My mom, Denise, started practicing yoga regularly in 1998. At the time, no one she knew was doing yoga yet, but she loved it and stuck to her Ashtanga practice. When I was in high school, she brought me to my first class, and I quickly fell in love—not only with the yoga, but also the fact that it was something we shared.
Fast forward more than a decade—and a transition to Vinyasa-style classes—and my mom and I have practiced next to or near one another thousands of times. We practice around the country, with other family members, even when inspiration for an impromptu session in my parents’ garden strikes. And it has made us close in some amazing ways. When she comes to a class I’m teaching, I get to adjust her and observe her beautiful practice. (She has the most impressive Revolved Triangle!). We also find ourselves talking about what yoga feels like off the mat; how this ancient practice we both love so much has shaped our lives. As we both get older, we talk about the fact that time has changed our bodies, our balance, our joints, our progress, and our struggles.
Best of all, our shared yoga practice has given me the gift of being able to witness my mom’s strength and grace. Through the unique thread of our shared appreciation of yoga, our relationship has evolved so sweetly—through awareness, honesty, and mutual respect—and has made us true companions sharing the kind of inner journey yoga inspires.
I created this sequence to practice with my mom in the hopes that it might inspire you to practice with your own mom, dad, or family member. All of these poses can be held for shorter or longer than suggested, and the flow can be broken down pose by pose or even repeated with the breath multiple times. Have fun and encourage each other with steady breath and a joyful energy that’s sure to emerge as you practice together.
Try this yoga with mom sequence
About the Author
Christine Gagen is a yoga and Pilates teacher in Greenport, New York, and Miami, FL. Follow her on Instagram here.