Yoga for Moms: Going With the Flow

Janet Stone is offering YJ readers a series of weekly "mom-asanas" for serenity, strength, and grounding. This week's practice: Going with the flow of motherhood.

Internationally recognized yoga teacher and mother of two Janet Stone, who will lead our upcoming Yoga for Moms online course (enroll now and be the first to know when this mom-inspired course launches), is offering YJ readers a series of weekly “mom-asanas” for serenity, strength, and grounding. This week’s practice: Going with the flow of motherhood.

Mothers are constantly facing obstacles, whether it’s dealing with willful children, facing expectations of motherhood versus reality, or even just getting from point A to point B. When you inevitably find yourself in these situations, it’s helpful to think of water or “the flow” as we call it in yoga.

Water goes around obstacles — it finds its way to where it’s headed in a really beautiful, powerful, yet graceful way, rather than pushing back hard on hard. Vinyasa yoga, of course, is a great example of being in the flow. As we learn to move more fluidly, we pay attention to the spaces and actions in between the postures. Think of gracefully bringing your leg up to the sky from Downward-Facing Dog. As you find what’s in between, that’s the quality of water.

Now imagine that flow-like quality when you’re off the mat, for example, when you’re having trouble getting your kids dressed for school. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that happens between waking up in the morning and getting out the door. Pay attention to these moments, keep breathing, and stay fluid, rather than pushing back hard on hard. Staying in this flow will help keep you calm, grounded, and centered.

See alsoYoga for Moms: Coping With Mom Stress

Mom-asana of the Week: Half Side Plank (Ardha Vasisthasana) with arm modification

From Downward-Facing Dog, extend your right leg behind you, bend your knee and open your foot toward your left side. Allow the foot to settle onto the earth and your right arm to lift from the ground in one motion. Keep your left hand and both feet rooting into the ground and energetically drawing together. Look toward the earth, allowing your right arm to drape toward the ground. Feel the sense of length all along the right side of your body. After 3–4 breaths, come back to center, then switch sides.

San Francisco-based yoga teacher Janet Stone started her practice at age 17. A student of Max Strom and meditation teacher Prem Rawat, Stone teaches vinyasa flow at events around the world. Her new kirtan album with DJ Drez, Echoes of Devotion, hit number 1 on iTunes’s World Music chart this year. Stone has two daughters and offers this advice to moms: “Motherhood offers infinite lessons in the realms of surrender, empowerment, grace, mistakes, and patience, and then some more patience—as well as the endless unfurling of transitions and change. Practicing yoga amidst this adventure can support us in myriad ways to find our center.” Learn more about her upcoming course, Yoga for Moms.