Last weekend I had the honor of attending a local workshop with Gabriel Helpern of Yoga Circle in Chicago. He is an Iyengar yoga teacher who has spent his life studing yoga and the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. When I get the chance to study under an Iyengar certified teacher I gobble it up. Because it’s yummy to my mind, body and soul. My introduction to yoga happened pre-kid years in Atlanta when I lived down the street from an Iyengar yoga studio. Even though it’s a new thing I’ve started blogging about here, getting on my yoga mat is old. It’s like revisiting my own roots every time I ground my feet on that mat.
What is new is me taking the time to do yoga, lots of yoga, guilt free, as me time. I learned the art of this last year while spending 12 weekends doing 15 hours of yoga while I left my amazing husband home to take care our girls. There were lots of mornings when I left a household of folks not too happy about me leaving for the day…again. Learning to release has been a process. I know the end result fills me up with goodness and I return a happier, balanced person.
When I get to the studio alone (which is the only times I have been away from baby girl since she was born) I breathe deeper, appreciate it more and sometimes just hang my head over to release. I made it. I made it out of the house. Alone. And it will be okay. They will all survive. I really have to tell myself this. Still. Eleven years into this mothering job.
Once I’m there I release and realign all my parts – mentally and phyically. Last weekend I learned more about the poses giving my trouble because my hips are out of whack. It could from babywearing, sleeping with baby and now propping her up on my hip. Or maybe I’m still pulling myself back together from birth. It took nine months for my body to grow a baby. By no means am I completely back to normal yet. I’m still running on a wonky sleep cycle. And I suppose I will be as long as we are night nursing. I’ve just adapted.
Generally I hold on so much emotion in my hips. So I’m working my tail off right now to get myself back up straight and keep myself aligned everyday. Deep twists, revolved poses and standing postures are my focus as I level my hips. Which I have learned, level my mind.
I think it’s safe to say that all new moms have some anxiety to some degree. It manifests in different forms of postpartum mental states. I’m a very laid back person and chilled out mom. But with my first three babies I was a nervous wreck at the thought of being separated from them. Even for a short time. They never took bottles and I just put off leaving them until they were old enough to eat solid food and drink from a cup. Date nights meant bringing the baby. I was fine with that.
The weekends away from my family last year taught me to release my mom guilt of being away. My husband was going to be fine too. He’s a great dad! He can handle a gaggle of girls better than a cheerleading coach.
Last weekend he had baby girl the first two hours and the last two hours of the eight hour day. The middle part she was with me. Because I still really like it that way. She is my little yogi. And the studio always welcomes her.
She went home in time for me to practice standing on my head. Because a new perspective on life always brings fresh outlooks.
Sunday she stayed home for five hours. It was the most time I have been away from any of my babies. Ever. I checked in periodically for my own sanity. Just to know things were okay. My husband responded like this.
And like this.He was holding the fort down just fine. Baby girl was a-okay. I finally released. I was realigned. I had a new perspective. When I got home I learned he did it all while handling the surpirse situation of the kitchen sink falling out of the cabinet. Oops. A neighbor came to the rescue and the contractor fixed it the next day. Dinner resumed as normal.
Monday morning I did more standing on my head. This time with my baby by my side. I’m super grateful for my home practice on these days when I must release and realign at home, in my living room. And for those of you keeping up with my 40 days of yoga, Friday will be the last day. That’s when I’m turning 40! But me doing yoga every day is here to stay. It’s finally become a habit to get on my mat every day, no mater if I’m at home, at the studio, with or without my baby. Yoga every damn day is here to stay. Because it’s in my bones. I just had to come to the place where I could close the door behind me and go. And do it for me. And also find my grove where I do it at home. Forgetting the piles of to do items, and stand on my head with a room full of daughters watching me. Because I have a room full of daughters. That’s the truth.
Every stay-at-home-mom needs something for themselves. No mater how small. Even if you can’t even do it alone. I’ve had a few moms ask me about classes they can do at home when they don’t want to leave their babies, or when they can’t make it to my momma and baby yoga class.
I have an answer for you. Actually, it’s a solution for anyone who likes doing yoga at home. Check out Yoga Vibes. You can get a free 15 day trial membership. Jennifer Coffin, a teacher Glowing Body Yoga Studio, has four full length classes featured on the site. She is also co-owner of Inner Space Yoga who makes and sells the beautiful bolsters you see me using at my house. If you sign up for a year membership on Yoga Vibes you get one of her bolsters for free. It’s a win win. Check it out.