Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
There was a time, in the days of pre-mommyhood, when I had time. Yes, back when my mornings weren’t filled with wiping fresh puddles of urine from the bathroom floor and chasing a naked toddler who would rather streak than sit on her potty while Mommy runs her bath, and my nights weren’t a mad-dash to get everything done and everyone fed before10 PM, when I could go to the gym every night. I’ve been a weight-slinging girl for years, but about three years ago, I discovered a class at my local gym that involved yoga, tai chi, and pilates as one workout. It was my first experience, believe it or not, with yoga. I fell in love. I found it at a time in my life when my adrenal glands were burned out, and I’d been told that due to hormonal imbalances, I’d never get pregnant without some serious medical help. I was already exploring detoxing, and new ways of eating, so I thought I’d give new ways of exercising a chance as well. And when suffering from adrenal exhaustion, slower workouts are welcomed. Of course, I got hooked quickly. I bought my own yoga mat, attending classes two or three times per week, and added yoga videos from YouTube to my regular routine. It was what I needed at a time when my mind was horribly cluttered with fear and anxiety. I can’t say that I learned to meditate, but I did find a certain pleasantness in just being still and focusing on my breath while trying to master “pigeon” or “tree” pose. It helped me to calm my anger when someone cut me off in traffic or things got too crazy at work. I felt like I was on my way to being the person I wanted to become… calm, strong, peaceful. Then, I got pregnant.
The first thing my midwife told me? “Don’t lay on your stomach.” Considering how much time I spent face-down on my mat, I was lost as to how to continue with yoga. Bummer. I looked into pre-natal classes, but they’re really expensive! And most of them were at times that wouldn’t work with my schedule, anyway. (I’m thoroughly convinced that people have this notion that prenatal yoga moms don’t have jobs.) That was when I just said, to heck with it. I gave it up. I continued lifting weights and doing some cardio. I ran almost daily until about halfway through my second trimester when I felt like I was shaking things loose in there. I felt good. I can honestly say that I had the easiest, most comfortable pregnancy of anyone I know. (Notice I said “pregnancy” not “labor”. That’s a whole other story.) But I did miss yoga. I couldn’t wait to get back to it.
I’m not sure what I want to gain from yoga and meditation, but I know I want to be in control of my thoughts and my body. I have a superficial goal of being able to do a handstand, because who are we kidding? That would just be bad ass. I’ve been a slave to my anger and insecurity for my entire life, so I want to take control of those thoughts and stop letting them decide how I react to situations. There are times when the dogs chew on something they’re not supposed to, or Charlotte puts a stuffed animal in the dogs’ water bowl or toilet. I want to be able to address those situations with compassion and a calm head. I know my yoga and meditation practice will help. It already has. Before I respond, I now take a breath and ask myself, “can I change this? Will being mad help anything?” I don’t want to be an yelling mom. I want Charlotte to learn to be a peaceful person from me. If nothing else I teach her sticks, that’s the one thing I hope does. We live in such an anxious and hot-headed world. I just want her to be able to deal with other people in an intelligent and calm way. I want her to be a better person than I am. For that to happen, I have to become the type of person who teaches her HOW to be better than me.
I’m so gracious to have been led to yoga when I was. I’m new to this world, but can already see changes in myself. I plan to continue down this path and work at it until those changes radiate from me… and then I’ll keep going.