just a few minutes from my house, and I figured it was time to dust off that Manduka. So this last Wednesday I went from my Bikram class with Ida to Ella’s vinyasa class. And the following morning, it took a full ten minutes for me to maneuver myself out of bed. Everything hurt.
I think it’s fair to say that I have a strong Bikram practice—I’m persistent at least—but I feel like I’m starting from scratch with my flow practice, a practice that I worked pretty damn hard for years to establish and then simply let go by the wayside as I enthusiastically adopted a heat-for-health practice.
For the last nine years, my mat has been the place where I’ve felt the most safe. It’s where I’ve been the most productive, the most frustrated, the strongest, the weakest, and the most successful. I’ve glared at myself in the mirror. I’ve winked. I’ve been graceful. I’ve been clumsy. I’ve fallen. I’ve cried. And I've laughed a lot. Yoga is what I know. I used to have a healthy power practice. Slowly, I’m gonna get it back. I’ll have both heat and flow. I’ll have it all!
Aside from yoga, here’s what’s up right now—
Jim is installing a red vanity in his half bath. Now that’s some sexy shit. Who knew? I’m effectively supervising. Read: sitting with Sophie in an armchair filling my online grocery cart with vittles for Burning Man.
Hell to the yes, Dear Reader, you read right—Jim and I are heading out to Black Rock City in a few days. Packing’s in progress and it includes things like a big-ass hammock, battery-powered EL wires, single-ply biodegradable toilet paper, a gold-sequined fedora, liquid leggings, bikes, 24 packs of Fruit Stripe gum, individually-wrapped dust masks, a captain's hat, goggles, motorcycle boots, headlamps, paper soap, enough Red Bull to keep a dozen narcoleptics sufficiently alert to pilot a 747, and a generator. So bring on the playa dust, house music, and 55,000 hugging hippies. We’re excited and as ready as we can be.