Tuesday, July 24, 2012

10 Ways Motherhood Has Changed My Yoga Practice

Not me.
  1. I no longer have a Buddha statue or candle at the front of my mat for an alter. Instead, I have a sleeping baby in a bouncy seat, who inevitably wakes up screaming several times during my 30 minute practice session.
  2. Asana sessions are interrupted several times by demands for attention, food, or the need to be rocked back to sleep.
  3. During those breaks, I often have to change out of my cute yoga top into something looser so I can nurse … Poses that require me to lay on my belly still feel horrible, so I modify or skip those altogether.
  4. I look up and say "Boo!" almost every time I find my way into Cobra or Upward Facing Dog.
  5. My dog Penny, who will take every opportunity to cuddle she can get now that I almost always have a baby in my arms, comes running to practice with me. She licks my face every time I take Downward Dog and lies down on my calves for the seconds I'm in Cobra or Up Dog. I stop to pet her every time.
  6. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted practice is cause for a celebration. If I make it through I'm elated for the rest of the day.
  7. I know yoga isn't about the poses. I've known this for a very long time, but deep down it still has been a little bit about poses for me. No longer! I practice because it feels good to do something for myself. It feels good in my body and for my spirit. I also want to be a role model for my little to girl—I want her to grow up seeing the importance of self-care. For the first time in 10 years of practicing yoga, I really don't give a flying flip what I look like or what poses I can accomplish.
  8. My yoga mat doubles as padding for Tummy Time. I put a blanket down, too, to avoid getting drool all over it. This is when I get in my forward folds. (Penny licks me in the face then, too.)
  9. Any activity is fair game for a quick meditation session: the shower, an evening stroll through my neighborhood, holding a sleeping baby (who refuses to sleep anywhere other than my arms)… I just take 10 deep, mindful breaths. That totally counts, right? 
  10. Savasana... I remember that!