If you had met me several years ago then yoga would most certainly have come up in conversation. I lived, breathed, taught, and loved yoga. It was the prism through which I viewed life, my paid work, and how I spent my down time.
Fast forward to life with three young kiddos and while it is still integral to how I approach life, it no longer feels integral to the me that is seen by the outside world.
I can honestly say I went through a period of grieving for yoga between each of my children as the practice of my past receded further each time. After my third, I felt resigned to the fact that the time for a daily formal practice just isn’t available to me right now. It’s a lot easier to write a blog post with a baby on your lap than do a round of Surya Namaskar!
This morning I found myself rolling out my mat and realised it’s only been out a handful of time since little Ramona joined us ten months ago. She was asleep and I knew I didn’t have an hour or so for the well-rounded practice that I craved. Instead, I stood on the deck in the sun with the intention of just being present with what my body needed today. As I tuned in with my breath it felt like enough to stand tall, anchored between the earth and the sun. I gave myself permission to stop there if I chose.
Without really noticing I found myself moving into some salutations then a warrior sequence before coming down to the mat to work out the aches in my back that come from carrying a small person each day. Tessa came running over to ask if she could sit on my back in Balasana (child’s pose). A gentle reminder that although I may feel like I don’t practice often enough it has been often enough for the girls to recognise and feel a part of it.
All too soon, and before I could sit for meditation, my bundle of love was awake. It’s a blessing to have such a tangible link through breath and movement to past experiences. Like a thread that connects me to who I was when I first rolled out a mat fourteen years ago and runs through all the versions of me in between.
While I don’t move or feel quite the way I have in the past I felt a sense of potential this morning. I’m left with the sense that yoga will continue to creep into the space left by my girls as they get older and less physically reliant on me. A fluttering of excitement that as I emerge from the other side of mothering tiny babies I will once again find the part of myself that is yoga, reclaiming its place at the heart of who I am.
How was your journey back to the mat after having children? Was it different after each child? I’d love to hear your experiences.