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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 Pranayama 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.