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I’ve said many times that yoga saved me.
One way it did is by making me a better mom.
I have always been a bit judgemental with a bit of a temper. These two not-so-great characteristics showed their ugly faces in my parenting. That, mixed with a traumatic childhood, sent me into worry about every little thing.
I was determined for my children not to experience any trauma, but I realized I was giving them trauma.
When I started healing myself through yoga, I began to truly listen to my children and what they were saying and not saying. We learned to unpack our trauma, our daily difficulties, our anxieties together. Expanding our communication in these areas has allowed us to grow closer to share and understand each other on a deeper level. I’ve learned that being honest with my children about my past and anxieties allows them to know that I don’t have it all figured out and that I make mistakes. I permit them to fail, to succeed, to feel in a safe environment.
“Worry does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.” ~ Unknown
I realized that my worry was a form of violence. Every time I would tell them to be careful, make good choices, and the list goes on, I was telling them I didn’t trust them to make these decisions on their own. I didn’t trust that they had the necessary tools to make safe, good choices. I was telling them I didn’t trust them, which was violence to their self-esteem and decision-making. When my children would do things, I started to tell them to have a good time. With each passing encounter, I could see them lighten up to trust themselves more and become proud of the choices they were making.
Do I still worry? Of course, I’m a mom, but the difference is I don’t project it on to them, and I sit with the worry and figure out where it comes from and why I feel it.
“That breath that you just took—that’s a gift.” ~ Rob Bell
Breathing is another beautiful gift I have learned from yoga. When something causes me to feel unbalanced in life or parenting, I take a moment to sit, and take a deep inhale, and exhale. It always centers and grounds me and gives me the perfect pause so that I don’t react without thinking (which has gotten me in trouble a time or two.) This is one of the greatest lessons to parenting that yoga has taught me—to pause, breathe, and not react without thinking first.
I can’t even begin to tell you what this has done for my children and me. When a situation happens, I’m learning to stop and say, I need a moment. I then come back with a clear head, ready to work through it together.
Yoga is a beautiful gift in my life, teaching me lessons on and off the mat. The greatest is making me a better mom to my children, and for that, I am truly grateful.