Rx for Yoga Moms. ~ Julie Konrad

Via on Jan 24, 2013
Kim Long Photography
Kim Long Photography

Motherhood is the practice.

I have three little girls ages three, six and eight. I’m in the thick of parenthood, or at least I think I am. Time will tell. Wiping snotty noses, toilet training, making lunches, helping with homework, and the daily schlep to and from school in rain, shine, sleet and snow sure feels like the trenches.

When you have a baby, multiple babies, or any kid under four, let’s face it, you’re sleep-deprived and blanking on the woman’s name in your class who you’ve known for three years!

As mothers, this is the life we’ve adjusted to, some of us more easily than others. I’m not complaining; I’m just here to bond with other yoga moms out there. We struggle to balance the responsibilities at home with our passion to practice yoga, to expand our teachings and to continue our inner journey.

mom-and-child-meditatingAs mothers and yoga teachers, we feel the pull to keep our teachings fresh and informative despite how busy we are with the kids.

It’s not as easy to simply hop over to a yoga class, or attend a workshop or retreat. I have a wonderfully supportive husband, but money is tight and attending intensive workshops, trainings and classes aren’t on the top of our budget list right now. On the flip side, I have yoga mom friends with money, but their spouses are so busy with work that they don’t have the freedom to attend enticing opportunities either. And when the moon and stars do align for the possible outing—we have to have the energy and spunk to actually go!

We’re committed to our students and our practice—always working toward learning more and experiencing more. Balance is a word we work with time and time again. As yoga moms, we try to balance our passion for sharing yoga in the time between parenting and daily tasks like grocery shopping, making fresh meals, doing seven loads of laundry a week, cleaning the house, planning birthday parties and holiday experiences. We also love our students, we’ll show up for them no matter what. We don’t share with them the fact that we were up all night with a sick kid or that we’re a little late setting up because it took 10 minutes for our husband to pry our little cutie off our leg as we left the house. We are there for them.

We ease onto our mats as if they were paradise. We show up early to enjoy the silence for ourselves, to focus and prepare. This is our talent, our ability to show up for our students to give what they have come to receive. We tap our deepest reservoirs of energy some days to find something to offer. We compassionately understand our service to our students. We don’t know what troubles our students bring with them, but we know we offer a chance to help smooth the edges for them and be there to support them on their journey and perhaps we leave feeling better ourselves.

But, attention selfless servants! You too need to fill-up, recharge and take care of yourself or you will burnout! There’s no need to throw in the towel because there isn’t time for your practice or for rest.

Remember, we live our practice.

Motherhood is the practice.

As you watch others advance their trainings and take on more classes, or go on vacation remember, your time will come.picture-1594

There are ways to weave inspiration and yoga practice into your daily routine.

Do you feel you need more personal yoga/meditation practice, yogic studies, reflection, rest no matter how unpredictable and chaotic your life might be?

There is time. Seek and thou shall find! Ebb and flow with incorporating some of the things you desire into your day, while laughing at the efforts that fail—at least you tried, and something is going to stick.

Here’s the prescription plan I created for myself to stay balanced and inspired. They may not seem like unique ideas, but it’s the consistency of trying to make as many of these happen each week that rejuvenates me. See if any of these work for you or create your own prescription to refresh. Have fun and stick with it!

 1. Post teaching Saturday morning latte at bookstore with a stack of magazines for one hour.

2. YogaGlo class Wednesday nights as husband puts kids to bed.

3. Streaming Hay House radio, TED talks or other inspiring talk radio music while cooking dinner, folding laundry or driving.

4. Stay in studio after class for 10 minutes to meditate or simply breathe.

5. Re-direct the urge to Facebook. Instead, build a list of online yogic study and anatomy resources to study up on when time permits.

6. Watch a comedy with spouse.

7. Look for new, vegetarian recipes on Pinterest with kids and build a board together

8. Cook a double size meal and freeze half for an easy meal night.

9. Pay a sitter one time each week to grab a tea at the local coffee shop to read, meet a friend, relax and feel connected to life outside the house.

10. Resist the need to get the house picked-up and play/rest/snuggle with kids.

Results may be immediate. Negative side effects may include: thoughts of worthiness, resistance to commit, and agitation from whining kids who want to hear nursery rhymes instead of interviews—all will diminish over time.

These are just a few suggestions! Share ideas for other yoga moms below.

 

Kim Long Photography

Julie Konrad teaches yoga in Cleveland, OH. When not on her yoga mat, she can be found playing house or Squinkies with her girls, experimenting with new ways to cook with chickpeas and practicing what she preaches. Please visit her at www.lunapresenceyoga.com.

 

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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assist. Ed. Sarah Winner

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8 Responses to “Rx for Yoga Moms. ~ Julie Konrad”

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m a stay-at -home mom and a yoga teacher and felt my practice take a serous hit when the kids came along. I have to remind myself that the little things make a big difference. Like you, I’ve committed to spending more time with my kids and less time worrying about the housework. It’s helped, the kids are happier and so am I. You’re right, motherhood is now my yoga. Thanks again.

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks, Amy! Enjoy those kiddos and take good care of you!

  3. susie says:

    OK sometimes I think that right when I am about to loose it, then as you said the moon and the stars line up for me and I can escape chaos and step on a mat at my favorite Yoga studio…there I feel as if my world had just stopped and started all over again, every inhale I take I feel the peace that starts traveling through my body, every exhale, I let go, no heavy day, no laundry, no meal to cook, just me and the mat and my Yoga teacher…I have two boys under the age of 6 and they do keep me busy, single mom and making it happen, but I cant say enough, Yoga practice to me is better than any other therapy, better than a great meal or a night dancing and drinking, when I get to class, all of my worries are gone, I am one with the world and the world is all mine, I am in charge, I can challenge my body to do as I want, I can breath peacefully for a whole 90 minutes, I can clear my mind without anyone asking anything of me ( well maybe to keep my abdomen engage or my knees locked) but it is my body I am caring for, it is my mind I am allowing to be calm, my practice means the world to me…I t is where I find the balance to continue on my daily madness and are able to juggle the crazy and the beautiful that is right between the cracks of sick kids, loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning, right there where life is full of it and you stop for a second, absorb it all and keep on going.

  4. Beautifully stated. Parenting is a practice. We practice on the mat so that we may live more fully, playing with our edges, and with reverence for our breath. I cannot imagine parenting without yoga to anchor me. Somedays I just roll out my mat and sit, to remember what my mat feels like. I am a yoga teacher and a mom to three kids all five and under. The rare days I make it out to a studio to take a class for myself, I am often overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. I am the woman in the corner with unkept hair, yoga pants that have been over stretched by three pregnancies and tears of joy in her eyes who felt like getting there was nothing short of a pilgrimage. I love this practice, I love sharing it with my students, I love how it informs my parenting, I wish the physical practice wasn't such an elusive lover. But distance makes the heart grow fonder, and putting the asana aside has allowed all of the other limbs of practice to bloom.

  5. Julie says:

    "Putting asana aside has allowed all the other limbs of practice to bloom" I LOVE THAT! So true. Best to you!

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