Since baby girl has turned into a toddler it’s really difficult to get solid yoga time in at home, with focus and purpose. It’s only minutes before I have to retrieve her from playing in the kitchen drawer of glass lunch containers, from yanking the poor old cat, from falling off furniture or from the dog’s water bowl. All moms know the drill. It’s basic toddler business. This adorable toddler that I love SO very much is only good for about two downward facing dogs before she moves on to all of the above activities.
However she does – honest to goodness – roll out her mat next to mine when I tell her we are going to do yoga. It melts my heart. Then she can do no wrong.
Therefore my yoga practice is fragmented. It comes in spurts and segments throughout the day. That means I practice headstands in the bathroom while she takes a bath. I do standing poses in my kitchen waiting for a pot to boil. I roll out my mat on the sidewalk while she sleeps in my parked car. Every day I try to do something to satisfy my body’s cravings for movement and mental clarity.
When a friend emailed about a series she was teaching at the yoga studio where I teach, looking for other teachers to teach, as part of her 800 hour teacher training certification in Dharma Yoga – I had to sign up! Going anywhere on a Monday night at 6:00 is hard when five people are expecting dinner. Add that to homework, piano to practice, lunches to make, bedtime routines, and it’s tough for me to leave. But I’m making it happen! My husband is coming home from work early on Mondays. Dinners are pre-planned. And I’m home by bedtime to snuggle and kiss them all goodnight.
The series was described as advanced. I am not advanced. Intermediate yes. But probably not advanced. I was going for it anyway. Parts of me were nervous I’d embarrass myself in front of other more experienced teachers. I only teach pregnant women. I do not teach advanced poses. While on my mat I am constantly interrupted by my toddler climbing on me for nursing breaks. I talked myself into it and expected to muddle through the class, at best!
But it was great! And I learned I should give myself more credit, and that my segmented practice is benefiting me more than I thought. I learned there are advanced poses that I can do! And I did a split in class!
I’m a just a mom who finds moments to squeeze in my practice in random places like an empty hallway at the theatre while my daughter was in dress rehearsals preparing for the Nutcracker. Yes I really did that. I was taking advantage of precious alone time.
The moral of the story is persistence pays off. It’s SO important for moms take care of ourselves in every small way we can.
Before class on Monday I was looking up the pose Eka-Pada-Kapotasana because I wasn’t familiar with the Sanskrit. I was doomed, I thought. I’m going to suck for sure. But I did it! It was a major aha moment. I did something big I didn’t even know I could do.
I’m not one for yoga selfies. I love seeing people’s yoga photos and videos, and following them on Instagram. Some days they inspire me to put down my device and get out my mat. However if I find 15 minutes to practice I’m not going to risk setting up my phone to capture it or I’ll miss out on my time to practice. And I find myself posing (pun intended) for the camera instead of focusing inward on my breath and meditation through my poses.
However this time my oldest daughter walked in on me and offered to take the pictures. Being a dancer, she thinks it’s pretty cool her mom can still do a split. So yeah… I have yoga selfies to share this time. Just because they are 12-year-old approved. I hope they are inspiring to others. A simple start can take you a long way.