Tomorrow Yoga, Today Gin.

Via Candice Garrett
on Apr 26, 2011
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Sometimes you just have one of those days.

You know those days? When the sky seems to be falling and you wish you could find some space to breathe, when even a second to breathe in peace is fleeting.

It’s been a hectic month for me. I sold my house, lived on a couch for two weeks (in a house with ten people, six of them kids) and bought a new one. I moved 45 minutes away, canceled three workshops in Denver, lived without internet and a fridge for 8 days and am in the midst of preparing for my upcoming teacher training (38 pages of the manual written, about 40 to go…).  I have commitments that I can’t pass off, deadlines I can’t meet and three sons that need…well need constantly. I haven’t stepped on my yoga mat in over a month. There just isn’t time enough for anything more than what I’m doing already.

But today, well today just takes the cake.

It’s always difficult to move children from one school to another. There’s so much transition that happens, from the new house, to new friends, to new curriculums. My son has been faking an illness for three days. It was only today that I realized it is because he is feeling lost in the new curriculum at school. He is already a wiggly child, sociable and amiable, but wiggly. Throw in a new environment and new subject matter he is not familiar with and you have a full blown attention deficit problem going on.

So I make promises to the school that we will give ye’ old pep talk at home and trot off to pick him up. I pull up to the school, load him in and then…

Blood curdling screams from the back seat.

Two fingers smashed in the car door. Two fingernails snapped off at the cuticle. The screaming goes on and on. And on.

Homework be damned, how can he do homework when he can’t hold a pencil?  It’s all I can do to get some ice and set up a movie and hope the crying will stop sometime soon.

Meanwhile, the baby is secretly using a yogurt cup to drain the toilet of all its water and dump it on the floor. The dog is covered in yogurt. I’m pretty sure the baby drank some toilet water. Get some towels.

I look at my eldest son and ask “Why??”

He says, “I know! You’re the only one who gets me mom.”

“Let’s run to Mexico,” I say.

“Or how about Japan? They have sushi there.” He suggests.

Then my dear, sweet boy drops a glass in the kitchen. Baby standing in a pile of glass. That makes three out of three. Clean it up, what else can you do? So I deposit the baby in the livingroom and he promptly climbs, and falls off of, the couch, landing on his head on the hardwood floor. The dog was then found eating pizza covered glass shards out of the garbage.

I wish I could do some yoga right now. Escape, breathe. I wish I could be writing to you about how calm and centered I am and about the yoga of parenting, like I have before.

But today? Today I ordered pizza, handed the remote control to the kids and poured a nice, big, cold gin and tonic. Somedays are like that. So today, gin. Tomorrow, I’ll finally get off to yoga. Because dear god, tomorrow at least won’t be today.


About Candice Garrett

Candice Garrett is a yoga teacher, writer, foodie and mother of three from Monterey, California. She is author of "Prenatal Yoga: Finding Movement in Fullness," assistant to Female Pelvic Floor Goddess Leslie Howard and director of the Nine Moons Prenatal Yoga teacher training program. Candice teaches yoga, prenatal yoga and pelvic health with workshops nationally. You can find her teaching schedule at Candice Garrett Yoga or her love of food at The Yogic Kitchen


32 Responses to “Tomorrow Yoga, Today Gin.”

  1. deannemv says:

    This was me yesterday. I had several glasses of wine and then went to bed early. This morning I got up early and pulled out the old mat. It was the perfect plan. I hope tomorrow goes better than today.

  2. Oh wow. Just wow. As a mom to 6 kids I’ve had many days like this. Days where I don’t want to stop at just one beverage! What a great way to give yourself permission to not be a perfect yogi mother, skip the mat and just give in to the day.

  3. yogi tobye says:

    Bombay sapphire has like 16 different herbs in it and juniper's meant to be good for diabetes (native american herbalism), so it must be good for ya I reckon!

  4. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  5. nancy says:

    ditto what Jennifer said. I blogged yesterday about the struggles to keep myself and my practice in the reality of motherhood. celebrating our strength and our grace in the face of obstacles such as children is a requirement! tipping my glass to you!

  6. Emily Perry says:

    Oh girl! I only have two but have had similar days (switch to dog eating turkey bones, daughter eating crayons, son stuffing toilet with paper)! Things will settle… i swear! E

  7. Thad says:

    Here's an idea…instead of spending your time writing a blog, perhaps consider actually doing some yoga and then maybe you won't need the gin…

  8. Thad says:

    how about saucha for starters…you know, avoiding impurities in pursuit of purification…if that doesn't work for you, then how about the fact that according to ayurveda, alcohol is poison for self-realization, the purpose of yoga…..or, simply, contemplate this…

  9. Candice says:

    I am too! But now that we're settled, unpacked and 2 out of 3 kids have started school again, I am looking forward to making my mat a regular part of my day once again.

  10. I was just kidding around, Thad. But if you want to get serious and historical, don't forget that whole schools of Yoga in the past were seeped in the soma plant hallucinogen, starting in ancient times, and that marijuana (and perhaps other things for all I know) is still widely used among certain sects of Yogi Sadhus in India.

  11. Thad says:

    You are of course correct Bob in pointing out the existence of such schools of thought. The difference being that these are in fact schools of thought rooted in scriptural and ceremonial contexts. Lest we forget in our po-mo yo (post modern yoga) context, yoga is passed down from teacher to student in disciplic succession. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita 4.2, "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way." However, even setting this aside, I would maintain that ingesting any medicinals in a ceremonial context orientated around a search for self-realization is significantly different from drinking gin, or say, smoking pot with your friends outside of such a context. This is a point which has been recognized in almost every tradition which makes use of such plants. There aren't native shamans dropping ayahuasca or peyote at the end of the day because they didn't have the chance to practice. This is their practice.

