My husband gave me a new yoga mat for Christmas. For the record, it is The Black Mat by Manduka. Can I officially join the cool yogi club now?
Anyway, I'll stop boasting about THE DUKE and share with you what this new mat did for me. It's newness really invited a sense of play into my practice. I came onto my new mat with so many questions that started silly but eventually took me deeper into my practice. Is it stretchy? What does it feel like under my hands? What does it do if I hop on it? What's it like to balance on? What happens if I do this? How many poses can I get to from Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)? How can I take this curiosity with me off the mat?
You don't have to run out and get a Manduka to invite play into your practice. (Although, I must admit, THE DUKE is pretty sweet!) Get on your mat and play! What happens if you move your mat into a different room? What's it like practicing at a different time? What if you close your eyes?
Do something you've never done before! Even if you can't think of anything new, every time you step on your mat you will do something new. In every practice, you've never done that pose in that way before and you'll never do it exactly that way again. Be present and see what happens, and then challenge yourself to have fun exploring every moment!