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Yoga Diary: Yoga Mama

A mother explains how parenthood has become a part of her practice.

By Janet Stone

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Reaching down to pick up the mashed banana from the brand-new carpet, I inhale and plant my feet firmly into the "earth," feeling the four corners of my feet and the brilliant energy coming up my legs. That energy connects with my sacrum as I radiate my heart toward my shins and feel lengthening in my back body.

Then I notice that the oat milk my three-year-old, India, was drinking also landed on the carpet. A wail from the other room pierces my ears as Lilianna, my 11-week-old, attempts to ward off her sister's attacks. I lengthen through the back of my neck, engage my abdominal wall, press down through my feet, and stand tall. I sprint to the next room, where I find said larger child lying atop said newborn. My spine extended, Uddiyana and Mula Bandhas engaged, I lift India off her sister, while my shoulder blades move down my back and my jaw relaxes.

Things settle down, and we move on to muffin baking. Toes brighten as they reach to pick up a fallen tray while one leg feels the inner spiral, and the left hand extends through the fingers to stop the oil from overflowing the measuring cup. I practice pPranayama to drown out the loud expressions (called whining) made by my baking partner while balancing the itty-bitty baker on my left shoulder.

I once had a daily two-hour practice. Now I practice from the moment my eyes open until they close. Sacred texts teach nonattachment, noncoveting, uniting opposites. Could there be a better teacher than children? Even if I slipped away to the Himalayas with an enlightened guru, I might not receive such constant opportunities to live my yoga.




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Reader Comments

Dawn

I love you comment about how you once had a 2-hour daily practice and now it's an all day practice. With a 2-year old and nearly 4-year old, my time to practice is much more limited. I never thought of using the time I pick up, play with them, and cook for/with them as an opportunity to practice my yoga. Thank you for that encouragement!

Cristina

I'm pregnant with number 3 and a power yoga teacher. I find myself feeling limited as my belly grows and a two year old jumps on my back in downdog, again.
my husbands practice becomes more complex and I keep crossing off poses that are contraindicated . Although I may not be able to deepen my twist or bend further, I know I'm getting soooo much stronger than I ever could have without my children.

Arugularose

What a beautiful article. Thank you for sharing.

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