Motherhood and yoga -- reflections from our community members
What does it mean to practice yoga? What does it mean to be a mother? These questions, though seemingly different, have commonalities -- they're both challenging to define, are more about a journey than a concrete destination, and are different for each individual finding the answer for themselves.
Mother's Day was this past weekend, and we asked for reflections from members of the Flow and Grow Kids Yoga community -- specifically those who are mothers -- on yoga and motherhood. Here are a few reflections that they shared!
My first yoga class began over 22 years ago, while pregnant with my first child. I wanted to stay strong and flexible, and to be available for whatever came my way while in labor. Practicing did help, and I never stopped appreciating its value.
Yoga in motherhood has allowed me to be present, compassionate and flexible with strength, three important pieces to provide balance -- on and off the mat. These invariably carry over when interacting with all the things that pull and push us while caring for our children. Whenever the bowl is dropped, the toe is stubbed, or the silence is interrupted with a siren-song or scream, taking a breath and finding just a little forgiveness makes it easier to maintain calm and focus in the very moment.
This past year, it’s been so much more difficult to find that space and time to practice, with many souls filling up the house, and schedules filling up the calendar. So I’ll steal a moment to practice in funny places or unusual times. To settle before bed, I might spend a moment in a yin pose or two. I’ve found extra moments to stretch in the shower, or been seen kick-standing my leg while brushing my teeth! Because I’ve had the privilege to work this past year, I’ve found staying consistent in my practice challenging, and have been VERY grateful for all those folks offering online or recorded classes that can be seen at odd hours.
In the classroom, hours are also limited, so taking a moment or two to practice with the students has provided monumental stress relief to the students and to me! (Having the Flow and Grow materials at my fingertips on my computer has just been a tremendous benefit.)
Now, my child who learned so long ago with Ms. Lara as a preschooler, is a strong and loving teenager. And each time I see her find her breath, or take a pose between Zoom meetings, I’m filled with gratitude that yoga, and of course Lara, brought those elements of compassion, flexibility with strength, and mindfulness into our home as well as the classroom. For decades now, I’ve lived in gratitude for the yoga and motherhood combination. May we all have the chance to experience those elements that intertwine so perfectly.
Entering the state
Leaving the formal practice of yoga
Dedication to breath, steadiness, study, and poses
Lost in a few excruciating pushes
Surrender to the detachment to practice
Evolving with the new love of child
Mindful living replaces obsessive practice
Breaths with baby
Posture while breastfeeding
Asana in between snuggles
Attitude and ethics sharpen
Inner meditation and concentration grow
With the love for my little love
Motherhood starts with mourning your past self
The birth of baby births you anew, mommy
The one that will awaken to the needs and joys of child
Child, greater than guru
Showing you yourself
Something to cherish
Showing yourself love
Showering baby in love
Imbalance marks this transition
Newborn receiving all life force energy
A slow recharge of soul backing into mother’s body
Watching her grow
Even if it’s not as structured
It is as meaningful
Mothers give up a lot to become mom
And yet we gain
Yoga is the health of balancing energy
Motherhood is a test of balance
What can give?
What can be let go?
What can we embrace
While holding gentle and steady?
Inner attitude of kindness
Touching everything mom does
Ahimsa and motherhood
Toward sweet child and self
Toward all others, no judgement
Each mother and version of this archetype
Doing their best
One day to acknowledge all she does and is
Lifetime with child
every day in the flow of love
A balancing act
Love flows out
And pours in
Energy pours out
Interrupted a million times a minute
Yet so strong she redirects her focus
Staying on task
To love and provide
Meditation makes her humble yet aware
Brings to the forefront her heart-centeredness
Intentionality and genuine response -- these are two values I am always trying to bring forth in my parenting. There are just so many opportunities for me to lose focus, to become caught up in work or other obligations. And it is precisely in those moments that I need to be most mindful.
Practicing yoga and mindfulness has helped me more intentionally shift my focus throughout my day. I feel it most when I am consistently practicing. Even if it is just a ten minute morning stretch and quick writing prompt. I feel more centered in my approach to the day including how I interact with my children.
I find this particularly helpful as a homeschooling mother who also works from home. I am with my kids all day, of course, but incorporating yoga into my day helps me to also be present in the big and small moments. It helps me to better reflect on how I am operating as a parent. Not with criticism but rather sincere contemplation, so I can build upon what works while acknowledging what is not working so that I can move beyond it.
I am grateful to have such tools available for my benefit and that of my children.
Spring 2020 Flow and Grow Kids Yoga
95-hour Kids Yoga Training Cohort
Whoever you are, whatever journey you're on (in and out of yoga itself), Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Teacher Training can lead to self-discovery and realizing your purpose out in the world -- the experiences of our graduates as proof! Our next 95-hour training begins on June 22nd. Email Lara at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or book a call with her here!