My New Favorite Quote

Tree Pose Backbend“As on the mat, so off the mat.”

This is my new favorite quote; I know it’s well-known to most yoga devotees. It can be applied to so much in life: on the mat, you need to be limber and flexible; so must you be in your daily life. If you’re struggling too much in your yoga routine and forcing yourself to hold poses that your body clearly doesn’t want to, there’s a problem. The same principle holds for life in general, and applies to mental constructs, belief systems, habits and routines.

I’ve discovered that when I’m struggling unduly with some aspect of my life–be it relationships, work, or whatever–there’s almost always something fundamentally wrong with my approach to it. If I’m busting to make ends meet and suffering headaches, insomnia, and so on, something in my approach to my work, spending habits, and/or self-discipline is usually out of whack.

Similarly, any time I find myself in a twist about a relationship, the way someone else is behaving, or the way things are going globally, I need to reassess my approach. In the first and second case, I’m probably trying to force someone into a predetermined role that doesn’t fit his/her personality. In the third, I’m taking on responsibility for the way things are that simply isn’t mine to claim (the things we are responsible for are more than enough!).

I’ve come to terms with the fact that there are a few asanas I will probably never completely master. This isn’t defeatism, but an embrace of reality; no one practitioner can do all things equally well. This kind of reality check is great for our daily lives as well: if we spend most of our energy focusing on projects for which we have limited aptitude, we’ll probably miss out on developing our abilities in our high-aptitude areas.

“As on the mat, so off the mat.”

Best regards,


Leave a Comment