February 7, 2012

Radiant Mom Yoga with Janet Stone: The Gifts We Keep. ~ Emily Perry

“So much joy, I’m afraid to be swept away, upstream there’s a spring that brings in the new day…”        ~ Jack Johnson, In The Morning


Recently, I had the opportunity to gather with a group of moms in San Francisco for a Radiant Mom Yoga workshop with Janet Stone. With these workshops and classes, Janet has created a beautiful space for women to circle around and connect with each other, the self, and the body. Coming together as women not only gives our hearts a safe space to process, but also gives moms the opportunity to share, laugh, and connect. [In case you missed my previous interview with Janet about her Radiant Mom series, you can find it here.]

There can be so much joy in the parenting journey. Yet, at the same time, there is also the slogging through—even despite the beauty and upwelling of love we experience as parents, we are often overwhelmed by, as one mom put it, “the shit storm” of daily life. There is the fatigue, decrease in emotional and physical energy, lack of alone time—and often—financial and relationship tension.

As a mother, new or otherwise, overcoming a sense of isolation can be a big hurdle, and so sharing our story can be a relief: we feel that we are seen. Entering the journey of motherhood is an initiation, and yet many of us are left to learn to pioneer our own path alone. It is such a blessing to explore the journey in community.

After circling and sharing, we got on the mat and connected through our breath. Janet has a process she teaches for moments of crisis—when you are at your wit’s end—when you are surrounded by chaos and your emotions are running the show. We learned to collect our energy, ground, and then expand and soften, so that we could then move from a center of calm, using our energy consciously and with intention. This technique alone was worth coming to the workshop for.

Janet has not only a gift for asana, as you may know, but also for connecting—she is able to eloquently put words to our experience from a place of love and empowerment. As we moved through our time together, we found ourselves standing strong from a place of connection to our own bodies, being soft where we needed to soften, and moving the breath to places that had become disconnected.

We spent time reconnecting with our pelvic floor (hello pelvis!), and those places we might have not visited in a while. And when it comes down to it, this is the heart of yoga practice: learning to care for ourselves, and navigate emotional turmoil to find the space behind the story; it is about staying with the breath, and noticing the small things.

“These are the gifts we keep,

This is the morning that we breathe…

And then we see,

These moments are the only gifts we need.”

~ Jack Johnson, In The Morning

These are the gifts we keep. Stepping off the mat, and back into our lives, we carry these moments with us. We learn to drop the story and be present with the reality of the moment. We use breath and mantra to find the goddess within; and for a moment—maybe as Kali or maybe as Ma—we find what we need in order to move from a place of love and joy, embodying the radiance we so long to feel.

[Photo credits: Megan McCrea + Jody Greene]

Pranams to Janet Stone and Jody Greene: Brilliant Jewels and Fire Keepers on this path of the heart. Deep bows to you. Jai Guru.

To learn more about Janet Stone, visit her website. The Radiant Mom Yoga video can be found here.


Emily Perry, L.Ac., RYT-200, is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist & Yoga Teacher. She teaches and writes in Santa Cruz, CA, and can be reached through her website Emily Perry Yoga, on her blog, Elemental, or via email at emilyperryyoga{at}gmail{dot}com.

This article was prepared by Assistant Yoga Editor, Soumyajeet Chattaraj.

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