THE BLOG
01/22/2013 03:47 pm ET Updated Mar 24, 2013

An Ode to My Yoga Mat

I love my yoga mat.

My yoga mat is my safe place... my personal bubble...

When I'm on my yoga mat, the entirety of the world melts away and disappears. I'm alone and focused only on myself.

There's a rhythm to my breath. I'm in full control of myself. I'm performing my routine... at my pace... on my time...

The world outside my yoga mat is a chaotic one. Outside my yoga mat exists a fast-paced world filled with starvation... poverty... violence... corruption... and outside my yoga mat, I'm knee deep in a war against all of it. It's a war most of you refuse to acknowledge even exists, even though it's happening right in front of you.

My time is spent talking to the troubled homeowners I helped push into financial ruin during my tenure with the bank. It's spent in meetings with foreclosure defense attorneys and State regulators, guiding them through towers of paperwork manned by the best corporate lawyers a money machine can buy. I have my own whistleblower cases as well, and interviews with the Government Accountability Project to push Dodd-Frank and media representation into the mix. When I'm not dredging through the trenches of cases, I'm monitoring the media and government to see what steps are being taken next. I'm monitoring internet trends on key search terms. I'm studying insurance and mortgage statistics. I'm attacking on every front.

Then there's Anonymous... and Occupy... where I'm constantly searching a haystack of issues trying to find the needles I can help with. I'm constantly researching different events that aren't being reported in the mainstream media. I learn what I can and help where I'm capable. I've participated in countless revolutions... or one...

Walking this path has earned me a lot of powerful enemies. I get searched by the police every now and again for no reason. I'd consider it paranoia if I didn't already get told by the police in Arizona and a banking executive that they're watching me. On top of that I'm in Clearwater, and the Scientologists know who I am. Any of us can die at any moment. My curse is I can spend all day naming key players in reality's Game of Thrones that would love to see my demise...

Then there's the everyday problems associated with work, school, manhood, society, survival and life in general...

All of this goes away when my toes feel the foam of my yoga mat...

On my yoga mat, my warrior spirit is my own to command. My mind doesn't have to worry about the trials and tribulations of the past. My thoughts aren't on the path to my future. Time holds no weight over me as I transition from one asana to the next. I'm only focused on the present. My position in the world is of no consequence... only the position of my body in relation to itself. I begin to feel every muscle, organ, and bone. I notice the flow of air into my bloodstream and the rush of blood through my veins. Every sensation and feeling is amplified as different energies flow through me.

Some days I smile on my mat. Some days I growl. There's times tears mix in with the sweat. Frustration...anger...anxiety...fear...I experience them in the moment. I appreciate them. I embrace them...and I put myself back together.

Some days I have feelings of dread about getting on my yoga mat to again practice being me. It's the days I give in to those feelings that I miss my yoga mat the most. It's my only time to focus entirely on me, and I hate myself for not spending that time with me. It doesn't matter what mood I'm in when I step on my yoga mat. Even when my practice doesn't go well, I feels better once it's over than I would have if I didn't. Sometimes I have to stop myself from trying. Sometimes I have to stop myself from doing anything and go into child's pose or simply stand still. I fail a lot in my practice... but my yoga mat always understands, and I know it'll always be there encouraging me to try again.

I love my yoga mat...

Brian Penny is a former business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower who spent the last 2 years helping regulators and attorneys uncover the largest bank and insurance fraud in history. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous and fighting the banks on his blog. He's currently in the Tampa Bay area preparing to live in a van and training to be a yogi under Ally Ford.at White Orchid Yoga.

Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.