Close your eyes(oh wait, no…keep reading!). Take a deep breath to settle your mind. Allow yourself to bring to mind images of your favorite yoga practice. Maybe it’s a class you’ve been going to for years. Maybe it’s a pose you love. Is it the sense of calm wellbeing that you get after finally making it to the studio or the gym? Ahhhhhh…feels pretty good, eh?
Now, let your mind wander to…babies. Do you see little chubby cheeked cherubs, giggling and holding their baby toes? Maybe a little one getting ready to crawl, eyes delighted by newly found freedom of movement? Or, do you, like me, drift to the image of an active 9 month old putting yet another piece of whoknowswhat into their mouth as you run frantically away from the breakfast cooking on the stove to snatch him off the floor before he crawls into the bathroom?
Babies and Yoga are probably the two things I think of the most. But there is a compartmentalization in my mind between the two because the two seem incompatible in the same room. Sure, my life as a SAHM feeds my yoga practice in ways that I would have never imagine before having kids. But in an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” kind of way. I go to the studio and teach classes where we reflect on what is happening “out there” and build a sense of calm reserve for the storms that await us in our everyday lives.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a parent, it’s that life with kids means you live your life with them. Not around them, not next to them, not after them, but together. Because if I try to keep me and them separate two things happen:
- I resent the time I spend with my kids because I want to be doing me things (sounds harsh, but it’s true).
- I miss out on the joy of being flexible enough to see the world through my boys’ eyes.
Case in point: shortly after I decided that yes, I would finally try teaching a mommy and me yoga class, I was doing some yoga with my little homies. I came into supported bridge pose and also became a bridge for my older son’s tractors to drive under. When I went into downward dog he tried it too, but with a leg lifted and shouted, “Mama I’m in three little puppies pose!” (two puppy hands and one puppy foot). Then my 9 month old crawled under me and giggle uproariously as I pretended to eat his hair. Was it the same as going to a class with a bunch of adults who know how to be quiet and stay focused? Nope! But, *this* is my life and I want to own it. And I want you to own yours too.
So, let’s do some yoga together, with our babies, and get distracted by their giggles and wanderings and insatiable hunger and poopy diapers. I often tell my students that we practice on the mat what we want to take into our everyday lives. It is also helpful to bring that everyday life to the mat from time to time.
Sign up for mommy and me yoga here: http://yoga.indigowellnesscenter.com/class-schedule/