It’s day 25 of my 40 days yoga. Getting on my mat everyday gives me a more fresh, calm attitude in my days when I’m needed in four different directions by little people.
It is also the best time I spend with baby girl, staring at her from all different perspectives and watching her grow. She found her toes lying in front of me on my mat. She rolled over for the first time on my mat. It’s a place she has zero distractions, zero toys, zero sisters (on school days) and plenty of room to wiggle, roll and explore just how those feet are attached to her legs. While lying on her belly, she been discovering her future crawling muscles. She makes doing poses lying my belly a lot more fun. I get a great view while doing cobra pose.
Yoga gives me something to focus on rather than the things I can not accomplish in a day. Some days I only find five minutes to lie on my mat, between a fussy baby, errands and big kid demands. But I’m grateful for every five minutes I get.
Taking a deep breathe while I simply ground my soul, finding stillness in a restorative pose, or loosening my stiff joints with a more rigorous vinyasa flow with backbends and inversions – it always leaves me feeling ok about leaving the dishes and piles laundry for later (maybe tomorrow). I never regret dropping what is happening and taking this time for myself. Even when it’s 11:30 at night when I finally get a moment to sneak away for alone time, sans the baby.
“It’s all yoga,” my teacher Cindy Dollar says. Everything we learn on the mat transfers off the mat. My awareness for self always run parallel.
Through my 30-day guide to self discipline via the book Making a Change for good, I’m making an effort to do less at one time and gain more self awareness. This brings peace and more calm to a busy day where conversations, requests, questions, needs and sometimes sass (I DO live with three talking daughters) leaves me with no defense other to just breathe. One breathe at a time. Because motherhood is a big job. And I do my best everyday to limit the times I screw up. All parents screw things up sometimes.
Motivating myself to practice yoga everyday brings awareness to how I cope and react to everyday life.
I always want to get to the final place, the finish line for the day, some reward (in baby days that can simply be a shower alone) and the place that feels like I’ve accomplished something.
Through my practice I’m learning to slow down on and off the mat. To breathe deeper, to pause a little longer, to take an extra lunge, to find a new muscle or awaken another part of my core that slept for 9 months while I was pregnant.
“Stop, look and listen,” I tell my girls more often now. As I ask them for better eye contact, acknowledgement of my requests and a polite response. Believe it or not sometimes we are too hurried in our lives for things to be that simple.
But I also discover things about myself to when I stop, look and listen. In class Sunday when I really focused on pulling my lower ribcage into my spine, I was reintroduced to abdominal muscles in my core. They were not in the same place I remembered leaving them before I grew my baby girl and those muscles shifted to house her 9 pound body. A light bulb went off in my head. And since then I’ve been more aware of finding the little treasures about my new self at home too.
Most things I observe about myself I also observe how I project them onto my kids. It’s how we unconsciously condition our kids. Being aware of it makes me a better parent. When I have more focus on less things, I can better pinpoint where emotions are coming from in my little spawns of life. Just like I can find a part of my right upper psoas muscle behind my ribcage, I can relate to where the joy is coming from when my 11 year-old baked bread by herself. When there is frustration, I do little better job remembering to stop and breathe, and think about how I can help. Before I just react.
It’s all yoga.
This little book has been going everywhere with me. Some days my daily journaling is minimized to notes in the margins. Some days it’s writing in notes in my phone while I nurse. Some days it’s sharing my thoughts here with others. Bottom line is it makes me think. It makes me more aware. It makes me a better yoga teacher. It makes me a better person in all the people I care for in a my day. Because in life, it’s all yoga.