  12. Hi, Thad. Thanks for writing. I agree with some of what you're saying, except I'm sure there have been all varieties of good and bad yogis and gurus down through the ages doing all manner of good and bad things, many of them far worse than drinking gin instead doing their yoga.

  13. Alan Haffa says:

    Candice is my yoga teacher and she is great. She is funny, supportive, and wise. Sometimes there is wisdom in making adjustments to one's routine, and sometimes there is wisdom in breaking the rules. And, there is definitely wisdom in having a sense of humor when confronted by the challenges that life brings!

  14. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  15. I enjoy gin as well says:

    PO, is for the way you… POntificate
    MO is for the super… MOm… you are
    YO is very very… extra YOrdinary
    *You* are doing your best and yes you have withstood the test

    (sung to the tune of L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole of course… because women with children were not included as heroes in the Bhaghavad Gita, but we all know that we ARE, so you just keep doing you)

  16. Jenn says:

    Being a supportive loving Mom IS your yoga! Namaste Mommie 🙂

  17. Thad says:

    Esther, I completely agree with you that all yogis are in a constant state of becoming and that none of us, at least none that I know of, are near finished with their work. We will most likely have to agree to disagree about the implications of a gin and tonic, but in all honesty, the real issue I have with this piece does not begin nor end with the drink. It has much more to do with how I believe self-professed yoga teachers should be conducting themselves.

    Clearly, we are all on the path and imperfectly so, but it is the responsibility of the teacher to push the students. As Yogi Bhajan states, "The role of the teacher is to poke, provoke, confront and elevate." This last part is crucial, because to be harsh or critical is not to bring somebody down, but to facilitate bringing them up. To be a teacher is to provide a challenge to your students and not to show them examples which they can use to excuse their own behavior. Of course, things are going to happen, but that is why being a teacher is such an enormous responsibility (or at least it use to be).

    If you look back over the conversations, I have never called Candice names, or even belittled her, but merely pointed out the irony inherent in spending time writing about being overwhelmed and having a drink all the while wishing you had time to do yoga. It seems a real friend may actually use such an opportunity to pull one aside and say, "hey, instead why don't you sit down with yourself and actually do some breathing." I have only quoted scripture in reference to people attempting to justify such actions, most likely because to do so makes them feel better about themselves.

    And perhaps you are right that my responses have been harsh in relationship to this particular article, but these themes are quite indicative of the modern yoga milieu and I have chosen to use this opportunity to turn the discussion in a more critical and reflective direction regardless of its popularity.

  18. Candice says:

    Yogi Bhajan was a controversial character, to be sure, but I do appreciate the quote and the gentle reminder that I could have used that time to do yoga. You are right, to be sure. But what really happened was this: I was speaking to my sister about my day, about my editor asking me to write, well something, so that I could continue to write for ele, about my crazy month, and my sister said "write THAT." So I did. And yes, you are right, there is always time. I am not sure if you have ever taken the time to see what else I have written , but I have written on the 8 limbs, about the daily practice. I also am a yoga teacher. My way is not like others. I connect with my students through positivity and self acceptance. Because only though those things will they want to get on the mat. It's not thorugh self deprication that they will find the way, but through profound self love. That may be a difference in philosophy there, between you and I, although I don't belittle the power of disclipine and maha kali in her powerful way of striking us down to bring us up…

  19. Yoga Dude says:

    Ah, the dogmatist does not like someone having another view…sounds like you could use a drink! 😉

  20. IrishBritt1 says:

    Amen to Tangueray Days! Everyone has them now and then. Extra lime, please!!!

  21. Candice says:

    Thank you Thad, I have enjoyed our discourse immensely and it has given me much to think on. It is all yoga, it is all the path, it is all worth looking at. Be well.

  22. Candice says:

    six kids? you are my guru.

  23. Candice says:

    I do appreciate that your candor here has been mostly respecful and do see you in the light that you mentioned, as a friend with gentle manner to remind of other options. But more than asana, I am a devout reader of the philosophies and believe in truthfulness. Please understand that I think it is just as useful, if not more so, to share in our short comings and vices, than to put ourselves as aloof to others. Afterall, the greatest gurus shared compassion, not judgement. I had a hard day, and wanted to write about how it could be different, and it may have been. But even so…it wasn't. And that is okay too. That is where I teach from. I only hope to give my students hope and freedom and self-compassion, even for those times when we aren't perfect. Surely there is value in that. I am not ignorant, or unlearned, callous, or dismissing of the value of discipline. But I am not a purist. I love all, accept all, of myself and others. You and me are not different, cannot be different, by the laws of yoga. So it's all a different view of the same path. May we meet in the middle someday.

  24. Candice says:

    It's recenlty been found to be quite the antioxidant! go figure!

  25. […] wrote an article recently about a really hard day I had, and about having a drink at the end of it. Holy mother of dogma. While there were quite a few who […]

  26. Mirella says:

    Thank God I'm not the only yogini who has days like that!!

  27. […] can mean that I go to yoga whenever I feel like it (Tomorrow Yoga, Today Gin). I meditate—or don’t—whenever I feel like […]

  28. Katie Surprise! says:

    loved this! sometimes I have a gin and tonic when I haven't even had a bad day!

  29. […] loud, slap-fighting-as-fun individuals. I’m used to it. Well, mostly. And not without the occasional mishap or cocktail to see me […]