Goodnight Moon: Yoga For Mother’s Day. ~ Kathy Baum

Via Kathy Baum
on Apr 18, 2014
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Yoga-Rebecca Lammersen

For many, Mother’s Day is filled with cards, roses and brunch with mom, but if you have lost you mother the day shines a bright, harsh light on your loss, and waves of grief are resuscitated with every smiling family photo you see on your Facebook feed.

My mother passed away due to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when she was 56.

After her death, I found myself unable to rejoin the land of the living and was bewildered that anyone else, anywhere in the world, could possibly be happy. I reached out to a friend who had lost her father for advice.

“Move,” she said. “Even when you don’t want to. Even when you think you can’t get out of bed.”

After a period of dull heaviness, I took her advice and went to yoga.

Then I went again.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Before my mom’s death, my practice had been limited and irregular—I was a weekend warrior, fitting in a class when I could with my work and travel schedule. But after, I wove my life back together on my mat, one breath at a time, releasing the grip of loss with each exhale.

I took vinyasa or any physically challenging practice I could find to lift and haul out the pain like a bulldozer.

I listened to my inner voice, knowing that looking forward to going to class was a good sign, so I continued. I let myself feel in class, even when feeling was painful.  More often than not, I was the girl crying on my mat during savasana.

Towards the end of my mother’s life, her illness left her unable to move and her breathing was difficult. Flowing from pose to pose was my way of giving her movement.

Pumping my stagnant energies and emotions through my body with yoga remains my therapy.

It has been several years since my mother has left this earth, and I am now a certified yoga instructor, and teach others to use asana, breath and meditation to become whole.

Yoga can pull you through and beyond grief, even on days when your loss is magnified by every commercial and Hallmark card you encounter.

Rather than feeling only absence, especially of the person who brought you into the world, yoga can help fill you back up.

When Mother’s Day rolls around again this year, I plan to honor my sweet, strong mom with a sweet, strong yoga practice. And maybe let some tears fall during savasana.

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Photo:  Rebecca Lamerson

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About Kathy Baum

Kathy Baum writes and teaches hatha yoga, Yoga for Survivors(TM) and Yoga for Golfers(TM) in Denver, Colorado.  You can find Kathy on her mat, at her laptop, with her nose in a book, or spending time outside in the sunshine. Check out her website here.

 

 

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Goodnight Moon: Yoga For Mother’s Day. ~ Kathy Baum”

  1. amandicott says:

    Really beautiful post. I lost my mother almost 5 years ago and am a single mom myself. Your post gave words to feelings I've had about Mother's Day for all these years but could not articulate.

  2. Kathy Baum says:

    Thank you – it was difficult to process and to write about, but I hope it gives voice to others in the same boat.

  3. Laura says:

    Lovely article Kathy! Mother's Day is always a tough one for those of us without living moms, and you have definitely inspired me to make sure I'm on my mat that day, in her memory.