Mom-asana: Reserving Energy, or Making a Don’t-Do List

Energy. Where is it? Try Janet Stone's practice for this week—especially if holiday stress is starting to creep up on you: Make a don't-do list.

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 strength, fitness, and grounding at any stage of motherhood. This week’s practice: avoiding holiday burnout.

Energy. Where is it? How come we feel we have so little of it after we have children, especially around this time of year? Here is my practice for this week—especially if holiday stress is starting to creep up on you:

Make a don’t-do list.

Yes, you heard me. This time of year, we run around heaping to-do’s and expectations onto ourselves, in order to send the perfect holiday cards, give the perfect gifts, make the perfect meals, throw the perfect parties, etc.

I’m not suggesting you give up on everything. But we all deserve to take some time to recognize all of the energy it takes to nurture a life (or lives). Take a moment to acknowledge yourself in all that you are already doing and allow yourself some down time. This might mean that some of the things on your to-do list don’t get done. Ask yourself, honestly, if each of the to-do’s matters in the overall context of your mental and physical health and if they reflect the deepest love of your child/family.

So how does one make a don’t-do list? We can go about this in a few different ways. One is simply to put down the list altogether. Another is to intentionally carve out time for doing nothing but breathing, resting, replenishing the nervous system. Yet another is to set up a space where you can receive care and attention, like taking a yoga class or getting a massage. This reprieve can calm the constant pressure to do and give and be for others.

Mom-asana of the Week

Plan “do-nothing” time for yourself when your kids are sleeping or when they are at school. Sit. Take an easy seat—Sukhasana, Virasana, or Baddha Konasana—anywhere you like (the couch is fair game). Receive support. Sip tea.

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.