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The Mat Matters: Nicole

It’s day two of our YTT, and I’m asked to attempt Bakasana, or Crow Pose, during
our theory lesson. It’s a pose I mentioned I have had trouble with since the beginning
of time.


“Energy spreads outwards when you are on a towel,” said Jessica, referring to my
trusty mat towel. I have relied on this towel for 9 years now, ever since I noticed
myself slipping during downward dog. Now, I couldn’t imagine attempting a flow
without it catching my sweat. The suggestion, however, was to ditch the towel and
invest in a good mat with a sweat-absorbent surface. I agreed – it was probably time
to get a new mat anyway.


I spent the following nights searching the internet for the best non-slip mats out there
and eventually settled on one that cost four times more than the mat I had been
using for the past 10 years! It’s an investment, I told myself.
That weekend, the mat arrived. I never expected myself to be giddy with excitement
over a yoga mat, but there it was – the key to improvement… or so I hoped.
Nervously, I set the towel to the side, just in case there was any need to mop up any


Oh. My. Goodness.

It was life-changing! I might sound like I’m overreacting, but after 10 years of fiddling
with a towel throughout a practice, going without one and feeling confident that my
hands and feet would hold up fine on this surface was so liberating! I felt so aware of
every part of my body that was engaged or stretched in any given position,
especially now that my attention was no longer on rearranging any errant fabric
midway through a flow.


Day 7 – we attempted Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow). Feeling only the mat beneath
my fingers, I manage to lift off the mat after a few tries. Of course, it’s the drills and
the body awareness that we’d built up over the past few days that’s made a huge
difference but believe me when I say the mat most certainly matters, especially if
you’re dealing with sweaty palms!


Perhaps Bakasana will finally be accessible to me by the end of YTT? Let’s see.


200HR YTT May’21 Weekday