May 21, 2012

What’s in a Yoga Mom’s Bag? ~ Melody Lima

I think I am practicing non-attachment, but I carry around all this stuff in my bag.

It all started with the purple sequin head band. 

It was the first thing my hand touched as I reached into my bag. The satchel I lug around that catches all the stuff my daughter doesn’t want to carry anymore — even though she promised to carry it.

Why is there always so much stuff? I have been trying to get rid of stuff for years. Those things and trinkets we acquire through various means: birthdays, holidays, door prizes, gift bags, etc. Somehow it all ends up in my bag.

I do try to practice non-attachment. But the stuff of motherhood and yogihood can make my practice of letting go challenging. It affects my clarity and peace.

I was digging in my bag for my phone.

My bag, where the purple sequin headband now lives, recently was upgraded in size to accommodate my laptop on vacation. Why did I need to bring my laptop on vacation? To charge my husband’s iPod of course. I still feel the pinch in my right shoulder. I could have just used my phone.

My phone is not a convenient device to call folks in an emergency, which was the original inspiration for acquiring a cell phone. But, it is a handheld convenience to check if the Words with Friends icon is lit. I’ve been trying to win a game against my pal. (She won with Qi, 43 points!) I have convinced myself that it helps my writing. Ha!

I’ve become a little dependent on my phone. It does a lot of cool things that are quite fun. But, my far-sightedness has lessened since I got this new fancy phone; it’s hard to put down.

I do not like this bag, it is too big. I put too much stuff into it and it gets too heavy. Yet, I still carry it. My shoulders are killing me! Again. My massage therapist pal recently returned from Kripalu with her Abyhanga certification and she needs bodies to practice her new skill. I should call her.

Why don’t I get more massages? Do I feel comfortable in that slightly tense, shoulders-too-tight state? What I am holding onto? Or carrying around? Anger? Sadness? Stress? What stuff might come up from body work? Could I really be attached to all this discomfort?

Oh, Arnica gel. A gift from the swag bag I received while attending the Yoga Journal Yoga Conference in NYC a few weeks ago. The gel is very helpful in a pinch. The conference was yogic bliss meets Midtown Manhattan, all in one weekend. It was like preparing your garden in the spring for tomatoes, basil and carrots after several rounds of Kapalbhati Pranayama (breath of fire). Grounded, yet euphoric.

It is a temporary fix. This topical lotion of relief for discomfort. Why is everything so temporary? I seek long term bliss and serenity and relaxed shoulders! And less stuff!

Here’s a receipt from Whole Foods. It reminds me that I need to go to Whole Foods and pick up something for dinner. The entire family will be home this evening. The daily evening chore of a domestic goddess can be mundane. This I could happily surrender to anyone!

Where is my phone?!

My iPod just fell on the floor! S*&t!  Oh, sorry, holy Shiva. I hope it didn’t break. I just loaded Wah!’s new Loops N’ Grooves and I haven’t listened to all the tracks yet. Maybe I will make a playlist for my new Hot Power Yoga class? Wah! Okay, good, it still works.

Phone, are you in here?!

My big bucket of gum is rattling in my bag. I cannot live without it. Yes, I snap it! My husband hates when I snap gum. It is an essential tool for me, when chanting Om Namaya Shivaya doesn’t quite cut it. It is a ten minute snap-a-thon like a Sun Salute burst of Tapas in the middle of Vinyasa class. There is a little bit of that uncomfortable feeling, then you break through to where everything is okay.

Kid’s clothing store coupons seem to be spawning in the middle zipper section of my bag. Are they expired yet? My eight year old needs new clothes. She always wants to dress older, like the sixth grade girls. She recently asked me why the sixth graders in her school can where short skirts.

My daughter loves getting new things. Did I teach her this? How did this happen? We donate old clothes and toys! We practice yoga together. How do I teach her to let go of her stuff?

She is constantly asking me, “At what age can I: wear makeup, get an iPad, go into New York City by myself, walk to school with my friends, wear a bra and get a cell phone?

Cell Phone!  I can see the light. Did the school nurse call? I hope not, I want to meet my pal for falafels!

Here’s my favorite book of yoga poems I often read from during the yoga classes I teach. I love a little quip that puts it all in perspective. Without breath, there is no yoga. Ah, I can feel my shoulders release instantly.

There it is, my cell phone. I have icons communicating 14 emails, three text messages and no phone calls. No game icons. Let’s check Facebook for a funny cat pic or a serious vegan quote. A little chuckle always makes my day.

Oh boy, I am running late. Now I gotta put all this stuff back in my bag and run to a marketing meeting. The purple sequin headband gets tangled in my iPod. I think I will wear it to my meeting.

Ah, to be eight years old again for one day; when all of my stuff was fun, light, stylish and sparkly. Namaste.


Melody Lima, I am a yoga teacher, and a mom who enjoys sharing my observations on and off the yoga mat through writing. The older I get the more simple everything appears.   Contact me at:  [email protected]




Editor: Cassandra Smith

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