As I stand admiring the freshly-painted Nectarina walls (thank you Lowe’s!) in our new apartment’s spare bedroom turned yoga oasis, I’m transported back to memories of various spaces beyond the traditional studio where I’ve practiced my favorite form of movement.
Just less than a month ago I bent, twisted and hopped on a commercial horse mat serving as a hardwood floor beneath my mat on the carpeted living room in our last apartment in Princeton. Not ideal, but staring at the large black rectangle positioned smack in between sofa and dining room table left little opportunity to circumnavigate and blow off one more opportunity to perfect my Bird of Paradise or Side Crane.
Prior to that was a windowless tiled floor (at least the horse mat wasn’t needed) in the back pantry off the kitchen at my cozy brick Queen Anne apartment in Seattle.
Just this past summer I found a lovely grassy patch at a local park on Lake Chelan below a willowy tree to practice while my boyfriend and his son whizzed around the lake on a Jetski. So delightful I barely noticed the occasional passerby staring and wondering what crazy farm I escaped from.
I’ve also done my share of practicing near entries – specifically, doors. There’s simply no more convenient place to nail the handstand than near the door. Better to fly into the door from down dog – at least you come back down the same direction you started – than painfully falling over on the other side. I’ve banged enough doors now that I’m rocking about a 50% ‘stick’ rate of landing upright and hovering in handstand without touching the door – hooray!
So as I gaze around my new yoga room, I’m ever grateful to my dear boyfriend, Mr. G, who created this gorgeous space for us. Nectarine walls, three-quarter inch plywood covering the entire room instead of horse mats to provide stability under our mats (next home requirement – HARD WOOD FLOORS THROUGHOUT), bamboo potted tree, stereo system, mirrors and artwork, large windows looking out to a lush green landscape and a little fat-bellied smiling Buddha approving of every down dog.
My practice is often the most joyful when not confined to a predetermined schedule with a specific instructor and fee attached to it. Where do you practice?