Clearing the Mat – a Yoga Dream

I’ve been a bit absent from all things blogging lately. Triathlon training continues and weeks 5/6/7 were peppered with a few awesome workouts and a few skipped workouts and some middle of the road work in between. More on that work soon! I also have Fitbloggin’ coming up this week where I’M SPEAKING! (eek!) and an interview for a part-time job in the health & fitness field (double eek!). I’m going to work on posts about all of those things, I promise dear reader! But, in the mean time, here’s a peak in to my brain……

My view most mornings, love this "window" in the studio
My view most mornings, love this “window” in the studio

I just wrapped up my first 8 days of yoga teacher training at Awaken Yoga. They were emotional, physical and spiritual days. And while I began this journey thinking that most of what I would learn would be about the “doing yoga” part, what I discovered instead was that I’d be working most on the part of me that’s been shut down and closed off to the world for some time. There’s no going through this training without a hefty amount of self-examination, on the small and large scale. Small scale, as in, “Why am I still wearing the same workout clothes I wore when I weighed 20 more pounds than this?” Large scale, as in, “What is my purpose in life and am I really fulfilling it right now?” Luckily, my fellow students are all on this journey as well and they are phenomenal. As a group, we range in age from 18 to late 50s. We are mothers, recent high school grads, recent college grads, teachers, but most importantly, seekers. I’ve never felt connected to a group of people faster, and maybe that’s exactly how it should be. If you’re going to be sweating your ass off two inches away from one another while simultaneously trying to find your purpose in life, you better love the ones your with. I have a 3 week break to study, read and continue my home yoga practice before returning for another 8 days in July. I’m grateful for the break, but know that I’ll be thrilled to be back in that room again soon.


So, the yoga dream? That happened last Wednesday night. I’m not over it yet. It’s been circling through my mind for the past few days. I’m fascinated with the human brain, specifically with sleep and dreaming. Why do I seem to dream more vividly if I have taken an anti-inflammatory before bed? Why do I remember some dreams more clearly than others? Why do I panic dream about having to return to the same awful job, even though it’s been 14 years since I worked there? Fascinating. 

In my dream, Phil and I headed to a large auditorium-style space for a yoga class. I was surprised to find a long-distance friend seated to my left and was eager to talk to him and find out how he had come to this class. Phil exited the room at this point. The room continued to fill and it was clear that this would be a large class, made more obvious by the fact that there was a camera projecting the image of our instructor on a jumbo-tron style screen for us to see. I’m sitting on the ground, attempting to relax and awaiting Phil’s return when people begin to stream by. A former boss and his entire family stop to chat. Relatives, living close by and far away, all suddenly appear, looking for room to set up their mats near my space. I turn to set my cell phone aside, only to find that Phil has plugged it in to the wall to charge for me (horrifying that I would allow that at yoga class!) and realize that my phone is lost in a tangle of cords from other people doing the same. I return to my mat, only to find my children laying on top of it. How did they get there? I didn’t bring them with me to class. I shoo them away and attempt to sit down to center myself for class. At this point, I realize that my mat is buried under blankets and everyone else’s clothing and items that they’ve dropped on top of it. I try to peel it all away, clear it out and get to my mat. My frustration builds and I begin to struggle. Where is Phil? Why are all of these people here? Why are they all in the way? And that’s all I remember, my final image is me peeling away layers of other people’s stuff to get to my mat. 

My lesson of the day on Thursday.
My lesson of the day on Thursday at class. Whoa.

I woke up and I knew that it was time to clear the mat. What am I letting get in the way of my own dreams? My own success? Other people’s expectations? Other people’s opinions? I know I’ve instituted a lot of personal change since January. Drastic eating habit changes, changing jobs (twice!), the decision to go to yoga teacher training, giving up my Friday afternoon visit to the bar and substituting in a Friday afternoon workout. Some friends were relentlessly supportive and others shockingly negative. But that’s not about me. I let it be about me. I let it get in the way, be one more layer of crap between me and the work I needed to do for myself. You’ll notice who didn’t get in the way in my dream – I’m blessed to have Phil by my side, in my corner, telling me to follow my heart and let the rest fade away. I spent much of my week at yoga training worried about the kids and the summer camp they were attending. Were they safe? Were they being well-cared for? Was I a terrible mother for sending them to camp? They had a wonderful time at camp, loved every minute of it, so clearly I am not terrible, but only letting myself believe that I’m somehow abandoning them by enriching my life. One more idea that is in the way.

Is there symbolism in this  dream? Yes, and while the scientist in me wants to understand the “how” of my brain, the seeker in me is grateful for the lesson. Have you ever had a distinct dream that opened your eyes to something? I’d love to hear about it. 


2 thoughts on “Clearing the Mat – a Yoga Dream

  1. haleyduke17 June 23, 2014 / 10:49 am

    Your self examination sounds just like my inner thoughts. lol
    You’re so blessed to have your husband supporting you along your journey. That’s so crucial!!
    I don’t have many vivid dreams, but when I do, I evaluate every aspect to find symbolism. My most recent was about our upcoming move and baby that is due. I chalked it up to anxiety & the pregnancy hormones and didn’t dwell on it. But your dream is filled with distinctions. Very symbolic.

    • racingtozen June 23, 2014 / 10:59 am

      Thank you Haley! The mind is an amazing thing. I hope your move goes well and that you are relaxed before your little one arrives. Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s