Lately I have found myself meditating on my mat - not just physically, but actually reflecting on the mat itself.  June was a particularly busy month for me.  I celebrated the lives and accomplishments of others, hosted welcomed guests and feverishly eradicated unwelcomed ones (fleas).  I sorted through items no longer needed, sought ways to to expand my financial well-being and participated in new and exciting endeavors.  All this while trying to maintain my normal routine.
Not having been born with the skilled hands of a juggler, keeping the brilliant balls of life's experiences gracefully afloat has been somewhat of a challenge.  In times like these, I find it all too easy to allow my judge to step in.  A helping hand is always appreciated, but like most, my judge tends to be a little on the negative side.  Stepping on my mat, whether to teach or for my own personal practice has always brought me a sense of comfort.  Here, the judge is released from his duties.  Here, I can step back and witness the brilliant display of a colorful life.  So, during this particularly busy month I have found myself very appreciative of my little source of solice.

There are times where I have visualized the rubber surface as a magic carpet, capable of whisking me away from all the choas of life.  Other times, it has been my own private island, so remote that no map has marked it.  It has rested upon carpeted surfaces, gym floors and Mother Earth.  It has cradled my body on each of these surfaces.  It has supported my attempts to reach beyond my believed boundries and witnessed a few remarkable feats.  It has graciously accepted both my sweat and my tears.

Just as the practice of yoga can be seen as a metaphor for how we live our lives, our mats can reflect our internal selves.  They mirror the witness within, capable of bringing peace despite outward turmoil, accepting unconditionally all environments and emotions. Stepping onto our mats, we step into our true selves.  From here, we find the strength and flexibility needed to juggle all life's experiences.  From here, even the fallen ones seem to soar in their purpose and the judge cannot say a word.