Mindfulness can be elusive in today’s world when we do not create space for it. We can so easily become lulled into a state of complacency, numbness, stress, and distraction. Once the cycle begins, it can be hard to break. Taking the time to pause and then to breathe is a small but powerful step. That small step opens the door for mindfulness to enter the room and for mindful awareness to become mindful action.

My Magic Mat

It is easier to return when we have a strong home base — a foundation for mindful awareness. Like the soil in which a plant sets its roots, this foundation grounds us and frees us to grow taller and stronger.

For me, that foundation has always been yoga, and my magic mat is my home base. For you, it may be something entirely different. It may be a seated meditation practice, cycling, or running. You must find a practice that works best for you, and when you do, cultivate it, feed it, and protect it.

My mother took me to my first yoga class at the age of eighteen. At that time in my life, I viewed yoga as purely an exploration of the physical realm. I enjoyed the challenge of mastering the various poses, or asanas. My mat was just that, a mat, a location on which to pursue this physical practice. It was very much a surface practice for me at the beginning.