I graduated from my first yoga teacher training class (230 hours!) in April and, for mother’s day, I picked out a $100 yoga mat on amazon as my reward/mother’s day present. Seeing as I have no fewer than 10 yoga mats scattered in and around my house – not to mention the dozen or so others that I have bought and distributed out to the world – my husband would have had ample reason to question the necessity of my purchase. But, like any smart man, he learned long ago that questioning such craziness doesn’t usually result in an answer that changes the end result anyway. Fortunately, none of the other mats I had purchased over the years cost me more than $20-$30. This was to be my first “good” yoga mat. 230 (life changing) hours and a certificate of completion deserved a “good” yoga mat, in my mind.
Husband, as he’s preparing to hit purchase on the amazon cart: “Why do you have to treat the mat with sea salt before you use it?”
Me: “…what now?”
H: “Yeah, there’s a video and everything. Didn’t you look at this before you picked it out?”
M: “Well, yes, of course, but my looking was more about what color I wanted.”
H: “Are you sure this is the one you want?”
M: “Yeah, I’ll figure it out, whatever.”
Sure enough, it arrived, and the instructions for use – which, as an aside, no $20-$30 yoga mat I’ve ever purchased has come with instructions. Just saying. – started with allowing the mat to lie flat and covered with sea salt for 24 hours. More specifically, allowed to lie covered in sea salt and exposed to sunlight, during those 24 hours.
Well, like most things in yoga, there was no real explanation as to why my mat required sea salt and sun. But, like my husband, I have also learned to not question these things. I mean, why all the crazy poses? Who can even bend like that? Why am I in bare feet? How does sitting in silence and breathing help anything? I DON’T KNOW. But I’ve learned that it just does. So I laid my mat out and salted that bad boy like I was the salt bae.
|(you all know this guy, right?)|
Then it rained. For a week straight.
I mean, my mat was inside, so it’s not like I left it out in a deluge, but there was no sun. Like, none. For a full week. So, I left my mat sitting out – in my bedroom, right next to the windows – waiting for the sun to make it’s reappearance, covered in salt. I wondered idly if the cat would have it licked clean before the sun got to it, but he respectfully left the mat alone. Given his affinity for clawing at our couches and batting anything smaller than him around as a plaything, I attributed his newfound respect to the magic of the mat combined with the sea salt. Clearly there was something to these instructions.
Finally, the sun arrived, and this morning, I found myself wondering how to clean sea salt off of a yoga mat. The vacuum worked well enough and I followed that by cleaning it with organic yoga mat cleaner (hand to god: it’s the only organic anything in our house) and a rag. The mat is now ready for use. But, so far, the only use it’s gotten is the cat checking it out. Because I had to sit down and write about how vacuuming sea salt off of a yoga mat had somehow become completely normalized for me.
|As I type, this smug bastard is clawing up the couch in the other room|
Life is weird like that sometimes.
Honestly, my whole journey with yoga has been much like the mat and the sea salt: I didn’t know exactly why I was doing it, but it seemed like the right thing to do, so I followed the instructions. And, really, it both saved and destroyed me (and then saved me again, for good measure). My journey with yoga, that is, not the mat. Although the mat is pretty cool. The color just feels right to me. And I’m sure the sea salt has now imbued it with magic that I can’t even begin to understand.
With that, I think it’s time to get on my mat. More to come on this yoga stuff though. There’s so much more to tell.
This post was written while listening to the Spotify Acoustic Covers playlist, where songs like Wicked Game and Hotline Bling can coexist in harmony. Somehow.