While I was practicing today I realized that the way I was stretching in a pose probably looked a little funky to anyone watching. Granted, 5 month pregnant woman sweating like a beast was probably cause enough for a second glance but I just had to pause in the glory of a stretch that worked my low back and felt oh so good. Which leads me to an important lesson on and off the mat. No one knows how you feel but you, both good and bad. Even if you were to describe your sensations to someone, they wouldn’t know it as completely as you do. Through this realization we can begin to sit more comfortably in the seat of honoring ourselves. This includes our physical, emotional and mental state both on and off the mat. On our mat, if something is too intense and backing off is called for or there is an emotional response to something we are requesting of our body, let it be there. Or if something feels good, pause in it, dance in it and enjoy! Even if just for a moment. There is no need to further complicate this life by worrying about what others are thinking of us or judging ourselves for being human! Off our mat, when there is an emotional response to something, what would it be like to just sit in it for a moment. I don’t feel like there is a place for “don’t be upset,” “it’s not a big deal” or “it’ll be okay.” I think that a moment of mirroring our responses (and doing the same for others) is called for. Taking the time to acknowledge our feelings and reactions and then giving ourselves the permission to be human serves to allow us to move forward in a healthier, more positive light.