A small story about yoga, age and motherhood.
“Mom, I like you better when you do yoga!” my son shouted one imperfect day. I was pleased that he could tell the difference when I practice yoga. I took his observations to heart.
“Breathe, Mom,” my son reminds me when he sees me getting upset. For all the studying I’ve done on yoga,he comes by the knowledge naturally.
One New Year’s Day I read on my yoga studio’swebsite, “three days a week change your body, five days a week change your mind.” I started going five days a week.
Going to yoga five days a week was stressful since I am a parent. How odd to stress over getting to yoga on time. Rushing down the street to make sure there was a spot in the class didn’t really do much to bring calmness into my life.
I gave up the forced five days a week practice. I began practicing as it fit into my days. This mind frame was a much more soothing, natural approach. This was not the time for me to practice five days a week in a studio. I felt healthier with this new limber schedule.
Questions about yoga and the benefits it brings began to swirl in my head.
I completed my 200-hour teacher training because I wanted to find answers through my practice. This was a very rewarding experience. The teacher training answered my questions about the benefits of asana, the history of yoga and how yoga calms the nervous system.
So many people turn to yoga, whether for physical benefits or spiritual, but each individual has a different yogic path.
My practice changes as time goes on. I used to want to be the best in class. I wanted the teacher to notice my abilities. Now I’m happy to just make it to class! A place inside myself that doesn’t need to compare has begun to blossom. I find myself admiring someone else’s pose rather than envying her balance, grace and flexibility.
I have evolved a level of self-acceptance. I accept my limits. I accept my body when it tells me, “Don’t even attempt that asana. Think of your shoulders! Save your knees!” I know my body’s limits, I know what hurts my neck and what doesn’t and the beauty is that I’m okay with these limits.
I’ve begun to listen to my own voice.
Was it yoga that got me to this place? Is this a place that comes with age or acceptance of who we are? I like to think that it was yoga that slowed me down to take notice. That yoga calmed all the inner chatter and made me find that internal voice. It was also getting older that allowed me to not be afraid and hear what I had to say inside.
The two have come hand in hand: yoga and age. They are entwining their paths as I continue along life’s journey. I make it to my mat when I can, take my physical yoga practice to the edge and am okaywith where I land today.
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Robyn Greenhouse is a born again writer! Her childhood dream of being an author suddenly came back to life on her 45th birthday! Now, along with her husband, Stephen, she raises her 3 boys and 2 dogs, teaches kids and adults yoga, and writes on her blog Adventures in Laugher, Exercise and Eating Well. Please check out her blog at www.laughwithme45.blogspot.com.
Editor: Carrie Stiles