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January 28, 2016

I Used to Find Contentment on the Yoga Mat, Now I Find it Here.

Mary_Cassatt_-_Mother_and_Child_(The_Goodnight_Hug)

I consider myself a yoga mama, although I know that this can have some negative connotations.

Some immediately think of an SUV barreling into a parking lot, driven by a walking billboard for Lululemon.

But I’m a yoga mama who just loves yoga, and who teaches yoga.

One who tries to find space and time for herself on the mat, even if her target yoga pants may have remnants of this morning’s oatmeal on them. Who believes in the power of birth, breastfeeding, essential oils, and all those good things. A mama who tries to parent as spiritually and gently as possible, and who knows she has much to learn.

I try to do it right. I am doing my best—trying to remember that I am enough.

However, as much as I adore yoga, I don’t necessarily find my peace on the mat as much as I used to.

It is tough enough just to make it to a class, and then when I do get there, it is hard for me to clear my mind. Sometimes I just want to lay on my mat for the entire hour. An entire rectangle of space to myself, with no one touching me? Heaven…I could lay here forever!

But I move, and breath with the group anyway, and always end up enjoying it. I look down. Has anyone noticed I haven’t had a pedicure in a year? Yipes! I wonder if I will ever get my core strength back, especially after two babies. And when did my arms get so weak? Gotta work on that. But I am doing my best.

Is it enough? Sometimes I wonder if I am doing anything enough lately?

My mind wanders easily. I start to wish for some fun new yoga tank tops, that I eye on the people around the room, even though I know that they are no longer in my budget. Maybe a new headband, then?

I am distracted, again. I am enough. I have enough. Back to my breath. Relax my shoulders. Be here now.

As I rest in savasana, I am often calculating the time it will take me to get home to my babysitter. It’s a mad dash to roll up my mat and head back. It used to be a slow saunter, and a chit chat with the instructor. I would take my time getting to the subway, and stop for an overpriced green juice or kombucha on the walk home. Now it is more harried.

Yoga is still lovely, and still much needed, but its not the same escape that it used to be anymore.

Now the closest I have to santosha, or contentment, is snuggling. Yes, snuggling my sweet toddler as he falls asleep is where I feel comfort and self-acceptance. It’s a time where I forgive myself for all my shortcomings as a mother, imagined or real. A time when I realize that things have changed—my life has changed, my priorities have changed. I have changed.

I am doing my best. Here, I am enough.

I touch my son’s long blond hair, sometimes inhaling the scent of shampoo, sometimes feeling the day’s sweat and watermelon juice, if a bath didn’t happen that night.

I am here, now.

I forgive myself for the times that I have rushed him into his stroller, the times where I have raised my voice, or the times that I have given in to the television. I forgive the times I have not parented as spiritually and consciously as I would have liked to—and the times that I forgotten the patience and compassion of the yogic philosophies. I let go of the fact that perhaps the only protein he has eaten all day is a peanut butter sandwich.

It’s okay. I am doing my best. I am enough.

All of my failures drift away as my son drifts to sleep, knowing that tomorrow is another day—to parent from my heart, to grow as a human, to make mistakes and to find strength.

Santosha means doing your best, and then having that acceptance for your efforts, knowing they are enough.

I am enough, here and now. Snuggling is the place where I truly remember this.

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Relephant read:

Signs You Might Be a Yoga Mama.

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Author: Logan Kinney

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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