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.
As 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.
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.
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